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Gaining skills

As a Training organisation we strongly encourage every single Pony Club member to work towards their Pony Club Tests.  This is a pathway designed for members to learn progressively and develop skills in both riding and horse care.  The tests are taken at recommended ages and are designed with certain objectives in mind. On passing each test you will be awarded a coloured felt to wear behind your pony club badge.

Recommended ages:

  • E Test – Minimum age 4 years
  • D Test – Minimum age 8 years
  • D+ Test – Minimum age 10 years
  • C Test – Minimum age 11 years
  • C+ Test – Minimum age 13 years
  • B Test – Minimum age 14/15 years

To help you on the way to your Tests there is an Achievement Badge pathway.  You will see Badge rally’s advertised on the rally pages of the website:

Who to contact

If you are not sure which test you should be aiming for next, please speak to our Test Co-Ordinators

  • Margaux Manners for E/D/D+/RRS
  • Katherine Villiers for C/C+
  • Ann Addington for B test

In addition to our regular rallies, we offer regular training sessions specifically geared towards each test. There is often an opportunity to take E and D Tests during Mini Camp as well as at least one other date over the summer for these Tests and higher.

C+ and B requires more preparation than other Tests. There are assessment days so that candidates can understand how far they are away from the required standard. We hold training sessions specifically aimed at this level before the Tests. There are usually Test dates for C+ and B late in August and again in September / October and early November. It is now possible to do the stable management separately from the riding sections for both of these Tests.

More about B Test: 

B Test is the first of the Pony Club tests that is internationally recognised so can help with UCAS points, job applications and direct entry into BHS exams. However, just like any exams of a level comparable to GCSE, success relies on a mix of natural talent (horse and rider) and hard work, in varying quantities.

It is best approached in a year that works well for the rider; usually dictated by availability for training before the test, access to a suitably capable horse and sufficient funds for the training.

The minimum age is 15, older candidates tend to have a more successful outcome and it is a test that fits well in the break in study after GCSEs.

We have a very successful B Test training program in the OBHPC which other branches now emulate, or join in with when we have space.

  1. Assessment

Carried out by an independent A Test level assessor. For many riders this session is pivotal in their riding career as the assessor will analyse position, seat and aids far more deeply than is appropriate in other rallies, to help them transition into really effective riders.  It needs to be done on the horse you intend to ride for the test. This is the only part of the process that is compulsory. You can attend both assessment sessions; you’ll learn twice as much

  1. Training rallies

Highly focussed sessions, carried out by branch instructors who know the B Test syllabus and what the examiners will be looking for. They are usually an hour of riding and an hour of HPC, always in small groups.

  1. Self guided study

Options include online training (plenty of resources available), online Area 9 Zooms, B Test folder or group together for lessons with any suitable riding instructor or HPC lessons.

  1. B Test Bootcamp

This 2 day camp gives a chance for a final run through and has a strong focus on exam technique. It is also very sociable, with candidates, committee members and instructors working together to get the best possible outcome on test day, and make friends for life.

Throughout, you’ll have a syllabus checklist and we encourage you to work through to get each section ticked off, so you can approach the test day with complete confidence.

Looking beyond B Test. Next steps…. Lunge Test, B+, AH and A Test

The Lunge Test can be taken when you are 16+. For those who regularly lunge their horse it requires just one or two training sessions before the test to ensure you are following best practice. These sessions are easiest to arrange privately as a one-to-one but we can help you make arrangements with a suitable instructor.

The B+ Test standard of riding is considerably higher than B Test and includes riding in a double bridle. You’ll need to be on a suitable horse.

The AH Test covers theory only. Regular training sessions are held at Rectory Farm

A Test is the highest level achievable in Pony Club and names of A Test holders are recorded on the National Pony Club Roll of Honour.


For our older members (aged 16+ and with C+ or B Test) there is an opportunity to learn to be a Pony Club coach. We hold full day courses where potential coaches learn the theory and practical skills required for teaching riders up to D+ level. Those that successfully complete the course gain experience by assisting experienced instructors and teaching groups while under supervision. After approximately 40 hours practical teaching experience they are assessed to check that they are capable of teaching unsupervised.

The coaching programme allows us to develop our older members into effective instructors.