New Irish Pony Club Standards of Efficiency Tests were issued in 2010. Members can get these through their branch. A significant change to all the Standard of Efficiency Test Cards is the age requirement of a member taking the test. The age of the candidate is no longer “recommended” but is “minimum” (in the year of the test). Note the minimum age applies to the ‘Year of the Test’. For example with the C Test, the minimum age is 12 in the year of the test. In other words if a member was going to be 12 by 30th December they should be allowed take the test during the summer if ready. Any member with queries about tests in their branch should speak to their D.C. The new syllabus is available to view by following the links for the relevant test syllabus below.
General Test Information
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 various Pony Club Tests.
Test Cards are available from your D.C. or Secretary. These detail the complete syllabus for each test.
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.
It is important to note the following:
- A member cannot take a test with another branch without the written permission of both D.C.’s, and the Area Representative.
- A parent may not arrange a test for a child. The practice of bringing pressure to bear on Area Reps., D.C.’s, Examiners and other Irish Pony Club officials regarding Pony Club Tests is unacceptable.
- If a member fails a test, a minimum of two months must elapse before retaking the test.
Sequence of Tests
Tests must be taken in sequence. The sequence of tests is as follows:
D Test > D+ Test > C Test > Road Safety > C+ Test > B Test > H test > B+ Test > A Test
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
Click here to view 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
Click here to view 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
Click here to view C Test Syllabus
RIDING AND ROAD SAFETY TEST
The Riding and Road Safety Test aim 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.
Click here to view 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.
Click here to view 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 a high standard of 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
Click here to view 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, lunging, 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 on 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, lunging and teaching. Disc colour: Lilac
Click here to view 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 already 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 specialise 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