Rider Certificates

Throughout their Pony Club career, riders are encouraged to undertake various efficiency tests according to their age and ability – commencing with the basic ‘E’ Certificate through to the ‘A’ Certificate.

These certificates aim to encourage the interest and improvement in knowledge of its members. They are viewed as a measure of a rider’s progress in their overall proficiency. In working for them, riders acquire valuable knowledge and skills, which enhance their riding experience.

Pony Club Australia Syllabus for certificates can be found on the Pony Club Australia website. This contains the information relating to the requirements for the tests. The NSW book ‘Riding’ is also an excellent reference manual for riders and parents as it contains information concerning all aspects of riding and horse care. These can be purchased through the NSW Pony Club State website or Office.

The following certificates are available to members: 


Candidates have reasonable control of their ponies at the walk and trot. Parts of the horse, grooming etc. Some help may be given, such as allowing ponies to work in company. Minimal help can be given with other tasks.  E can be examined by an accredited Club examiner.


On the ground catching, letting go, tying up etc. