This is a brief explanation that I copy/pasted directly from the USPC website. It basically says in a nutshell, what would take me 20 paragraphs. We have so many exciting events to go to this Spring and Summer!
What Makes Pony Club Different?
The mission of Pony Club is “to provide a program for youth that teaches riding, mounted sports, and the care of horses and ponies, thereby developing responsibility, moral judgment, leadership and self-confidence.” Members of USPC have joined an organization dedicated to producing well-rounded horsemen and women and one that has produced many of the past and current Olympic and International riders.
USPC is unique because its educational programs place equal emphasis on the teaching of riding skills, horse-care fundamentals, and team participation with sportsmanship. From the moment youth join USPC until they graduate, they are part of a broad network of activities and educational programs that promote the health and safety of both horse and rider. USPC is dedicated to developing knowledgeable, competent, responsible, and caring horsemen.
Standards of Proficiency
The USPC Standards of Proficiency provide a core curriculum for individualized instruction. Clubs and centers use the Standards as a plan for instruction programs. The Standards describe a clear progression of skills in riding and Horse Management and provide opportunities for goal setting, as members are encouraged to proceed though those skills at a pace that is comfortable for them.
Riding is something we do for fun! Ratings are given in an effort to recognize achievements and encourage members to gain confidence, independence and good safety habits while working with mounts. Goal setting, teaching and testing are good ways to accomplish this purpose.
One of the things that separates Pony Club from other youth equestrian organizations is the emphasis that is placed on Horse Management. While members learn how to ride, they also learn how to care for their pony or horse. All clubs have a Horse Management program designed to teach skills and provide knowledge as members progress through the ratings.
A concern for safety is an important part of the foundation of USPC. Ours was the first equine organization to require its members to wear safety helmets. Our guiding beliefs regarding safety reach into every aspect of the organization. Volunteers and staff make safety a priority.
We do NOT "pressure" anyone to join the USPC. The Good News is that we follow all of these guidelines, instruction methods, and safety precautions with ALL of our students all of the time.
We have several students that basically want to just take lessons for a few months, to learn basic horse care, riding skills, and safety. They will ALWAYS be a part of the BEC family and welcome to resume lessons at any time.
There is no maximum age for our student/client based. Equestrian sports are not only a great source of physical exercise, we also believe that and have proof that just being around the horses, whether on the ground or in the saddle is also, extremely beneficial to your mind and soul.