What is Certification?

The goal of Pony Club is to teach every member communication, confidence, leadership, safety, self-reliance, and good horsemanship.  As members learn and develop at their own pace, they have the opportunity to progress through the Pony Club Standards of Proficiency (SOP). The SOP outline a clear progression of skills in riding and horse management. Each level requires an increasing depth of knowledge and abilities. For example a D Level (beginner) Pony Club member would only need to know how to give water, hay, and grain to their horse whereas an A Level (advanced) member would need to know how to identify different types of grains and hay as well as be able to discuss nutritional values. 

The SOP for each level and additional information about certification can be found on the USPC website and a good explanation of the different levels is on the Virginia Region's website.

Depending on your certification goal, you may also need to submit your Health Maintenance Record Book for review. 

New members are tested to D-1 as soon as practical at a time agreed upon by the new member and DC. Certification testing dates will be offered by CWPC twice a year for members from D-2 through C-2.  Other clubs may offer certification testing dates, and CWPC members can participate in that testing with written permission of the CWPC DC and host club DC.  Certificate testing fees will be shared by the club and candidates. If the candidate does not meet the standard of proficiency (SOP), the cost for re-testing is the member’s responsibility.

National Level certifications (C-3 through A) are facilitated on a national basis by USPC and hosted by a Region. Successful candidates are competent, all-around horsemen, active and contributing members of Pony Club, who participate in a variety of Pony Club activities, as well as thoughtful leaders who set an example for all levels. Information, test requirements and test schedules may be found on the Pony Club website on the National Level Testing page.

2021 Club Certification Dates

The next club certification day for D2-C2 is Sunday, June 27, 2021 at Cabin Branch Farm in Marshall, VA.  

Intent to certify forms must be submitted to the Club DC ( by May 12, 2021.  

We also hope to have a local-level Fall certification on October 23, 2021.

Non-CWPC members must have the permission of their club DC permission to test and prepay $150.00 at Make a Payment to CWPC in order to be scheduled for testing.  If a CWPC member wishes to certify at another club's event, please communicate with the CWPC DC as soon as possible to discuss procedures.

The Virginia Region is hoping to have National-level testing (C3-A levels) in early August.  

How to Prepare for Certification

Regular attendance at the CWPC winter Ground School, spring and fall lessons, Club Clinic Days, camp, and discipline practices prepare members for certification advancement and fulfill requirements of the certification standard, as does participation in Virginia Region Pony Club rallies, HB preps, clinics, and USPC events.

Valuable information can be found in the Pony Club manuals, USPC-recommended books and publications and other materials found on the USPC website, including the Pony Club Chart of Learning, Standards of Proficiency, Certification Checklists (which assist in evaluating a member's readiness for certification), lesson plans, and online quizzes.