Four youth members with their horses

Start a Pony Club or Riding Center

Deciding Between a Pony Club or Riding Center

Before starting the formation process, you will need to decide whether you wish to register as a Pony Club or become recognized as a Riding Center. Clubs and centers offer the same Pony Club programming and curriculum to their members, but they are administered differently. One question to ask: Is putting on the Pony Club program something that a group of members (adults) or parents want to do (Pony Club), or is something that the barn owner/instructor wants to offer as part of their business (Riding Center)?

In general, Pony Clubs are administered by parents and other adults who volunteer to operate the club and organize activities. Individual adults will become Club Sponsors, from which the club leadership - District Commissioner, Joint District Commissioner (optional), Club Secretary, and Club Treasurer - will be chosen. In addition to selecting officers, Club Sponsors are charged with oversight of a club’s budget and calendar of activities.

Pony Clubs take a substantial time commitment from parents and other adult volunteers. Members are encouraged to participate as often as possible and parents are strongly encouraged to attend all club meetings and events, especially if the member is very young. Pony Club really is a family experience; it is an excellent investment of your time for the future.

A Riding Center is a facility with which USPC has entered a contractual agreement to offer the Pony Club curriculum and program. The Center Administrator, possibly along with an Assistant Center Administrator, is appointed by the facility’s owner or operator to be responsible for the Pony Club programming within their business. The Center Administrator and Assistant Center Administrator may be employees of the business who are paid for their time. In addition, most centers have a core group of parents that want to be involved in their child’s activities, and will happily volunteer to help. However, unlike a club, parent involvement in a centers not a requirement for the administration of the Pony Club program.

Facilities need to have an established riding lesson program, have the physical resources, and the administrative ability to offer the Pony Club program. The current instruction provided and practices in place should be supportive of Pony Club’s mission, standards and expectations.

Next Steps...

To Start a Pony Club

If you are interested in starting a club in your area, the next step is to request the Formation Booklet. This booklet will cover more about the Pony Club structure, activities offered and outline the steps involved in starting a Registered Pony Club.

Request the Pony Club Formation Booklet.

To Start a Riding Center

If you are interested in starting a center at your facility, the next step is to review the general criteria and then complete an application for consideration. Note: There is a $50 non-refundable application fee that must be submitted with the application.

Review the criteria and access the application.

Uncertain of which is best for you?

If you have questions about the differences between a club and center, or would like to discuss offering Pony Club more in-depth, please contact the Member Services department.