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FAQs

Here is a list of frequently asked questions. Parents or members – if you have a question, please email it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

To answer any of your queries on the accepted Dress Code please click here

For a fact sheet with an answer to all your queries about Tetrathlon click here

Why do I need to attend three rallies a year before I can be in a team?
The ‘three rally’ rule is given to us by Headquarters, so we have no choice about that. But really, it is a minimum. Members who represent the Branch in any teams should be committed, coming to rallies, training sessions, and generally being active members of the Branch.
I have attended 3 rallies but my new pony has not. I have been picked for a team. What can I do?
If your pony has completed 3 rallies at another pony club, we can count that. But you will need to attend at least one rally together, so that we can see that you are safe as a combination.
My Mum and Dad work, so I can’t get to any holiday rallies during the week.
There are plenty of evening and weekend rallies you can go to – we put them on for this reason. Pony Club traditionally was held in the school holidays, but we know this is difficult for some people, and we try to hold something for everyone.
What is the difference between a rally and a training lesson?
Rallies are open to everyone – though they may be junior or senior. Lessons and training are usually restricted to small groups concentrating on special areas.
I am doing GCSE/ AS levels/ A-levels/ University exams. Can I be excused my three rallies?
Not if you want to be considered for teams this year. You need to organise your time so you can study as well as ride!
What do I do if I want to change Pony Clubs?
If you are moving away from the area, you should ask your DC to get in touch with the new DC and transfer your details. Otherwise, you would need to have permission from your DC to transfer.
If I change Pony Clubs, why can’t I be in a team straight away?
We do have a rule that you cannot compete in a team for 14 months after transfer. This is to discourage people from changing pony clubs to get in a more successful team! That is not what Pony Club is about!
Why can’t I wear my earrings? It is a nuisance having to take them out!
This is for safety reasons. There are vulnerable blood vessels behind the ear and, if the facial nerve is pierced in a fall, partial paralysis of the face can occur. More commonly, the ear can be ripped.
Why do I need to have my new hat tagged? It spoils the look of it.
Again, for safety, we need to know that you are wearing a hat with a British Safety Standard. If you are not, and you have an accident, our insurance will not cover you. A coloured tag shows clearly that your hat is acceptable, and means that your teacher or trainer will not have to check it every time. Most riding disciplines insist on this. For British Eventing, you would have to have a bright yellow tag. Far from spoiling your hat, it makes you look professional!
Why don’t we play Polocrosse at our branch?
Everything in Pony Club is run by volunteers. If we can find a mum or dad or other volunteer to organise Polocrosse, and if we can find trainers, we can start to play and enter teams for Area and National tournaments.
Why are we sometimes not allowed to jump at rallies?
We need to find places to hold rallies. Sometimes, landowners generously allow us to use their fields and facilities, and sometimes the jumps already there are not suitable – they may be too high, or have fallen into disrepair. Also, we need parents to volunteer to bring the trailer with blocks and poles, or we have no equipment.
If my Mum is a member of one of the Pony Club committees am I more likely to get in a team?
No. Provided you have attended a minimum of three rallies, have been actively involved in your Branch, and have attended training sessions, you can be considered for a team. For some competitions, we can send as many teams as we wish. For others, we may be limited, and members will be selected on merit and ability.
If my Mum is not a member of a Pony Club committee, will I get to hear about everything?
Yes. We have a detailed mailout by email with a list of events, entry forms, and dates. The website will let you know of any training taking place, and will be constantly updated.
I don’t have a computer. How will I get to know about dates and changes?
You can request us to send you the mailout by post with dates and entry forms and you need to put them straight in your diary. If you have entered something and it is cancelled or changed, we will let you know.
I am at boarding school - can I still be considered for teams?
Yes. You may not be able to attend training during term, but if you contact the trainer and are really keen, there should be a way round this. It is not necessary to go to every single session. The important thing is to keep in touch with your trainer and make an effort.
