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Pony Club or Pony Stars for 15 yr old?

12 replies

Rainydays200 · 23/09/2021 20:02

DD (15 yrs) goes riding 2 or 3 times/month and is loving learning to jump. Her instructor said she might want to consider Pony Club gold level, or Pony Stars. They run both at the stables. I am not sure what the difference is. Just wondered if any of you with more riding experience would have a view?
We do not have our own horse and not planning to get one anytime soon. But DD might want to do equine studies at college after GCSEs next summer. She's much more practical than academic
Thank you

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Lookwhoseinsideagain · 23/09/2021 20:05

Google says pony stars is for under 12s (I'd never heard of it, hence googling!)

Rainydays200 · 23/09/2021 20:14

The stables assures me both are suitable for 13-18 yr olds. But I agree, the Pony Stars info online all says under 12s. Confused!

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ImFree2doasiwant · 23/09/2021 20:16

I never heard of pony stars. I also have never heard of "gold level" of pony club. Is this the stables own version of pony club or an actual branch of The Pony Club?

Rainydays200 · 23/09/2021 21:10
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idontlikealdi · 23/09/2021 21:11

I've never heard of Pony Stars either!

Rainydays200 · 23/09/2021 21:32

It seems to be the BHS equivalent of Pony Club

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Pleasedontdothat · 23/09/2021 23:07

Pony stars is definitely for under 12s. If she doesn’t have her own horse and is thinking of doing equine studies she could look at starting her BHS stages

XelaM · 23/09/2021 23:47

Pony Club is great for horsey kids without their own horses (have never heard of Pony Stars). Gold is a level of Pony Club, but I thought you had to pass other levels before Gold? Could be wrong. My daughter has been in Pony Club for years

NeverWrong · 24/09/2021 10:31

Pony club Gold level training prepares centre based riders towards their C Test, in a progressive way split to three semesters.

Pony Clubbers need their D & D+ tests before entering C test, but there is no official requirements regarding training at centres. If your daughter is a competent rider, the centre might choose to allow her to join in on gold training and take D & D+ tests & first Gold assessment at the end of the first semester (these are arranged by centre rather than external assessors).

Pony Stars is relatively new scheme by BHS, which provides BHS centres with structure to junior courses. The awards are for under 12’s, but I’m guessing her centre is allowing kids of all ages to join with training.

They might then progressively asses her in ‘Challenge awards’ which is adult version of Pony Stars.

Which one is best for you probably depends on the centre and your daughter.

The advantage of Pony Club is that it is very structures, tried & tested and overseen by national organisation. There are usually more cost commitments though & they have to be willing to learn all aspect of the syllabus.

If your daughter is planning career with horses, Pony Club is probably the better option, wallet allowing.

The assessments prepare children being watched and ‘judged’, and if she manages to reach and pass B test, this allows direct entry to BHS Stage 3 (although generally centre memberships only train up to C & C+ tests).

Also, her telling her new college mates she did Pony Club will earn more brownie points than that she did Pony Stars, not that it should matter.

In Pony Stars / Challenge Awards the instructor will usually asses the individuals in their group as they train, although centre may choose to run ‘assessment days’.

If I was teaching both Pony Stars and Pony Club, there would probably be sligh tonal difference. At Pony Stars I would treat the kids more like hobby riders (nothing wrong with that) and in Pony Club as potential future employees.

Hope this helps and good luck to your daughter!

Rainydays200 · 24/09/2021 12:31

@NeverWrong that’s really helpful, thank you so much. Sounds like the course content is broadly similar across both?

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NeverWrong · 24/09/2021 15:45

I would imagine so, but structured differently. In my experience Pony Club would have fairly strict syllabus the children follow, in order to take assessment at the end of each semester.

Pony Stars would probably be more of an ongoing weekly slot, with planned theme for each week, and a bit more freedom in terms of 'what would you guys like to do next week'.

Again depends on the centre, but I would imagine children's skills & knowledge within Pony Club groups would be closer to each other than in Pony Stars groups, which are not as highly standardised.

Rainydays200 · 17/10/2021 20:48

Thanks for all your comments. DD went to her first pony club session this afternoon and seemed to really enjoy it.

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