We're getting ready for a club rating tomorrow so it's been a busy week for all our kids. A rating is where members are tested on their skills based on a national testing system. The riding and knowledge skills get progressively more challenging with each rating, with each rating adding more on to what was required in the previous one.
Here's an example of how the ratings progress:
D1 - Name any 10 parts of the horse (such as mane, tail, hoof)
D2 - Name and locate any 15 parts of the horse
D3 - Identify at least 20 parts of the mount, to include withers , hock, fetlock, pastern, gaskin, croup, loins, as well as others.
C1 - Identify good and bad points of basic leg conformation. Describe five common unsoundnesses as to location and outward appearance.
C2 - Name five basic conformation qualities you want in a mount for your own use, and how they affect basic
movement and soundness. Name and locate on a mount the following areas of unsoundness: ringbone, curb, bowed tendons, sidebone, spavin, navicular, splint, thoroughpin, sprains.
HB - Cause of lameness, location, and inner structure of: Navicular, Sidebone, Ringbone, Splints, Osselets, Bog and bone spavins, Thoroughpins, Curb, Bowed Tendon, Bucked shins, Cracks, Corns, Suspensory problems.
H-HA - Lameness associated with listed conformation faults, uses and limitations of horses with listed conformation faults.
So, how did you do? Our kids know a lot by the time they get to the upper levels of Pony Club! This is just one section covered in the rating so you can imagine how much preparation it takes to get ready.
And of course there's always the rest of your life that gets in the way of Pony Club. This week, while getting ready for the ratings I was sent to Spokane on the spur of the moment for a conference. That meant driving south an hour to race home and pack, drive back north to work, pick up my co-worker that was going with me, then drive seven more hours. Then attend a conference (which was well worth the effort!) and leave at noon to drive back. But it's not just me! One of our kids lost their Pony Club pin (required to wear at ratings) so there's a scramble to find an extra. One of the horses in the club fell in the trailer on the way home from a lesson Sunday (he's fine) and a mom ends up in ER to get stitches after getting a hoof in the face (she's fine too). We have a group of terrific kids and parents in the club that take these things in stride and keep their eye on the prize which is to learn more about riding and caring for their horses and having fun while they do it. So tonight is a BBQ dinner with the upper level kids and examiner, tack cleaning and horse bathing for two of the members that are currently sharing a horse and then the big day tomorrow where we'll all try to avoid the crazy traffic caused by our OSU Beaver football game (Go BEAVS!) on our way home from the rating.
Good luck to the kids testing tomorrow!