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Pony Club Certificates

The Pony Club structure encourages Riding Members to prepare for and take tests which enables them to learn progressively about horse and pony care (horsemastership) and riding (horsemanship). The tests are designed for the member to progress from one standard of learning to the next with certain objectives in mind. Although some requirements of each test may vary slightly from country to country because of geographically location, local activities or climatic conditions, the tests are based on a world wide policy. The Australian Pony Club Council SYLLABUS OF INSTRUCTION booklet, sets out in detail the requirements of each Efficiency Test. Available from your pony club. Pony Club links at the end of the page.



D [D Standard] - [minimum age is 8 years] No pre-requisite.


- To gain confidence in riding, handling and caring for a pony.

- To be keen to learn and improve.


Candidates must have reasonable control of their ponies. Some help may be given, such as allowing ponies to work in company. Many games are suitable for teaching if taken at an appropriate pace.


D* [D Star] - [minimum age is 10 years] Pre-requisite is D.


- To work towards a balanced seat and independence of the reins.

- To improve the rider’s control of the pony.

- To have an elementary knowledge of the care of the pony.


Candidates must have control of their ponies and show a more secure and correct position for flat work and jumping.


This Certificate is an extra activity for any club wishing to include it in their curriculum, and fills in the years from 10 to 12.

The D* Certificate is not a pre-requisite for any subsequent Test.


C [C Standard] [minimum age is 12 years] Pre-requisite is D.


- To attain a balanced seat, independent of the reins on the flat and over small fences.

- To show control of the pony at all paces.

- To demonstrate a knowledge of horsemanship as outlined.


Candidates should be encouraged to ride in snaffle bits wherever possible. If another bit is used, the candidate should know the name and understand its action.


The rider should be able to maintain consistent contact through the reins. In checking diagonals or leading leg, the candidate may drop the eyes to look at the shoulders, but may not drop the head or lean forward. Ideally the concept of "feel" through the seat should be introduced at this stage. The forward jumping position/s with a steady lower leg should be established by the time of the test. To obtain a secure and steady seat candidates should be encouraged to hold on to the mane or a neck strap over the jump.


C* C Star [minimum age is 14 years] Pre-requisite’s: D and C.


- To become an active rider with knowledge of the aids and how to apply them correctly and effectively.

- To ride simple cross country and showjumping fences

- To gain practical experience and knowledge of the care and conditioning of the horse in preparation for a strenuous event.

- To have a thorough knowledge of the Road Rules for horses as apply to your State.

- To ride safely and sensibly on the roads and in the country.


This is an alternative Certificate to the K Certificate which bridges the gap between C and B Certificates. Its purpose is to provide an incentive for members who, having achieved C Certificate would value an interim test to check progress and maintain interest.


K K Standard[minimum age is 14 years] Pre-requisite’s: D and C.


- To widen the candidate’s experience in various aspects of horsemastership.

- To become an active, efficient rider who is thoughtful for the horse.

- To improve skills in horsemastership, and other horse related activities.


This is an alternative Certificate to C*, between C & B. It is designed for the active rider, and covers many equestrian aspects not included in other Certificates. The "K" comprises a compulsory section and a wide variety of optional subjects.


B Standard [minimum age is 16 years] Pre-requisite’s: D and C and C* or K

Objectives: :  

- To become a competent, all-round rider, who knows the reasons for what he/she is doing and is able to assess results.

- To ride over different types of fences at specified paces.

- To be capable of riding and jumping any well-mannered horse or pony, and commenting on its way of moving.

- To be capable of joining in any suitable Pony Club activities of interest to the rider,

   e.g. eventing, hunting, trekking, gymkhanas, etc. and looking after the horse before, during and after the day’s activity.

- To gain knowledge and practical experience of the care and conditioning of horses and to be able to look after a stabled horse

- To ride intelligently and with due regard for others on the roads and in the country, with a knowledge of pace and distance.


B`Restricted jumping [minimum age is 16 years] Pre-requisite’s: D and C and C* or K and B

Objectives: The candidate may obtain a "B" standard certificate with restricted jumping, but must jump a horse over a

minimum height of .60 m. and be able to ride across country, including up and down steep terrain.


H Standard [minimum age is 17 years] No pre-requisite.


- To gain wide knowledge in the care and conditioning of horses and to be capable of taking charge of horses,

   either stabled or at grass.


The H Certificate is a horsemastership test. The syllabus centres on this aspect of work so that it is suited to the non rider as well as the rider. Three years in Pony Club must be allowed for preparation. It is intended to afford keen Associate Members a worthwhile certificate for efficiency in horse management.


A Standard [minimum age is 17 years] Pre-requisite’s: D and C and C* or K and B


- To become an educated horseperson, able to ride with confidence, style and polish on the flat and over fences.

- To understand the principles of training, including young horses, as taught in Pony Club and be able to put these

   principles into practice.

- To be capable of riding and jumping horses of all temperaments and stages of training and of assessing a horse’s

   potential and how it could be schooled to improve ride and performance.

- To gain wide knowledge of the care and conditioning of horses.

- To have a sound knowledge of the organization and running of the Australian Pony Club Council and the Candidate’s

   own State Association

- Knowledge of other societies and organizations connected with horses.


The preparation for the "A" test should be progressive and continuous. It is an exam for the serious and dedicated rider who is prepared to devote thought, time and effort to improving his/her riding and knowledge of training a young horse. The years between B and A Certificates must be spent in conscious preparation. Intense or "crash" courses seldom result in success.



The above information has been reprinted as it appears on the Australian Pony Club Council WebSite

See Their website for more information


Or ……….. State Associations…

Pony Club Association of New South Wales 

Pony Club Association of Victoria

Pony Club Association of Queensland

Pony Club Association of Tasmania

Pony Club Association of South Australia

Pony Club Association of Western Australia

Pony Club Association of Northern Territory