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HPC Test Weekend
October 13 - October 14
Here is the final list of Pony Club Members doing their test.
Hints and Tips for the Riders (and Parents)
Bring your Passports, medical armbands, and Pony Club pins!
That time of year has come again (or for the first time) to strut your stuff and show everyone how much you have learned. Here are a few hints for those of you who are new to Pony Club testing and a few reminders for those that have been through it.
First of all, parents, unfortunately there is a cost associated with testing. The testers charge a minimal fee, plus we pay their mileage and food costs for the weekend. This year the testing fee is $80.
So here is a basic run down how things go.
There are 3 phases to testing. The written test will have already been done so no worries about a written test on the day.
The 2nd phase is Stable Management. This is an oral test, one on one with the examiners (2 examiners are present for each rider). Depending on the level it takes 20 minutes to 1 hour. The rider is to be prepared with their horse and ready for lots of questions.
What to wear for this phase.
CLEAN britches, beige in color if you have them. If not, clean pants, no tears, stains or holes. Clean boots. No sneakers or rubber boots unless they are the black high kind you ride in. Paddock boots or muckers are acceptable, If you are wearing your riding boots they must be polished and kept clean until you test!! On top, a clean collared polo type T-shirt if it`s warm enough. If you own a Hampton Pony Club one, then wear it! Your shirt should be tucked in and a conservative belt on your britches. No sparkles or dangly bits. If it is colder, if you own a Blue Pony Club jacket wear that. If not any warm sweater or jacket will do, but it must be clean and no holes! You must have your pony club pin visible on the left side of your shirt or jacket at all times. Basically you are to wear the barn version of your Sunday best! Girls, your hair MUST be tied up and VERY neat. Bobby pins and hairspray are needed. No fly aways! No hanging pony tails. Braids tend to work best to keep everything neat and tidy.
So now that you are all dressed up…at the barn….you will go in front of the testers with the Pony you will be riding. Your Pony and tack must be spotless!!! This is why we had clean and groom your pony day! Your horse should be very clean, no tack other than a halter. The halter needs to be clean. The tail must be brushed, main pulled and brushed. Horse groomed. Hooves picked out and hooves polished if you have some. You even have to make sure under the tail is clean! Trust me, they look!!!
So after all this, you are ready to be tested. The testers will ask you questions about your horse, its tack etc. Answer the questions as completely as you can. Don`t be shy! If you don`t understand the question ask them to clarify. Remember, they want you to have fun and to do well! You may be asked to point to areas on your horse, lead your horse around or to point out parts of tack and lots of questions about how to look after a horse.
A Testing Representative from the Hampton Pony Club is present for each rider’s testing. This is to ensure all testing sessions are the same and fair. This will be one of our great barn moms. They cannot say anything unless there is a problem. They cannot help the rider.
I would like to recommend that you come at least 1 hour early on the day in order to make sure the tack and horse you will be using is spotless. I recommend bringing sweatpants to cover up clean clothes for the `getting ready` phase. Also, you will need to make arrangements to make sure the horse you are using will have had a bath the night before!
Then Phase 3- Riding
The testers will be testing your riding ability and turnout of the horse and rider. So you need to wear your polished riding boots. Have someone wipe them off once you get up on the horse. Your very clean beige britches with belt and your tucked in polo shirt or jacket if it’s cold. Along with your pony club pin, you must wear your medical armband for all riding phases. Your hair must be tucked up under your helmet and I would HIGHLY recommend a hair net. They can be purchased at Greenhawk for $2. If you have too much hair to get under your helmet the hairnet must cover the hair and it should be in a bun under the back of the helmet. Your helmet must be nice and clean too! If you have show clothes (blazer and shirt with collar) you should change into these before you ride. At the D level this is really not necessary, but as you move up the levels, you will likely get into show clothes.
The testers will ask you to ride around the ring and/or field to evaluate your riding ability. Relax, listen to what they ask, and remember to breathe!
- D level – Flat ride.
- D1 – Flat Ride, Jumping and Cross Country.
- D2 – Flat Ride, Jumping and Cross Country.
All riders will be assigned a time to start their Stable Management portion. When all riders complete their Stable Management, then the Riding Phase starts. There is some down time while you wait for others to do their stable management phase. You have to be separate from the testing area so you can`t overhear the questions. You CANNOT discuss the test questions with anyone. That would not be fair. So no discussing the questions until everyone is done!!! AND you need to stay clean, so bring extra stuff to put on over top ot to change into. Bring snacks or a lunch; whatever you may need. Parents are not permitted to sit in on testing. The Test Representative is there to make sure your rider gets there on time and that everything is done fairly. SO, get them all cleaned up and drop them off. It will be an all day process, but they will know their results before they go home at the end of the long day.
Once they are all finished their Stable Management and Riding Phase, the testers do their paperwork and will ask to speak with each rider (with the test rep present) to let them know how they did!
This is a very long day. There is a significant wait time between the end of the riding phase and when the results are announced to the riders. Be prepared to wait. The evaluators have a lot of paperwork to complete. Then they want to meet with the riders to discuss results and give back paperwork.
Attention: All testing procedures are available for anyone to review on the Canadian Pony Club website. Under downloads, then under educational material: D/C Testing Procedures. The marking sheets are in that document. They basically tell you what the riders will be asked and what they will be marked on in the riding phase. Also at the bottom of the educational section is a flowchart that covers all the areas and a breakdown of what each level is responsible for. So there should be no reason for any surprises on test day!!