An enthusiastic group of parents and young people met last week in Barriere to discuss the formation of a branch of the Canadian Pony Club.
The Canadian Pony Club is a volunteer-run, national, non-profit organization with around 3,000 members across Canada.
It is for young people up to the age of 21 who want to learn more about horses, riding and horse care.
Pony Club has a comprehensive program of education and testing of riding skills and horse knowledge.
The “D” levels are analogous to primary or elementary school, the “C” levels to high school, the “B” levels to college, and the “A” levels to graduate school.
As in the school system, the young person works his or her way up the ladder. Some finish at the “A” level, some at the “C” level. The achievement process is an educational one, and is not competitive.
The “grass roots” of Pony Club is the local branch; the branches are part of a region, and the regions across Canada are part of the national body.
Our region is called BC Interior North, and covers all of B.C. except the Lower Mainland, and Vancouver Island. There are about 20 branches in our region, the two closest being Kamloops (Thompson Valley Branch), and Pritchard (South Thompson Branch).
Besides being responsible for education and testing, the local branch is also responsible for numerous activities such as camps, rallies, games and quizzes, and includes regular unmounted sessions known as stable management lessons, dealing with care of horses, tack safety and much more.
Incidentally, although all children should have a suitable manageable, well-schooled mount to take part in pony club activities, it is by no means restricted to ponies.
The name Pony Club indicates a mount ridden by a child, and does not refer to the size of the animal.
Anyone interested in learning more about Pony Club is invited to a meeting on Thursday, March 1, at 7 p.m., in the District of Barriere municipal building (formerly Barriere Ridge School).
If you would like more information call Jacquie Peters at 250-672-5812.