Work Certificates


Pony Club Members have the opportunity to gain Proficiency Certificates in Horse Mastership and Riding. The pre-requisites and competencies for each certificate are listed below:

D Certificate – Minimum age for test – 8 years

Horse Mastership 1
Approach pony, Catch pony, Lead pony, Tie up using string, Brush, Saddle (assisted), Let pony go in paddock, Give pony apple, Give pony carrot, Pony’s feeding, Water pony, Comfort of pony.

Mounting and dismounting, Being legged up, How to hold and use reins, Walk, Trot, Canter, Halt, Riding Games, Turn .

Horse Mastership 2
Recognise the following: Nostril, forehead, ear and eye; Forelock and mane; Fetlock and muzzle; Hoof and crest; Frog and neck; Head and shoulder; Back and wither; Feet; Tail and rump; Hock and knee; Grooming and trimming; Care of gear.

Other Activities
Knowledge of club; Rally days; Putting gear away; Names of club officials; Road safety rules; Record of camps, gymkhanas and club service.

Horse Mastership 3
Recognise the following: Bridle and bit; Reins and cheek straps; Forehead/brow band; Throat lash; Saddle; Girth; Stirrups; Pommel; Leathers; Seat; Crupper; Surcingle.

D Star Certificate – Minimum age for test – 10 years

Horse Mastership 1
Lead at walk; Lead at trot; Tie up with rope; Pick up feet; Pick out feet; Recognise frog; Wall, sole, heels; Care of hooves; Recognise throat; Elbow and pastern; Dock and coronet; Hips and stifle; Ribs and cheek.

Riding 1
Walk in large area; Trot in large area; Canter in large area; Transitions on command; Trot faster; Canter faster; Good control of speed; Mount correctly; Dismount – near side; Dismount – off side; Reins in one hand; Loose rein trot; Change Diagonals.

Horse Mastership 2
Knowledge of shoeing; Parts of saddle; Use, care and cleaning; Grooming kit; Uses of kit; Recognise colic; Founder; Girth gall; Recognise cold; Treatment of above; Road rules; Club executive.

Riding 2
Trotting over poles; Forward position; Trot over small jumps.

Other Activities
Feeding and watering; Grooming; Record of camps, gymkhanas and club service.

C Certificate – Minimum age for test – 12 years

Horse Mastership 1
Points, markings; Choosing paddock; Fitting saddle/bridle/other tack; Saddlery parts; Rugging up and care; Picking out feet; Leading; Typing up and safety knots; Grooming kit; Cold; Colic; Founder; Care of pony off grass.

Riding 1
Mounting and dismounting; Alter stirrups – mounted; Walk loose rein; Walk without stirrups; Balance exercises; Reins in one hand; Aids; Pace increase and decrease; Halt – correct and square; Sitting trot; Active games; Bareback riding; Transitions.

Horse Mastership 2
Measuring and height; Lameness; Care and cleaning saddlery; Pick out feet; Minor wounds; Poisoned foot; Strangles; Girth gall; Sore backs and mouth; Care of hooves; Shoeing/elementary; Grooming and trimming.

Riding 2
Trotting loose rein; Cantering without stirrups; Study paces walk; Study paces trot; Study paces canter; Feel exercises; Diagonals; Working trot; Jumping and position; Cross country riding; Leading leg in canter; Galloping; Use of neck strap.

Other Activities – A written paper of approximately 20 minutes is required. Record of camps, gymkhanas and club service.

Horsemastership 3
Feeding and watering; Health and condition; Greasy heel; Medicine chest; Travelling; Worm and bot control; Teeth; Safety; Preparation for camp; Types of worms; Rug and bandage – Travel.

C Star Certificate – Minimum age for test – 13 years

Riding 1
Trot and canter without stirrups; Mount and dismount – either side; Alter stirrups on the move; Active riding skills; Ride with reins in one hand; Position at all paces (develop independent seat); Sitting trot to rise – correct diagonal; Change diagonal – why?; Recognise diagonal and leading leg by feel; Even contact on reins; Working trot and rhythm.

Riding 2
Working canter and rhythm; Accuracy – transitions; Walk, trot, canter – given number of strides; Ride at <450 metres per minute; Aids and complete: circles, serpentines, lengthened strides trot, change leg through trot, turn on forehand and Road sense.

Horse Mastership 1
Care and cleaning of saddlery and equipment; Handle horse safely (including picking feet); Check of horse and paddock; Care and work of grass fed horse; Knowledge and care of stabled horse; Horse through gateway (saddled/unsaddled); Leading horse from horse; Demonstrate five knots and their use; Tie haynet; Splice and whip rope; Knowledge – types of bits.

