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Pony club membership - is it worth it?

40 replies

Daytimetellysucks · 12/11/2019 11:50

I have absolutely no idea what to buy my 14 year old daughter for Christmas so was toying with buying her PC membership

She has a pony and has actually already done a load of their local events without being a member - competitions/camp, etc

DD won’t actually ask for anything so I’m a bit stumped


OP posts:
OrangeZog · 12/11/2019 11:59

How often does she compete and does she get placed? Many years ago when I was a pony mad child, the local PC members got trophies for a year if they won events and the non members didn’t get to keep them for the duration. So if that’s still the case or is in your area, and she wins, that might be something she’d enjoy.

Eve · 12/11/2019 12:00

As a long standing PC member - I think its worth it.

My children have been through PC and my 17 year old is still a member and the greatest draw for them is the friends and team members he has made though PC. Going to competitions as part of a team with friends around you who will support and encourage each other makes a difference and is very different from having your mum there.

Pony Club also offers opportunity to gain volunteering awards ( YELA scheme) and teaching qualifications - a number of our members are now young coaches and loving it, we make a real effort to get them teaching younger members.

PrettyPurse · 12/11/2019 12:07

@Daytimetellysucks if she already does stuff like competitions, what benefit would she get from being a member?

Think you need to look at what she'd actually "do" with her membership.

My ds went to the PC sessions to learn about horses. I also subscribed him to horse magazines.

Daytimetellysucks · 12/11/2019 12:40

Thanks all!

She had a loan pony for a few years which she did loads of competitions on and did really well.

She has had her own pony since March so only did some local small shows and the PC camp this summer

We’re lucky with our yard that there are quite a few lovely girls her age so she goes off and does stuff with them and they all support and encourage each other

I’m just stumped as to what to buy her - she’s not into matchy-matchy stuff or expensive branded stuff, hates glittery blingy stuff

She won’t ask for anything and if you ask her what she wants she says ‘having her pony is enough’ so Christmas and Birthdays are a PITA

OP posts:
PrettyPurse · 12/11/2019 13:41

Does she have lessons? Could you get some private one's. Or are you near an outdoor centre that you hire - think there's one at Milton Keynes.

PrettyPurse · 12/11/2019 13:44

Or a riding holiday. There is another thread on here about that

happycamper11 · 12/11/2019 13:48

I'd say so, the higher level pony club exams are held in pretty high regard if dd wants to go on and do any horse/animal based training including veterinary nursing etc. Team events are great fun, never had more fun than our Prince Philip cup team years. Also ow about a nice pair of country boots, seem popular among the horsey girls round here

PrettyPurse · 12/11/2019 16:35

I've just booked DC for a young drivers driving lesson

Daytimetellysucks · 12/11/2019 18:38

Thanks all!

She does have regular lessons

She’s really interested in stunt riding - I’ve just found a course she could which could be an idea (although vastly more expensive than the PC membership 🤦‍♀️)

She wants to do the BHS stuff - she can do it as an apprenticeship through our college but is not old enough yet. Will have another look at the PC ones though


OP posts:
lastqueenofscotland · 12/11/2019 21:31

Yes!! If she wants to do stunt riding, games is not a bad place to start (jumping on/ off at speed etc)
I loved pony club and still have friends that I met at camp/rally’s about 16 years ago

Eve · 12/11/2019 21:34

Pony club tests are a good way into BHS exams - and a much much cheaper way of getting the qualifications plus coaching qualifications.

Mounted games (ppc) is a great way of learning to vault on/off , ride 1 handed, balance out of the saddle etc.

PrettyPurse · 12/11/2019 23:44

There is a place in Hemel Hempstead that does stunt riding. I went there for a horse confidence course

Daytimetellysucks · 13/11/2019 09:00


The place in Hemel Hempstead is the place I found last night. Unfortunately she’s not old enough for the stunt riding day but she can do the horse archery which looks fun.

It’s quite a way away from us though and can only be done in the summer so I might stash that away for her birthday

I’ll have another look on the PC website.

OP posts:
PrettyPurse · 13/11/2019 09:49

If she does that in Hemel.... not sure of the logistics but there is an outdoor centre that can be hired in Milton Keynes

Booboostwo · 13/11/2019 11:04

A trailer!

