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Test and Badges

Pony Club Tests

The District Commissioner will decide when a member is ready to undertake a particular test, which is usually during the summer, in association with Camp. A card outlining exactly what is required will be issued by the DC. 

D Test

Members start with the D TEST, a simple test that most children will pass with ease and which requires a basic understanding of the horse and the ability to ride on the flat. Recommended minimum age is 8 or 9 and if passed, the member wears a yellow disk behind their Pony Club badge when it is pinned on their sweatshirt. 

D+ Test

The D+ TEST is a step up, requiring a little more knowledge and independence and some experience of jumping small obstacles.  The minimum age is 10 and the disk is white. 
 

C Test

The C TEST is the first real challenge for members and is taken around the age of 12, or slightly later if the rider is new to the pony club. It requires an understanding of the care and management of the pony, and the ability to ride the pony well at all phases, including jumping a small course of fences. Members must have their C test to be allowed take part in Hunter Trial Championships or Show Jumping Championships. Disk colour is green.  

Riding and Road Safety

The Riding and Road Safety Test aim to promote safety on the road. Riders must show that they ride with courtesy and responsibility and that they are aware of the law, the Highway Code and guidance laid down in The Pony Club Riding and Road Safety Manual. There is no disc for this exam but you can get a Riding & Road Safety badge.  You are awarded a signed certificate. It is compulsory to pass this test before you can attempt your C+ test

C+ Test

By the mid teens, most members are ready to take their C+ TEST, which they can only take once they have passed their Riding and Road Safety test.  Riders must be able to demonstrate that they are confident and competent and all paces and in full control of their ponies alone or in groups. They must have a very good understanding of the stabling, feeding and care of their ponies. The disk is pink.

B Test

This is followed by the B TEST in the late teens.  The B test is a very challenging test which requires a strong commitment from the member and in depth preparation.  An assessment is carried out to see if the member is ready for the test, as it is not carried out by the branch but by an Area Representative. On the day it involves riding not only your own horse, but another horse as well, requiring a high level of competency. The disk is red.

H Test

This test is needed before attempting the A Test.  It requires a very high level or horsemastership. There is no riding involved in this test .  It covers practical horse management, lunging, breeding, first aid, anatomy etc.  You must have an in depth knowledge of all these to be successful in this test.  It is organized by Headquarters and takes place at the end of the Summer.  Contact your D.C. for more information on this test. Minimum age 17 years.  The disk is Orange

B+ Test

This test is needed before attempting the A Test.  It requires a very high level or horsemastership. There is no riding involved in this test .  It covers practical horse management, lunging, breeding, first aid, anatomy etc.  You must have an in depth knowledge of all these to be successful in this test.  It is organized by Headquarters and takes place at the end of the Summer.  Contact your D.C. for more information on this test. Minimum age 17 years.  The disk is Orange

A Test

This test is the highest award of the Irish Pony Club and provides a comprehensive examination in Horsemanship and Training Young Horses for Senior Members and Associates.  Candidates must hold the Pony Club H Test and must be good all-round horsemen, with sound knowledge that has been acquired in logical sequence.  Passing ‘A’ Test is a really worthwhile achievement and provides the foundation to specialize in a branch of equitation.  It is an exam for a serious and dedicated rider who is prepared to devote thought, time and effort to improving their own riding and their practical knowledge of training young horses.  This test is organized by Headquarters.   Note: You may apply to take the ‘A’ test before the date of your ‘H’ Test, but you will have to withdraw if you fail to pass the ‘H’ Test.  Candidates must have had practical experience with horses as well as ponies. Dissk colour is Blue

All members are prepared very well for their tests by our instructors. Members should remember that the things they learn for their tests should be put into practice in the daily care of their ponies, and not just on the day of the test. Test cards are available from Club Secretary,  Miriam MacQuillan (see ABOUT US) and full details are also printed in the PONY CLUB MANUAL OF HORSEMANSHIP.

Remember that all tests are optional, although members are encouraged to progress through them during their time in Pony Club. Generally, your instructor knows when you are ready to try for a particular test.

Achievement Badges

Younger members in particular love to work for Achievement Badges, a fun way to learn more about horsemanship and the countryside and to have the work recognized by a colourful badge sewn on to the arm of the Pony Club sweatshirt. Here are some of the badges you can work for and the full list is in the PONY CLUB MANUAL OF HORSEMANSHIP.

BANDAGING AND RUGS –To be able to put on stable bandages, a tail bandage, a rug and roller and a New Zealand rug.

FEEDING – To know the basic rules of feeding and to be able to recognize different foodstuffs.
FIRST AID (EQUINE) – To know how to treat minor wounds and illness. To be able to recognize signs of good/ill health and know about the necessary protection against Tetanus, Flu and Worms.

HANDLING AND GROOMING- To be able to run up a pony in hand and to tie it up safely. To be able to identify and use grooming kit correctly.

LOADING – To be able to load/unload a pony, with assistance, safely into/out of a trailer or horsebox.
MUCKING OUT – To be able to name and use stable tools to muck out and to talk about different types of bedding.

POINTS OF THE HORSE – To know the points of a horse, colours and markings.

SADDLERY – To know all about the care and cleaning of a saddle, and to identify common bits such as eggbut/loose-ring snaffle, Pelham etc.  To be able to put on a saddle and bridle.

SHOEING – To know when the pony needs the farrier, what the farrier is doing and the tools he uses 

RIDING AND ROAD SAFETY- To be able to apply the ‘Green Cross Code’ and Highway Code as a road user.