Horse Management

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Horse Management teaches responsibility and independence, and encompasses all things in horse care: health, maintenance, nutrition, and handling. The ultimate goal of Horse Management is to create a safe, knowledgeable, well-rounded horse person. It has helped shape the core values of Pony Club and sets the organization apart from others with its emphasis on care of the horse above all else.

Horse Management in Pony Club

Horse Management (HM) knowledge is applied in a practical manner at all meetings, tested during member certifications, and evaluated at USPC competitions (rallies). Horse Management is practiced at all USPC activities (e.g. mounted and unmounted meetings, clinics and certifications) to:

  • Encourage a safe environment.
  • Teach and advance the principles of safe, sensible and responsible horse care.
  • Encourage members to demonstrate and increase their individual knowledge of unmounted horsemanship.


Horse Management is at the core of every certification level in Pony Club. Beginning with basic knowledge such as parts of the horse and learning tools used for grooming and their purposes, members progress through the levels of HM either alongside their riding or as a stand-alone track. The highest levels of Horse Management test a members skills in developing stable management plans for any equine operation, as well as conditioning and advanced healthcare, and teaching. Members at this level are prepared to enter the professional equestrian world with a solid, all-around equine knowledge foundation.

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Competitions in Pony Club, better known as rallies, are judged on two key components: riding scores and Horse Management. Members compete on teams of up to five individuals, often with four mounted (riding) competitors and a stable manager. All members are judged on Horse Management skills appropriate for their certification level at the time of competition. The Horse Management portions of any rally include stable area setup and management, presentation and turnout inspections that allow the member to demonstrate their horse care skills and receive feedback, and routine checks to ensure the mount is being properly cared for throughout the competition.

Competition barns are off-limits to spectators and parents, allowing the members to work as a team under the guidance of their stable manager and the Horse Management Judges to showcase their skills without assistance. The hard work and study members put into achieving certifications in Horse Management is reflected in their skills during competition, with those teams performing up to and above standards often landing higher in the final results.