Horse Mastership 2
Fit saddle, snaffle bridle, various nosebands, running martingale and breastplate correctly; Care and cleaning of saddlery and equipment; Stitch and mend leather; Groom efficiently and effectively; Clipping – types and why?; Fitting of rugs and hoods; Leg protection – riding, floating, other; Care of horse and float; Load/unload quiet horse; Structure of foot.

Horse Mastership 3
Farriers tools – name and purpose; Poisonous plants; Good/bad hay; Recognise and use of feeds; Feed – relation to work; Getting horse fit; Care during and after work; Care of teeth/age; Recognise unsoundness; Treatment of wounds/common illnesses.

Why lunge? – Safety factors; Use of cavesson; Control of horse; Horse respond to command; Equipment/dress – horse and rider.

Fences to 85cm; Jumping position established; Correct rein contact; Trot poles and cavelletti; Walk and ride – cross country; Walk and ride – show jumping.

Other Activities
A written paper of approximately 30 minutes is required

Record of camps, gymkhanas and club service

K Certificate

Pre-requisite certificates – D and C
Minimum age for test – 14 years
The “K” Certificate is designed to widen the rider’s experience in the practical aspects of horsemanship. The candidate should be active, efficient and thoughtful for the horse.
The test is conducted in 6 Sections:

  1. Work Certificates
  2. Written paper – approximately 30 minutes
  3. Presentation
  4. Active Riding
  5. Horsemanship
  6. Practical tests on the Candidate’s chosen subjects.

This Certificate should be “fun” and suits the rider who is interested in all aspects of riding and horsemanship. The Candidate should be familiar with criteria as set out in “Syllabus of Instruction”.

Section 1: Work Certificates
Records should include experience in all of the following sections: a to e and the Work Certificates must be present to examiner 3 weeks prior to examination.

(a) Active Riding

Stock work; Track work; Young horse; Showjumping to 1.1m; Hunting; Polocrosse; Polo; ODE; Droving; Novelty eventing; Campdrafting; Western riding.
Include a full account of 1 day at your sport (see Syllabus of Instruction)
Candidate to have had extensive experience in at least two categories in Section (a).

(b) Horse Experience

Work experience; Care of own horse

(c) Distance Ride (40kms)

Preparation; Account of ride; Additional record card

(d) Shoeing

Details of experiences

(e) Veterinary Notes

Details of experience

(f) Pony Club Service

Service; Rallies; Working bees; Organising

Section 2: Written Paper
Written paper approximately 30 minutes to cover any work in the Syllabus. Should a candidate fail this test, they may proceed to the practical test, and will be expected to know the correct answers to questions in which they have failed.

Section 3: Presentation
Correct Uniform; Care of saddlery; Trimming horse; Grooming and dressing horse; Care of hooves.

Section 4: Active Riding
Position in saddle; Fast work in control; Use of Stockwhip; Use of Polo stick; Bareback riding; Mounting bareback; Dismounting at trot; Dismounting at canter; Mount without stirrups; Lead horse from ground; Lead 2 horses while mounted.

Section 5: Horsemanship
Remove shoe; Replace nail; Fit saddlery; Handle legs; Grooming; Saddle touchy horse; Safety when handling; Knots (3); Bandaging; Lunging.

Section 6: Veterinary
Recognise unsoundness; Treatment – wounds; Treatment – skin disorders; Cold; Colic; Founder; Strangles; Girthgall; Sore back; Sore mouth; Stone bruise; Poisoned foot; Greasy heel; Worm control; Bot control; First Aid Kit.

Section 6: General Health
Feeding in relation to:
Strenuous work; Light work; at grass.
Care of teeth; Telling age; Conditioning a horse; Letting down; Fitness and General stable management.

Section 7: Optional Subjects
Candidate must choose 2 from each of the following groups plus 1 additional subject.

Group (a)
Showjumping; Cross-country; Ride pace; Agility; Tent pegging; Stockwork; Polo or Polocrosse; Dressage test.

Group (b)
5 knots and splicing; Course building – Showjumping; Course building – Cross-country; Leather stitching; Clipping; Shoeing; Horse Activity – mounted games.

Group (c)
Endurance riding (50kms); Trackwork; Drive trotter; Drive harness horse; Special project; Breaking in; Care of mare and foal; First Aid; Community work.

Other Activities
Record of camps, gymkhanas and club service
Record of schools/clinics attended

H Certificate

No pre-requisite certificate
Minimum age for test – 17 years
A candidate is required to be a member of a Pony Club for at least 3 years prior to attempting the examination.
“H” test is designed for those interested in the care of the horse. It is especially suited to the non-rider and no riding test is involved.
The candidate is required to have been a member of a Pony Club for three years prior to the test and during that time to have studied all aspects of the care of the horse.
The Log Book must be handed to the Examiner some time prior to the examination. Candidates should be familiar with “Instructor’s Syllabus” criteria for “H” Certificate.
The H Test will be conducted in 7 sections – a pass must be gained in Sections 1, 2 and 3 prior to the practical test being arranged.

