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CNER United States Pony Club Dressage Rally - May 11, 2019

Our very first ever PC rally was this past Saturday at Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, MA. It kind of cracks me up that I joined PC for the express purpose of access to more jumping instruction opportunities, and my first mounted experience is a dressage rally hahaha.  

But honestly, it was so much fun.  Maybe it is because I am so used to showing alone or maybe because I love the show prep and set up just as much (if not more) than the actual riding, but competing in a PC rally is now one of my most favorite experiences.  And I cannot wait to do more!  I think the only thing different for this show was having to label EVERYTHING with my name.  Otherwise, my show prep was just the same as normal.

Sadly, our original team of four riders ended up dwindling to just two, as one young rider ended up sick with a 103 fever and a barn was quarantined because of a horse with EHV-4 so none of the PC members from that large boarding barn could attend. Therefore, my remaining teammate and I were split …

First Official PC meeting

Last night I attended my first official Pony Club meeting.  I suppose it is also technically the first official meeting for the club itself, too, besides the sign-up meeting last month (which I was unable to attend).  It was an "unmounted meeting" at a library about an hour away from where I live now, just a town over from my hometown actually.  So while I knew where I was going, it was a longer drive than I remembered haha.

Overall, it wasn't the most exciting of meetings.  There were nine kiddos in attendance and then me, the only adult member.  Thankfully it sounds like there are other adults who signed up for Horsemasters so I won't always be the weird adult haha.  I have no problem being the only adult, but it is definitely kind of awkward in a way.  I mostly went in order to meet everyone and have some basic questions answered.  The topic for the meeting was keeping records, and of course, that is not something I have ever had problems with.

Exhibit A haha
I confess I have a 5" binder with EVERYTHING from my first horse, Sparky.  Like I believe I still have every single Coggins I ever had pulled from her, starting in 1993.  Yes, I know I have a problem hahahaha.  I think it is partly my personality and partly being a teacher.  And maybe partly because I love binders and organizing!

So, we were instructed to bring our own empty binder, but mine is already...full of things.  ;-)  I started filling in my new PC forms with a pen, and then our DC commented that she had sent us all an electronic copy.  Of course, that meant the hardcopy I was filling in became a draft, as this type A overachiever is totally going to be typing it all up LOL.  

Most of the info is pretty easy to fill out, my contact info, horse information, vaccinations, feeding, etc.  There is a section we have to keep on conditioning, which I already halfheartedly do on the calendar hanging in my tack room.  But this is a log that is supposed to be written in after each ride so I will have to become more diligent.  The section on TPR changes will be a bit of a pain to record, but honestly, it is good data to be aware of and to keep track of (even when I don't have a fancy gadget to do it for me).  Our DC said she would like to bring in someone to talk about conditioning, which would be interesting to hear for sure.

The only part that made me go OH NO WAY was the expense tracking sheet hahahaha.  I much prefer to live in the (semi) dark about what my horses cost me.  Ugggg and now I have to actually track it hahaha.  Shoot me now!  
Part of the meeting was a bit boring personally, as the kids didn't know how to fill out certain sections or because they didn't know the difference between roughage and concentrates.  That is all part of Pony Club though, helping the younger riders, but because there were plenty of parents and an instructor present, my help wasn't needed.  I am OK with that though, as I know some of what I will be doing is waiting or observing since the age and experience range is quite wide.  

I did get to chat with the DC towards the end, which was good.  She seems like someone I will enjoy working with, and she is a teacher as well!  I was able to find out about some of the logistics and how things will be run.  It sounds like I can be as active as I want to be and can choose to do the certifications or not.  I think it will depend more on Ellie and where she is in her training on when or if we do so.  I mean, I think we could easily do the D level ratings this year at least, but at the same time, I am more concerned about bringing her along well and taking advantage of the mounted instructional opportunities than climbing the ratings or doing the rallies.

Overall, though it was a long night out for a school night (let's be real, getting home at 9pm on any night is tough as I am in my jammies and in bed long before then haha), it was worth going and makes me excited to consider the possibilities we might otherwise not have this year!  


Sounds like a less than fun meeting. Although, through you, I have now learned that I do a TERRIBLE job of keeping track of my horse records. I would like to join a pony club too, but there isn't one close by. I don't want to drive an hour for a meeting. Maybe one day.
Sara said…
Ugh...that finance tracker may put a stop to me joining. Ick. If I remember correctly once you pass the D level you can do the rating for the management side without doing the mounted ones along with it. I was shocked to find out the levels of eventing that corresponded to the rating. I'll probably never be brave enough to do anything above D :) Here's to a very educational and fun year for you in PC.
Nadia Novik said…
Yay! Glad you went to your first meeting!
Unmounted will be fun and informative, but I agree- you'll probably be well ahead in terms of knowledge.
Once it's mounted will you be separated from kids? I assume Horsemasters program is in it's own lesson?
TeresaA said…
It sounds like a good beginning
Part of me wants to do the Horsemasters program because there was never a Pony Club in my area when I was a kid. I'll watch your experience with it before I decide!
Hahahaha I am sure you do a fine job, I just happen to love record keeping and binders and page protectors hahaha. Yeah, based on where I live, anything within an hour is considered "close by" so I am going to have to suck it up and not complain about the distance! ;-)
Yeah, my goal is BN and maybe N someday with Ellie. I hope to go further up the levels in dressage and stay at the low levels in eventing. The finance tracker is a real downer, as I am afraid to know exact totals haha. Oh well.
Yes, I think the mounted sessions are divided up into sections, so I can ride with adults at my level. Or at least kids at my level. It is not like Ellie and I are setting the world on fire right now over fences hahahaha. I think the unmounted meetings will still give me something, even if it is just solidifying that what I already do or know is on the right track. There is always so much to learn that I probably don't know that I don't know something that PC will teach me.
Yes! I am pretty excited to be starting, since it is such a boring time of year especially!
Yes! My thought is to try it this year and see what I think! It is a yearly membership, so I can always stick with it or take a break after giving it a try! :-)
Amy McKenna said…
I really want to do Horsemasters with our local PC. I loved being in Pony Club as a kid and I'm so pleased they brought it back for adults.
L.Williams said…
Recording keeping is not something I have a problem with either and I know what you mean - it can feel pretty awkward (And lonely) being the only adult in the group.
Liz Stout said…
Pony Club is a foreign concept in this area. Wish we had opportunities like this 'cause I would totally be okay with being the weird adult lol!
Even being a teacher who spends most of my days with children (either the two I actually created or the gazillion I am responsible for...) and I'm still an awkward weirdo adult at kid horse things hahahaha. Oh well. There are supposedly other adults who I can feel less awkward with (though I'll probably end up liking the kids better in the end, who knows haha).
Oh, that is a bummer! I am super excited to see how this plays out. Our first mounted meeting "lesson" is in two weeks, but I am unsure if I will be able to get the trailer out of our icy driveway. But I am pretty excited it is only a $20 lesson, so I my desire for affordable educational experiences will occur once the sn*w melts! ;-)