Information for New Members


Carbery Pony Club

Who are we?

We are a not for profit club run by volunteers, operating as a local branch of the Irish Pony Club. We currently have approximately 70 members aged 6 to 21 years. We are run by a committee of parents, headed by our D.C. (District Commissioner is the traditional term for the Chairperson of local branches), Imelda Hayes.  An AGM / Parents Meeting is held in November which an adult representing each family is asked to attend.  Carbery Pony Club and eight other County Cork clubs form Area 5 of the Irish Pony Club.

Where do I get information?

The Carbery Pony Club website will give you lots of background information and keep you up to date with Club activities. We also have very active Facebook and Instagram pages.  All new members will be added to our WhatsApp group and will receive regular updates about events.  The Irish Pony Club website describes the aims and activities of the Pony Club, and also provides essential information on tests, competitions, safety (e.g. which hat/back protector is allowed etc), tack sheets for all disciplines, codes of conduct for members and parents and much more.

Bookings for rallies are made on the Carbery Hunt page of the itsplainsailing website:

Of course, one of the best places to get information is from other members or Committee members, so just ask.

What is a rally?

Rallies are the heart of the pony club. This is where our members meet and get to know each other. A rally is usually a lesson of one hour’s duration held in an equestrian venue. As well as rallies to prepare you for the various tests, we also organise rallies in lots of disciplines from flatwork to cross country to show jumping to mounted games. There is a charge for each rally which is paid through the Carbery Hunt page of the itsplainsailing website:

Members must have attended some rallies since the previous Summer Camp to be eligible to attend Summer Camp. This is not negotiable, as the Committee need to know you and your pony well for safety reasons!

What should I wear?

When riding you should always wear jodhpurs, long boots or chaps, a hat and back protector, ( no hoodies for safety reasons ), but there is no need to dress formally for rallies. For competitions and tests members usually wear Club uniform which consists of a Carbery cross country top or Carbery sweatshirt, white or cream jodhpurs, Carbery hat cover and for more formal events a pony club tie (Hat covers, tie and cross country tops / sweatshirts are available from O’Brien’s Saddlery in Bandon).  For competitions, remember to consult the relevant tack sheet on the Irish Pony Club website, as there will be a tack inspection, and you will not be allowed to compete if you are not in compliance.

Please bear in mind that in order to be covered by our insurance you must wear an up to standard hat and body protector for all rallies / events.  More detailed tack sheets are required to be adhered to for competitions.  All hats / back protectors must be tagged by a committee member before competition.

Skull hats must be worn for cross country.

You can check the tag on the inside of the hat for one of the following details :

*     PAS 015 2011 onwards with BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark

*     VG1 01.040 2014-12 with BSI Kitemark or Inspec IC Mark

*     ASTM F1163: 2004a and subsequent updates

*     Snell E2016 (Snell combines a standard with subsequent quality testing, therefore no additional       

       quality testing mark is required)

*     AS/NZS 3838 (2006 and any subsequent updates)

Body Protector MUST be :

Beta 2018 Level 3 turquoise label or above

Air Vests can be worn over the body protectors but are not sufficient on their own.

Do I have to do tests?

Tests are not obligatory, but we do encourage all members to do them. You’ll learn a lot, but equally importantly, you’ll get to know the other members your age and you’ll have lots of fun!

When can I do tests?

You have to be considered ready by our D.C. in order to take a test. There is also a minimum age for each test. You can take the E test in the calendar year you turn 6, the D test in the calendar year you turn 8, the D+ in the year you turn 10, the C test in the year you turn 12, then the Riding and Road Safety is mandatory before you take C+. You may take the C+ test the year you turn 14, and then the B test the year you turn 16, followed by Foundation Coaching Test from age 18, which qualifies you to instruct. After that you may consider taking the Lungeing, H and A tests.

What other events will I be able to participate in?

You will be able to take part in One Day Events, Hunter Trials, Musical Ride, Mounted Games, Minimus, Show Jumping, Combined Training, Dressage and Tetrathlon competitions organised by other local branches and by the Irish Pony Club. Details on Irish Pony Club website. Of course, the highlight of the year is Summer Camp in June.

What is Summer Camp?

You must have attended some rallies since last June to be eligible for Summer Camp.

Your pony can stay overnight in stables or in a field with the other ponies.

During Camp, the family of each participant will be expected to lend a hand.  There is no shortage of jobs, and everyone has something to contribute – and parents and members alike usually enjoy themselves hugely.

In order to participate in rallies or summer camp you must ensure your pony’s vaccinations are up to date.  Check the ‘Useful links’ for more information on what is required. 

Parental/Family Involvement

Riding is a risk sport, and a parent/carer/or other designated adult must be present at all rallies and mounted activities in case of any misadventure befalling the rider. If other children (especially very small ones!) are present at rallies, parents/carers must supervise them at all times, especially when animals are being loaded or unloaded.

Every family is also expected to steward or fence judge at one other Area 5 event at least during the year. These events cannot take place without lots of volunteers to help them run smoothly and keep our children safe.  To support this requirement one parent from each family needs to be Garda Vetted.

Important Safety Information

Safety is our primary concern. At rallies, please don’t mount until asked to do so by your instructor. Our insurance only covers members, so no other person is allowed to ride at rallies or Pony Club events. Members are asked to lunge ponies at home before attending an event if this is necessary. No lunging is permitted at the rally venue. Your tack and riding gear must conform to Pony Club standards (see above). See Irish Pony Club website for details, or ask your instructor.

Should any member or parent have any problem with, or concerns about, any other member/parent/ instructor/officer etc., they should discuss their concerns in confidence with our Children’s Officer or our D.C.

Consideration & Courtesy

Rallies are usually held at local equestrian centres.  Please make sure you respect their property by leaving no litter, disposing of droppings, and being careful not to damage gates or fences, or allow children to climb on bales of fodder etc. We have a fantastic bunch of instructors, and we like them to know how much we appreciate their input, so don’t forget to thank them after your rally! Parents are asked not to interfere while rallies are in progress. Our instructors have lots of experience and are well able to handle most situations! However, if you do have comments please discuss them with the Committee member or rally organiser rather than with the instructor.


We hope that involvement in Pony Club will teach children to be kind to and to take proper care of their animals. Likewise, we hope they will learn to help and support each other. We encourage the older members to help the younger ones, and to take increasing responsibility for all the workings of the Club as they advance through their teens.


The main thing is that it should be FUN! We want you and your pony to make great friends and have a fantastic time as a member of Carbery Pony Club!

If you have any questions please phone, text or email us.

We acknowledge and thank Muskerry Pony Club for their guidance in putting together this page.