Dune Riders Pony Club is centrally located within the Lake Shore Region and has members from Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties.
Pony Club is an organization that teaches young people from ages 5 to 25 about horse care and riding. Originating in Great Britain, the US organization was established in 1954. Since then, the leadership has developed tremendous programs and competitions for the youth to enjoy.
The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. is divided into 43 Regions in the US. Our local Region encompasses part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the western lakeshore of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin over to Madison and Sparta. We have 14 local Clubs and Riding Centers in the Region which service over 200 members and their families.
The testing system, a measure of level of achievement in the Standards of Proficiency, begins with the D1 Certificate level for the newest to horsemanship. The system culminates with the A rating. In 2007, the National organization rolled out some new divisions in the rating system. Previously, the certifications were based on levels of achievement in the Eventing discipline. Today, riders can also be evaluated in the specialty areas of Dressage, Show Jumping, Hunter Seat Equitation, and Western.
Each year our Region offers several opportunities for members to compete in Rallies. Rallies are team-based competitions as compared to individual competitions. Mounted rally teams are judged on their mounted skills and group scores. Because excellence in Horse Management is at the core of Pony Club values, teams are also scored on their Horse Management skills (cleanliness, stall organization, first aid preparedness, tack condition, etc.) Ribbons are awarded for the top mounted teams as well as for the best Horse Management teams. Regional rallies are a great way for members to make friends from around Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula and it truly enriches the whole Pony Club experience for the member!
Everything But The Horse Rally
Our first Rally of the year is usually an Everything But The Horse Rally. This is an unmounted rally where the kids have great fun making model stalls, complete with water buckets and artificial horse apples.
Quiz Rally is another unmounted rally. Members of all levels compete in the Classroom phase (much like College Quiz Bowls), Stations (teamwork in several tasks), Mega Room (each team member must identify numerous objects), and Barn phase (we use the real thing for questions and hands-on demonstration of horse management skills) and a Written Test. It's lots of fun, especially when it is too cold and snowy to ride very much.
D-Rally and Pick Your Ride Rally
D-Rally and Pick Your Ride Rally are also much-anticipated events. In D-Rally our D level teams compete in a Mini Event. For our D3 and higher riders, we have Pick Your Ride. This is where riders compete in Dressage then choose to complete in two further competitions in dressage, cross country or Show jumping. The teams are judged on dressage, show jumping and cross country as well as on horse management.
Polocrosse is a combination of lacrosse and polo, played on horseback. We're growing the sport in Wisconsin! Check out the national site for fun information and exciting pictures.
Whatever rally a member participates in, you can bet on a barn full of eager pony clubbers having a good time and making new friends in other clubs. What you won't see, though, are parents. For the most part, during rallies and testings, parents are banned from the barn! Self-reliance and teamwork blossoms when members learn from each other how to problem-solve and prepare for their events on their own. If unauthorized assistance is noted, a team can be penalized. Parents learn to love this. Kids love it pretty much right away!
Qualifying for Championships
Members, typically age 12 and up and achieving the ranking of D3 and above, have the opportunity to qualify for the yearly National Championships in many of these disciplines.
For our youngest or most-beginner riders, Lake Shore Region has pioneered a 3 or 4 day camp called D Jamboree. This camp is unrated and D1 & D2 level members, typically age 12 and under. D-Jam hosts kids for several days of crafts, camaraderie and low-pressure lessons. The camp is usually held near Grafton, WI. Low pressure and lots of fun, these camps are taught by our upper level and Junior Board members or sometimes a Visiting Instructor.
LSR Regional Camp
Regional Camp is a week of intensity! Intense fun and learning, that is. We have been fortunate to hold our regional camp at beautiful facilities such as Silverwood Farm in Trevor, WI as well as Wisconsin Equestrian Center in DePere, WI and currently at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds and Sundance Farm. This camp runs for four days in mid-June and is great for motivated and self-reliant D2 and higher members. We draw a stellar line up of National Examiners and Visiting Instructors who teach mounted and unmounted topics. Many riders use this as a mounted prep for their club's Fall Certification Testings.
Watch the calendar for our many upcoming events.
District Commissioner (DC)
Horsemasters is a program within Pony Club for those older 'kids' who have aged out of the regular program. This program is for those 25 and older who aren't done learning and rallying yet. The certification levels are from Gold through Bronze. They Rally and Camp along with the regular members and have the times of their lives with their horses.