Section 1: Written Paper
This could cover a wide range of horse mastership subjects. Approximately 2 hours.

Section 2: Thesis
2000 words on any subject of own choice involving horses. Reference books to be given. Thesis to be typed and collated.

Section 3: Log Book
To be handed to the Examiner some weeks prior to exam. Log book to be clearly indexed and include accounts of the following sections (a) to (e):

 (a) Pony Club Service
Service to Club – not riding. May include:
Junior Committee; Instructing; Office bearer; Course building; Working bees; Organising functions; Other.

(b) Experience in Horsemastership
Outline experiences over last 3 years

(c) Shoeing
Care of feet; Trimming; Practical experience; Theoretical knowledge; Corrective shoeing; Influence on movement.

If candidate, because of health, is unable to demonstrate shoeing, a thorough knowledge of the theory will be acceptable.

(d) Veterinary
Knowledge of:
Strained tendon, sore shins; Ring bone, side bone; Bone spavin, bog spavin; Navicular disease, thoroughpin; Capped hock, string halt; Tender back, sore mouth; Wounds, skin disorders; Worming, bots – programme; Cold, strangles; Colic, hoof problems; Azoturia, lice and itch; Thorough general knowledge.

(e) Designs for the following:
Day yards for 4 horses

Shelter shed for 1 horse in paddock (give full information and dimensions)
Stable, yards, paddocks, working area to keep 4 horses on 10 acre property – Ground plan, sizes, aspects, etc

Section 4: Presentation
Thorough knowledge of preparation of horse for showing – ridden and led classes; Plaiting and trimming; Knowledge of presentation requirements of different breed classes.

Section 5: Lungeing
Knowledge of theory of lungeing; Correction of lateral flexion; Foot falls at all paces; Adjustment of side reins; Knowledge of tack and fitting; Discuss a horse’s shortcomings and ways of improvement.

Section 6: Breaking In
Assisted a breaker at work on more than one occasion; Halter breaking; Tying up foals, weanlings; Theory of breaking in; Dangers; Things to be avoided; Own experiences.

Section 7: Practical Horsemanship
Knowledge of:
Feeding fit horse; Feeding at grass; Preparation for ODE – Exercise; Preparation for ODE – Feeding; Preparation for ODE – General care; Loading and travel – truck; Loading and travel – float ; Protection for travel;
Dangers;Care of Horse:
Endurance ride; Between phases 3DE; Campdrafter; Racehorse; Polo; Trotter
Stallion service; Mare gestation; Pregnant mare; Birth of foal; Care of weanling.
Sewing leather; Splicing; 5 knots and their uses – examples of work to be shown St Johns First Aid Certificate

Other Activities
Record of camps, gymkhanas and club service
Record of schools/clinics attended

B Certificate

Prerequisite certificates – D, C and either C* or K
Minimum age for test – 16 years
Relaxation and balance of horse and rider is improving all the time and is the object of all work.

Horse Mastership 1
Feeding and health under varying conditions; Pastures and feeding; Training programme; Worms; Mud Fever and Greasy Heels; Founder; Strained tendon; Unsoundness; Temperature and pneumonia; Medicine chest; Care and preparation of a working horse; Cross country rules.

Horse Mastership 2
Saddlery fit and uses; Cleaning and care; Double bridle; Racing and hunting knowledge; Paddock – grooming; Show ring – etiquette and grooming; Mane and plaiting; Loose box and bedding; Foot and shoeing; Take off shoe; Parts of foot; Teeth and aging; Jumping rules;  

Horse Mastership 3
Conformation; Action; Correct paces; Lunge the horse; Knowledge of speeds; Pick up legs; Diagonals and canter; Show jumping courses; First aid to humans; Lead two horses; Drive a mob; Whip, polo stick; Dressage rules. 

Riding 1
Loose and long rein work to relax the horse; Balanced position; Working paces; Circles – lateral flexion; Increase and decrease of pace; Smooth transitions; Sitting trot; Counter canter; Rider lunged; Horse lunged; Rein back; Suppling exercises – horse and rider; Improvement of seat.

Riding 2
Diagonal by feel; Leading leg by feel; Feel exercises; Change through walk; Application of aids; Education of jumper; Lengthening stride – trot; Lengthening stride – canter; Gallop; Medium paces; Simple change of leg; Improving steadiness of contact on the bit;  

Riding 3
School drill; Double bridle; Showing a pony; Steep and rough ground; Ride at given pace; Dressage tests ridden; Show jumping and stride; Cross country; Up and down hill; Build show jumping course; Ride strange horses; Jump strange horses.

