All Pony Club tests are optional but members are encouraged to progress through them during their time in the Pony Club. There is a minimum age at which each test may be taken. Your D.C., with advice from an instructor, will advise you when you have reached the standard for a particular test once you are the minimum age.
The following is a brief guide to the Pony Club Tests.
Test Cards detail the complete syllabus for each test and are available from your D.C. or secretary
When you pass a test, you get a signed certificate and a coloured disc to wear behind your Pony Club badge. There are different coloured certificates and discs for different tests.
Sequence of Tests
Training for tests is generally provided by your branch for tests D to C+ and Rider & Road Safety. B test training is normally provided by your area and H, B+ and A training is provided at a national level.
The general requirements for each test are given below along with a link to the test syllabus. Suggested books and DVDs are also provided so that members can prepare for the tests.
PonyPrep is THE place to practise on-line for Pony Club. On here you can learn more about every aspect of horsemastership and horse care by taking quizzes, watching videos and entering competitions to test your knowledge.
You can register for free and take part in the PonyPrep game, where you can build your dream stable yard, collect tack as you take challenges and learn more. You don’t have to own a horse to register.
Members should have a basic understanding of ponies, be confident handling and riding a pony and enjoy learning about ponies.
Minimum age 8 years (in year of test). Badge disc colour: Yellow
D Test Syllabus
Members should understand the aids and be able to apply them. The objective is to be working towards developing a balanced seat independent of the reins, understand elementary aids and be able to apply them. It is necessary to pass your D+ test before you can attempt the C Test.
Minimum age 10 (in year of test) Badge disc colour: White
D+ Test Syllabus
The objectives of C Test are to understand the importance of, and to be working towards a secure seat independent of the reins on the flat and over small fences. To apply simple aids correctly. To have a knowledge of the care and working of a pony off grass. To be in full control of the pony and show courtesy to others when out riding and to understand the importance of respecting other peoples land.
Minimum age 12 (in year of test). Disc colour: Green
C Test Syllabus
RIDING AND ROAD SAFETY TEST
The Riding and Road Safety Test aims to promote safety on the road. Riders must show that they ride with courtesy and responsibility and that they are aware of the law, the Highway Code and guidance laid down in The Pony Club Riding and Road Safety Manual. There is no disc for this exam but you can get a Riding & Road Safety badge. You are awarded a signed certificate. It is compulsory to pass this test before you can attempt your C+ test.
Riding & Road Safety Safety Test Syllabus
The objectives of C+ Test are to become an educated and practical horseman. To ride over fences at all paces. To gain practical experience and knowledge of the care of a stabled pony and of a pony at grass. To be capable of riding a well-mannered pony out hunting and in all Pony Club activities. To ride intelligently and with due regard for others on the roads and in the country, and with a knowledge of pace, distance and discipline when riding alone and in groups.
Minimum age 14 years (in year of test). Disc colour: Pink felt.
C+ Test Syllabus
Members MUST attend training sessions and an assessment session prior to attempting the test. It requires an in depth knowledge of stable management and very competent riding as horses are exchanged for flatwork. The B Test is arranged by the Area Representative, with candidates from all the branches in the area getting together to do the test. It is usually held at the end of August.
Minimum age 16 years (in year of test). Disc colour: Red
B Test Syllabus
This test is needed before attempting the A Test. It requires a very high level or horsemastership. There is no riding involved in this test. It covers practical horse management, lungeing, breeding, first aid, anatomy etc. You must have an in-depth knowledge of all these to be successful in this test. It is organized by Headquarters and takes place at the end of the Summer. Contact your D.C. for more information about this test.
Minimum age 17 years. Certificate colour: Orange
This test is organized by headquarters and D.C.s will submit names of candidates. It is aimed at those who have passed B test and candidates should be 18 or over. The B+ Test may be taken before or after the H Test. There are three parts to the test: riding, lungeing and teaching.
Minimum age 18 years (in year of test). Disc colour: Lilac
B+ Test Syllabus
This test is the highest award of the Irish Pony Club and provides a comprehensive examination in Horsemanship and Training Young Horses for Senior Members and Associates. Candidates must hold the Pony Club H Test and must be good all-round horsemen, with sound knowledge that has been acquired in logical sequence. Passing ‘A’ Test is a really worthwhile achievement and provides the foundation to specialize in a branch of equitation.
It is an exam for a serious and dedicated rider who is prepared to devote thought, time and effort to improving their own riding and their practical knowledge of training young horses. This test is organized by Headquarters. Note: You may apply to take the ‘A’ test before the date of your ‘H’ Test, but you will have to withdraw if you fail to pass the ‘H’ Test. Candidates must have had practical experience with horses as well as ponies.
Felt colour: Blue