Just joking! There are endless presents for horsey people and they don't need to be matchy-matchy, diamante, or superfluous.

You can never have too many rugs, saddle cloths, jodhpurs.
As a one off: equine first aid kit, competition jacket, boots.

Daytimetellysucks · 13/11/2019 14:55

To be honest, we have got jodhpurs/saddle pads/jackets/boots/“Keep Calm & Ride On” hoodies/etc coming out of our ears

I bought her a LeMieux saddle pad the other day but she’s not really bothered by the fancy stuff

OP posts:
Booboostwo · 13/11/2019 21:18

Would she enjoy a farm ride? You could hire a horse box for the day and take her and a friend? Or if she likes jumping and is confident enough you could take her cross country schooling with an instructor.

BaldricksWife · 14/11/2019 09:20

What a lovely, humble thing of your DD to say. Depending on where you are and her interests- what about a day ay a major event? Think Burghley, HOYS, Badminton etc.

horseymum · 14/11/2019 09:27

I would say going to PC rallies is a big bonus as you get training towards qualifications. The higher tests give you exemptions for BHS qualifications. However, pretty sure you can do BHS stage 1 from 14 if that's the route she wants to take. Lovely to hear her attitude, it does make it hard to think of things though, doesn't it.

CaptainClover · 14/11/2019 09:58

The thing with Pony Club is you get out of it what you put into it.

So, some kids will join, hardly come along to much and not really get involved. Others will join in with most things and they are the ones that really benefit, make friends and learn so much, not just about riding/care but life :)

Pony Club is so much more that just rallies and camp, it can take you to National Championships and HOYS, you can travel all over the world, it can be a stepping stone into a career.

Daytimetellysucks · 14/11/2019 15:06

Thanks all Flowers

Yes, it is a really lovely attitude to have and I’m very proud of her, but at the same time it makes birthdays and Christmas really hard. I can’t not buy her something

We bought her Your Horse Live tickets for her birthday and to be quite honest, she hated it.

She has some SEN and struggles terribly with anxiety and it was just too crowded and busy for her.

With regard to making horses her career - for a long time she was full of talk about agricultural college, and being a coach or a groom, but then in the summer she had a huge meltdown about it all.

Riding is her ‘thing’ and with her SEN and anxiety, riding has always been a bit of a safe haven for her so she came to the decision that she wanted to keep it as a hobby rather than her job.

I’m not 100% she’d use the PC membership fully, and I don’t want to buy her something for the sake of buying her something.

OP posts:
Booboostwo · 14/11/2019 21:11

Given how lovely your DD is would she appreciate a gift that benefits others? A year’s sponsorship of horse sanctuary, for example, to tie in with her love of animals?

Moanranger · 15/11/2019 03:22

I really rate the PC. No 1 reason, value for money. At her rallies she will be taught by top class instructors for very reasonable rates, the team events are great, they use the best venues, but, again, the costs are much lower.
My DD evented with PC, and road the same venues as BE, but for a much lower cost. When she moved to BE she already had ridden many of the courses. This was a big help. Your DD sounds like an ideal candidate. PC quals, A thru D test equate to BHS levels, so if she move up these and later switches to BHS she can skip the lower levels. I would go for it.

fatbottomgirl67 · 17/11/2019 12:48

Pony club is great if you make use of it. Each branch runs rallies, training and competitions throughout the year. Tests run parallel to the Bhs exams at a fraction of the cost. A lot of training is subsidised too by the branch. It's a great way of making new pony mad friends. Look at the local branches web sites to see what they offer. Some are more active than others

OhMrDarcy · 17/11/2019 18:00

Dd (13) is in much the same boat - doesn't really "want" anything for Christmas as she tends to get things when she needs them throughout the year. Presents that have gone down well are sessions at the local cross country place with her favourite teacher. This year I'm booking her a 2 hour learn to play polo session as I think she'd be great at it.

Pony club is worth it to us for the varied rallies it organises, though these do seem to be aimed at younger members sometimes. We're also members of the local riding club though, and that seems to organise lots of training as well.

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