Northern Lakes

Northern Lakes Member Materials

Certifications:  Setting Goals & Achieving Them

The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., establishes Standards of Proficiency (SOP's) for a program of instruction and evaluation of its members for certifications in three primary areas: Horse Management, On the Flat, and Over Fences.  

The Standards describe a clear progression of developmentally appropriate skills in riding and Horse Management. The SOP's also provide opportunities for goal setting and members are encouraged to learn those skills at a pace that is comfortable for them and their horse. Adult Horsemasters (ages 21 and older) & Youth Members alike can learn and work their way up the levels in Pony Club.

Members decide when they are ready to "show and tell" what they know.  

Certification testing helps members gain confidence, independence and good safety habits while working with their mounts. 
To find out more, visit the USPC page on Certifications and additional tabs under "Members" on our website.

To Prepare for Certifications there are many resources provided by your club and on the USPC Website.  In addition to your trainer or Pony Club instructor, some of our favorites include study guides or Book Work packets, Quizlet stacks and Kahoot games (just search for games or make your own), The Pony Club Pizza Blog, Tutoring Tuesday Webinars, and Pony Club IQ study tools.  Your club and region also offer mounted instruction.  

Certifications are different than winning a ribbon at a show because your riding and horse management knowledge are judged against a standard, not against the other riders in your group.  So your Pony Club riding level may or may not be as high as you are riding in competitions.  But, as a result, horse professionals around the world respect and know what kinds of skills you have when you tell them your Pony Club "Level."  Colleges and employers respect your achievements just as they would a Boy/Girl Scout or 4H achievement.

The old adage that you get out what you put in, is certainly true in Pony Club as it is in life.  But the best part is that what you will be tested on is no secret.  Review the test sheets ahead of time and prepare accordingly.  And don't forget, have fun and make friends along the way!