In association with Healing Horses Sanctuary (operated by BC Healing Horses Society) Equutrails will be running summer horse camps in August 2012. The summer camps will be aligned with Pony Club philosophy where the principals are not just about being on a horse but on caring for and understanding your horse. What does it take to truly be horse owner.

Excerpt from Central Jersey Sun…

Although the name may be deceiving at first glance, the Pony Club offers a lot more than just pony rides. In actuality, the Pony Club fosters knowledge and education about all aspects of horses and horseback riding.
The Amwell Valley Hounds Pony Club is part of a larger, worldwide organization known as the United States Pony Club (USPC). The USPC is a reputable organization that has had a number of its members recruited for all aspects of the 2012 Olympics and past Olympics, ranging everywhere from riders in the pentathlon to torchbearers.
“There are different Pony Club regions all around the world,” Crawford said. “I’m in the New Jersey region, but there are other ones in other states, too.”
Aside from learning how to ride horses, the Pony Club requires its members to learn the anatomy and upkeep of a horse, how to properly clean a stable, how to distinguish between a horse’s different injuries, and almost all of the other aspects that pertain to taking care of and maintaining a horse.

The Pony Club also requires its members to read several books about ponies and horses to develop a distinct familiarity with both animals, and designates each of its riders by different ratings.

“I’m a D-3,” Crawford said. “The ratings work like this – a D-1 is the beginning where you pretty much have to learn the pony parts, how to trot, canter, and walk. Also, you have to know about cleaning the pony, if the trailer is clean enough for the horse, and stuff like that. It’s more basic. Then, the D-2 is all of that, and you start to do more jumping, and it starts to get more serious in how your cleaning is. Then, D-3 gets even harder, so you have to have the right position and know more about all of the technicalities. Now, I’m working on my C-1, which is even harder.”
Essentially, with each level a rider advances to — A-1 being the highest level —  the information they need to retain becomes more challenging and labor-intensive in order to fully educate each rider to the USPC’s standards.
“It’s a very holistic way of looking at horse life,” Crawford’s mother Jennifer Curtis said.
In order to advance from one level to the next, Crawford has to read a book specific to that level, and pass a two-part evaluation that involves a written test and physical test (riding).
Not as easy as just looking pretty on top of a well-groomed horse, right?…