RalliesWe have a rally a on the first Saturday of each month, except January. On arrival, riders sign in, and leave their Grading Card at the clubhouse window. Your grading card is issued by PCAV when your enrolment is processed. It is a “Rider’s Licence” – it is an official record of certificates, your riding level, and rally attendance. The card is filled out only by the DC and Card Secretary – they will also make any new entries or alterations. If you choose to ride in any Ponyclub competition, you will need your Grading Card to enter. New cards are issued each year when membership is renewed.
We have groups divided according to age and experience of the rider and pony. Each rally has three sessions with instructors – two before lunch and one after. When groups are studying for certificates, theory sessions on horsemastership are held along with their ridden sessions. These sessions cover a range of disciplines including dressage, show jumping, cross country, games and even the occasional game of polo cross! Rallies are organized by our District Commissioner who selects instructors, and assesses riders’ abilities - apart from many other responsibilities.
9.25 Riders should assemble in groups mounted or unmounted, according to the noticeboard, ready for gearcheck with their instructor. Tack does not need to be new, but must be clean, well fitted and in good order. Instructors give a mark out of 5 for punctuality and presentation. These points and riding effort and attitude are used to determine awards given at the end of the year.
9.45 – 11.00 First Session
11.00 – 12.15 Second Session
12.30 – 1.30 Lunchtime – main assembly, eating the great food from the canteen, and announcements and presentations are made.
1.45 – 3.00 Third Session.
At the end of the rally, please offer to help pack up equipment – and always make sure any manure is removed to a poo-pit using shovels and barrows provided. Your grading card should be taken home – or can be left with the card secretary if you don’t need it before the next rally.Members are expected to be punctual and show courtesy to their instructors, and must remain with the group assigned – changes are only with the approval of the instructor and the DC.
If you are riding a new horse, and need to change groups, let the DC know a few days ahead of the rally. Also, slip a note into your Grading Card so you are given attendance on that horse. If your horse is not available on rally day (it may be sore, sick, or you may be between horses) you may attend unmounted. You do need to stay with your group, and assist your instructor for an attendance to be recorded.
Instruction at Pony Club follows the Australian Pony Club Council (APCC) Syllabus of Instruction. Instructors are encouraged to complete Orientation to Coaching (Level 0) and Level 1 coaching qualifications developed in conjunction with the National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) These nationally recognised coaching courses have been designed specifically for coaching at Pony Club. Instructors are encouraged to attend update clinics to maintain the high standards of instruction offered to our riding members. A new program is underway for older riders, to be mentored by their instructor, so they in turn are able to take on that role.
Through the year, we have a variety of extras at our rallies. These have included the horse dentist, a saddle fitter, float safety advice, and guest speakers on nutrition, and property management. There is a lot for us all to learn - with horses, there’s always more! Take advantage of your new network, and chat with the parents around you. Your children will do the same with their new riding friends.