Other Activities
Written paper approximately 1 1/2 hours on Riding, Jumping and Horsemanship; Excursions; Instructing experience; Shows; Trail rides; Pony Club service; Pony Club structure; Camps; General equestrian knowledge; Log book.

A Certificate

Prerequisite certificates – D, C, K and B
Minimum age for test – 17 years
The A Certificate is conducted in 6 Sections. Candidates must pass in all sections to gain a pass. For standards A and H any work which has been passed at one standard need not be repeated in the other.

Section 1: Log Book

(a) Practical Experience
Varied experience in the care of horses over the years.

(b) Active Riding
Further participation in competitions and work requiring accurate control at fast paces. Candidate must be proficient in at least 3 areas, eg ODE, Showjumping, Polo, Campdraft, etc.

(c) Young Horse
Must have assisted a breaker at work; Give a clear plan of breaking and theory involved; Quote own experiences; Dangers and precautions to human and horse.

(d) Show Jumping
Experience in competitions; Sound knowledge of training and rules involved; Preparation of horse for events; Different types of competitions; Course designing.

(e) Pony Club Instruction
Take part in active running of a camp; Instructed a group giving a sequence of lessons; Details of lessons plans; Instructors’ schools attended.

(f) Judging
Knowledge of judging all events to Gymkhana standard; Details of assignments as Judge, Steward or co-judge.

(g) Junior Dressage Judging
Details of judging and pencilling assignments – at least four to be described

(h) Pony Club Service
Other than as a rider; Full details of involvement at club level over the past three years; Assisting at rallies; Working bees; Organisation for club activities; Course building, servicing equipment, etc.

(i) Candidates Progress
Descriptions and diaries of progress with training horse/horses towards various standards
Details of influences, advice, happenings etc, that have aided the rider’s progress

Section 2: Written Paper
Approximately 2 hours written paper. Should the candidate fail in this paper, he/she may sit for the practical test and will satisfy the examiners that they can now answer the failed questions correctly.

Section 3: Presentation
For examination, candidate is required to dress in uniform and have his/her horse suitably turned out with strict attention to cleanliness and care of tack.

Section 4: Riding on the Flat
Candidate must demonstrate and understand ability to influence the quality of the horse’s movements; Must be effective in schooling and able to produce good working paces with engagement of the hindquarters and steady bit contact; Seat must be deep and effective with an understanding of any evasion by the horse; To sit trot maintaining tempo and liveliness of pace; Lengthening stride at all paces; Smooth transitions with precision and ride in harmony with horse; Understanding of working and medium paces up to Elementary standard; Candidate to be tested on his own and a strange and green horse; Rider must be able to assess the temperament and ability of the horse and only ask what is appropriate to its training; Rider should use a double bridle effectively; Have a sound knowledge of breaking and training young horses; Ride tests up to Elementary standard without collection; Be lunged on a horse without stirrups or reins; School a horse to Novice standard with a planned approach.

Outline the history of riding and have a sound basic knowledge of all aspects of horsemanship.

Section 5: Jumping
Have ridden showjumping and/or ODE competitions; Have style and firmness of seat; Knowledge of distance and combinations and related fences; Knowledge and control of stride; Jump a variety of fences up to 1.10m; Ride a speed contest; Jump a strange horse which can jump; Be able to teach a green horse the basics of jumping; Thorough knowledge of principles of cross country and showjumping course building and all related rules to competitions; Assess difficulties in a course; The theory of jumping.

Candidate to be tested on own and strange horse.

Section 6: Horsemanship
Assess fodder – balanced diet and pasture deficiencies; Knowledge of horse’s digestive system and good feeding; Worm and Bot control and their lifecycles; Different types of worms; Age a horse and knowledge of good and bad teeth and the reason and results; Structure of hoof, good and bad shoeing and their effect on gait and movement and possible damage to leg or foot; Care and uses of a variety of saddlery; The construction and uses of various saddles; Recognise unsoundness – knowledge of treatment and helpful measures, prevention.

Understand all aspects of trucking and floating; Hitching and construction of good transport; Problem loaders and travellers and protection for horses whilst travelling.

Understand breeding – stallion service, gestation, care of stallion and mare; Birth of foal to weanling and two year old stages; Health and condition of growing horse; Knowledge of all breeds and their characteristics.

Understand the theory of lungeing and correct and helpful tack used. Lateral flexion and remain constant throughout the circle. Correct adjustment of any gear and understand the reason for this. Demonstrate lungeing a green horse and an experienced horse.

NB: This is a summary for the requirements at each Certificate Level. All riders attempting a Certificate Level of any type should obtain the current copy of the syllabus. This information was compiled and posted 9th February 2007.