Learning about horsemanship, pony care and safety gives Chipping Pony Club members the opportunity to earn achievement badges, writes Megan Conlon. Photography: Diane Marsden

The Pony Club offers a wide range of opportunities and qualifications, which allow members of all ages and abilities to set goals and strive to accomplish them.

For the youngest members, this begins with Mini Achievement Badges which can be earned at Badge Days. These aim to provide members with a solid foundation of knowledge to ease them into the learning of horsemanship. Some of the many topics include points of the pony, yard safety, leading and handling, dressage movements and even things like wildlife and birds. For junior members there are the main Achievement Badges, which cover topics in much more depth and detail.

Last month, Chipping members had the opportunity to earn badges at our Easter Badge Day, where instructors and older members taught them all they needed to know about leading, road safety and equine behaviour. Lots of fun was had by all involved and the day finished off with a big Easter egg hunt where members displayed their true camaraderie and banded together to find every last egg and make sure everyone had their fair share. Everyone went home with a bag of eggs, a handful of badges and a smile on their face, and we can’t wait to see the badges on display on their Pony Club jumpers at the next rally – better get sewing!

These badges are all supplementary to the Pony Club Tests, where members must put their horsemanship into practice in both a ridden section and a dismounted horse and pony care section. The tests range all the way from E-test, for our youngest members, to A-test which is achieved by very few people each year across the entire country. The achievement is presented in the form of a felt which sits behind your Pony Club badge on your jumper or jacket and the different levels of ability are widely recognised across the equestrian world. At B-test level, a member is considered to have a very competent understanding of horses and this level is preferable if you want to study riding as part of a Physical Education GCSE.

Chipping holds rallies all year round, as well as an annual residential summer camp, where the primary focus of instructors is to aid members in attaining these tests, building confidence and skill with every lesson. The badge days are also advised for the horse and pony care side of the tests. It is no coincidence that the higher-level felts are often seen alongside an arm full of badges! Chipping encourages members of all ages and abilities to give the tests a go, to learn and have an achievement of which they can be proud.

If you’d like to know more about Pony Club, and in particular Chipping Branch, please contact the District Commissioner Joanne Conlon 01200 445143 or email:



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