Frequently Asked Questions
What is Pony Club?
Aiken County Pony Club (ACPC), the local division of the United States Pony Club (USPC) has been a presence in Aiken for close to 30 years. It has been educating and guiding young equestrians through the mission of the National Club which is to develop character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community in youth through a program that teaches the care of horses and ponies, riding and mounted sports. Members not only participate in all equestrian disciplines of riding but are also encouraged to further their knowledge in the fields of horse management, health, grooming and care. In addition to building a strong foundation of equine knowledge and horsemanship, Pony Club also promotes a strong sense of community involvement through volunteering at local horse shows and equine events. Members join the USPC, the Carolina Region and ACPC when joining a club. We participate in and plan “mounted and unmounted meetings” every month where riders will learn from local, high level instructors and also learn a ground component as well (such as vet knowledge, grooming techniques, horse management tips, etc.)
What Disciplines Does Pony Club Teach?
Programs/activities are offered in: dressage, cross-country, show jumping, “Quiz”, fox hunting, eventing, and horse management. Instruction and safety are emphasized, as well as fun for all. Pony Club as a whole also offers polocrosse, mounted games, and tetrathlon (swimming, riding, running, and shooting), though each region focuses on certain rallies, depending on regional interest.
What Is A Rating?
A rating is basically a test offered by the club twice a year (generally Spring and Fall) for those riders ready to progress to the next level. Rating guidelines, tests, and standards of proficiency can be found on the USPC web site.
Can I Achieve More Than One Level At A Time?
At the lower levels, such as D1 and D2, often times, those two ratings are done at the same time, if the candidate is ready and can exceed the standards for both levels. After that point, usually one rating is achieved at a time, mainly because it takes 3-4 hours at a time for the tests to be administered. The DC will send out reminders of upcoming ratings including costs, location, rater information, and preparation guidelines.
What Is A Rally?
A rally is basically a regional competition where clubs from all around the region come to compete – usually over a weekend called “overnight rallies”. Most of the rallies are in southern North Carolina or northern part of South Carolina so the clubs have similar driving distances to all the events. There are clubs from Raleigh NC, Charlotte, all the way down to Charleston SC. Several clubs exist in South Carolina and we build in activities throughout the year where we will meet and compete with those other clubs.
When Are The Rallies & Ratings?
Ratings will be announced via email and listed on the ACPC web site. We strive to offer two a year (one in the Spring and one in the Fall)– For C1 and higher, the club will work with individuals to find a National Level Rating Clinic
Which Rallies Do I Go To And How Do I Register For Them?
Generally, we encourage everyone to attend Quiz rally as it is usually affordable, doesn’t require a mount so is easier in some aspects, and is really the foundation of everything we do in Pony Club. The D.C. will send out a notice via email approximately 3-4 weeks before each rally with details and registration information. Each rally has a deadline for submission and after that deadline date, no refunds are issued. Information will be provided regarding those deadlines.
Rally Registration Deadlines
- Feb 17 – Quiz Rally
- March 17 – Show Jumping Rally
- March 18 – Georgia Games rally
- April 13 – Dressage Rally
- May 19 – Eventing Rally
Membership Information – Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Fees To Join?
The annual joining fee ($195 for 2018 new members) includes : $155 for USPC dues, $15 for Carolina Region (CRPC) dues; and $25 for ACPC dues. The dues enable the USPC program to function at all three levels: local, regional and national. The fees are annual and due by Dec 31 of each year. If participants register by November 15 of each year, they will receive a $10 registration early bird discount.
Once you are a member, the main costs associated with membership are:
Rally fees (they vary from rally to rally- Quiz rally is approximately $60 dollars to enter and if overnight stay is required, then costs associated with that are involved). The other rallies generally run $180 for rally entry, and then travel and overnight costs depending on the location. The club participates in fundraising events throughout the year to help defray costs.
How Do I Join Aiken County Pony Club?
In order to join Aiken County Pony Club you just need to follow these three very simple steps!
- Complete a 2018 USPC application – Just click the “Join” link in our menu to get the application form.
- Write one check made out to Aiken County Pony Club for $195
- Deliver your application and check together by mail or to an Aiken County Pony Club DC or Board Member. This information can be found on our “About” page. If you send in by mail please mail to: ACPC, PO BOX 7171, AIken SC 29804
What Equipment And Apparel Do I Need To Get Started?
Below is the “needed equipment” for all rallies. It can be a little daunting, so don’t worry, we will help you through it. Contact a board member for help or suggestions!
When you join, you will need to purchase an ACPC polo and saddle pad. All items will be available shortly on our web store page through AHH Sunshine in Aiken. We will send out an email when the web store is up and running. Additional apparel such as hats, bags, t-shirts, and great gift ideas will also be available on the store!
Needed Rally Equipment:
You need the equipment that says “per mount (i.e., for each horse)” and “per competitor (i.e., for each rider).” The remaining equipment is provided by the team most of it via the “team trunks” which have already been assembled prior to the rally.
You are required to have all of the items below for each rally.
Individual Equipment Needed (Must Be Provided By Rider)
Grooming Kit(s) Per Mount
- Hoof Pick
- Rub Rag
- Dandy Brush (hard bristles)
- Body Brush (soft bristles)
- Wet Wipes or 2 sponges marked “dock” and “face”
- Rubber or Plastic currycomb (capable of cleaning brushes)
- Body Sponge
- Wash Bucket- Marked “Wash Only”
Individual Equipment – Per Competitor
- Rider Numbers
- Saddle Racks
- Bridle Racks (one per bridle)
- Boot Trees for Tall Leather Boots (leg & toe)
Feeding Equipment – Per Mount
(Only applies for Overnight Rallies)
- Rider Numbers
- Feed Charts (posted in feed area)
- Feed Measure (pre-packaged or scale or scoop/ can)
- Appropriate Feed Storage
- Heavy Duty Feed Tub
- Top Off Bucket ( filled &left outside stall at night in tack room or feed room during day)
- Salt Block (loose salt acceptable; note on feed chart)
Team Equipment Needed (Provided By Team)
Human First Aid Kit – Per Team (Easily Accessible)
- 1 Extra Medical Armband with blank USPC Medical Card
- Triple Antibiotic Cream
- 3 Pair Latex or Vinyl Gloves
- Human Bug Spray
Utility Kit – Per Team
- Jack Knife (capable of cutting through rope)
- Leather Punch
- Thumb Tacks
- Duct Tape
- Two Pony Club Pins
Extra Equipment – Per Team
- 2 Extra Lead Ropes, One w/ Chain Shank
- Halter(s) (adjustable)
- Complete Bridle(s) with Bit(s)
- Pair Stirrup Leathers & Irons
- 2 Rubber Boots for Peacock Irons (if peacock irons are used)
Equine First Aid Kit – Per Team (Easily Accessible)
- Petroleum Jelly
- Digital Thermometer (or Veterinary Thermometer with Thong & Clip)
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Antimicrobial or Antiseptic Scrub
- Tropical Antibacterial or Antimicrobial or Antibiotic Agent
- 4″ Sterile Wound Dressing
- 1 Roll Gauze (2″ min width)
- 1 lb Roll 12″ Absorbent Cotton
- 2 Flexible Stretch Adhesive/ Cohesive Bandage
- Bandage Scissors (capable of cutting bandage)
- 1 Roll Adhesive Tape (1″ min width)
- 4 Leg Bandages with Appropriate Padding for 4 Stable Wraps
Cleaning Equipment – Per Team
- Manure Fork or Shovel
- Rake or Broom
- Manure Basket or Wheelbarrow
Tack Cleaning Kit – Per Team
- Plain Bar Soap
- Tack Oil or Conditioner
- Saddle Soap
- Metal Polish
- Tack Sponge
- Cleaning Cloths
- Drying Baskets for Sponges
- Boot Hocks (if tall boots are used)
- Boot Jack (if tall boots are used)
Tack Room Equipment – Per Team
- Team/ Individual Identification (Posted by entrance)
- Flashlight (hung by entrance)
- Charged Fire Extinguisher – Type A or ABC (hung by entrance)
- Notice Board
- Trash Container
- USPC HM Handbook & Rules for Rallies (current and complete)
- Discipline Rulebook (current & complete)
Extra Polocrosse Equipment – Per Team
- Extra Racket
- 2 Pair Boots or Bandages
- 2 Pair Bell Boots
Want To Help Aiken County Pony Club?
Many of us have experienced Pony Club first hand. So what better opportunity than to give back through a donation and help one of ACPC's very own attend Summer Riding Camp. Every donation helps us reach our goal of $3000 by June 1, 2018. Thank you in advance for your support, every little bit helps!