Monday May 17, 2021
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Achievement Badges & Tests


Achievement Badges and Tests

From Minis to Seniors, The South Dorset Pony Club has lots of opportunity for members to learn about their ponies, how to care for them and understand their needs.  Starting with Achievement Badges and progressing through a series of Test levels, the fun of riding is enhanced by a background of knowledge that is essential to enjoy your ponies fully and will stay with you as skills for life. 

Pony Club Mini Achievement Badges These offer our youngest members the opportunity to learn a wide range of skills relating to the care and handling of their ponies. Subjects are as diverse as grooming, tack cleaning, pony behaviour and poisonous plants and in a fun and social group the youngest members start building a valuable bank of knowledge.  The badges earned are then proudly worn on their sweatshirt sleeves.  (needle and thread not included!)

Pony Club Achievement Badges As members progress into Juniors they can build on that knowledge (or start at this point) with the main series of achievement badges.  The subjects are taught in more depth than the mini-series and introduce a huge range of topics such as first aid, plaiting and shoeing. More knowledge equals more skills equals bigger badges of course.

We aim to run regular unmounted sessions, sometimes covering more than one topic. 

Pony Club Efficiency Tests

The Pony Club Training structure encourages members to take tests which enables them to learn progressively about horse and pony care and riding. The tests are taken at recommended ages so that the theory and care taught unmounted is appropriate for the age and level of riding experience.  Each test is recognised by a coloured felt worn behind the Pony Club badge.  These tests are highly regarded beyond Pony Club itself and the B test for example is often likened to a GCSE in value and that level and above can qualify for direct entry into the British Horse Society qualifications. 

More info can be found on Pony Club Efficiency Tests and the syllabus’s.

The recommended minimum age for each Test is:

E Test                            Age 4 

D Test                            Age 8

D+ Test                          Age 10

C Test                            Age 11         must hold D+

C+ Test                          Age 13        must hold C

B Test                             Age 15        must hold C+               organised by Area 14

We like learning and achieving to be fun.  Training takes place in groups and our instructors are very encouraging.  Tests are not scary and very often a proud member clutches their newly earned felt and thanks us for a really fun day!

E and D Tests are usually run at Summer Camp.  For D+, C and C+ tests we aim to organise training and test days at least once in each year depending on how many members are keen and ready to take part.

Dress Code for Test Day: It is expected that members and their ponies look smart.  Ponies to be groomed and plaited and tack should be clean.  Riders should wear hacking jackets, pony club tie or stock, gloves and hairnets and jewellery must be removed.

For more information about tests please contact Sarah Ryder