I like to do other sports in the holidays so often cannot get to rallies or training. But I have riding coaching at school. Can I be in a Pony Club team?
No. You may need to make choices. No one can do everything!
If I pay the World Champion to give me individual coaching do I need to go to the Pony Club training as well?
Yes.
My new pony has BE points, BSJA winnings and British Dressage points. Will I be able to be in the Pony Club teams?
The rules about this are sometimes quite strict, so you will need to check with the Assistant DC or with your team trainer. You will not be allowed to be in novice teams.
I don’t want to be in a team. Can I go to the training?
Yes. You can usually go along to team training and join in. However, sometimes, once the teams are decided upon, and are aiming for a particular competition, extra team trainings might be arranged. You need to check with the trainer - everyone's contact details are on the website and in the mailouts.
I don't want to take Pony Club Tests. Can I go to the rallies and test trainings for these tests?
Yes, provided your riding is of the level of the test. Our Senior Instructor (see Contacts) will advise you which level would be suitable for you.
I don’t like doing flatwork. Can I go into a jumping group?
The more advanced your jumping training, the more flatwork you will do! Your pony will never jump well until he can turn, obey you, change legs, be balanced. Flatwork is the foundation of jumping.
My pony is old and stiff and I am worried the instructor won’t understand.
All our instructors are very experienced and will be willing to talk to you and help you with any problems. Tell them at the beginning of the lesson if you have worries.
My pony is very slow. Can I wear spurs?
If you hold your B test you can make your own decision about this. Any member who has attained their C+ test can ask to be assessed to wear spurs, regardless of age, and we will arrange this. It will be decided by an external examiner, and not by our Chief Instructor. Those who do not wish to take Pony Club tests - and that is fine - can also be tested in the year in which they will be 14. These rules are to make sure you have a secure lower leg and will not hurt your pony or make him 'dead to the leg'!
Why do we have so many rules?
The rules are very good and have been carefully thought about. Many are for your safety, and many, such as those about eligibility for competitions, are to try to make everything as fair for everyone as possible.
Why do I have to wear a medical armband?
We hope you will not have an accident - but if you do, we might need to know very quickly whether you are allergic to any medicines, whether you are wearing contact lenses, who your doctor is. Even your mum might not remember to tell us in an emergency! We will now give new members a free armband. If you forget your armband, we can sell you one, but it is a nuisance for us if you keep forgetting, and we charge a bit more for it - the profit goes into Branch funds!
Why can’t I come on my own to Pony Club? I don’t want my Mum there all the time!
If anything goes wrong – with you or your pony – we would not have time to look after you and go on teaching the rest of the group.
I have a baby brother and sister so my Mum can never help at rallies.
There is always something she could do – making a cake to sell at a ODE for example, or painting showjumps with you on a day when you are not riding.
Can I have my picture on the website?
If your parent gives permission.
What is the Calvert Cup? Can I be a team member?
It is an Open ODE 3'6" course with lots of learner fences.
What is the Gosling Cup? Can I be a team member?
It is a Novice ODE 3' course with lots of learner fences. To be eligible for the Gosling Cup, which is an inter-branch competition usually held in August, you must be under 17 by the date of the competition, your pony must be under 15 hh, and you and your pony must have attended at least 3 rallies. Wendy Ashcroft (see Contacts) is our Gosling Cup representative, and she will be able to give you more details.
What is the Bloom Cup? Can I be a team member?
It is an Novice ODE 3' course with lots of learner fences, only open to members not eligible for the Gosling Cup - i.e 17 or over, ponies over 15 hh.
What is the Wilkinson Sword? Can I be a team member?
It is a Hunter Trial with teams of 4 - Classes 2'6" - 3'4". CHPC last won it in 2004.
Where can I buy a Pony Club Sweatshirt?
You can buy them from Bee Clothing
Where can I buy a Rule Book?
From the pcuk website.
What is Combined Training?
This is a competition in two parts – dressage and showjumping. There is no cross-country phase.
What is an Eventer Trial?
This is a competition in two parts – show jumping and cross-country. Often, there is a short course of show jumps, and then the course continues cross-country.
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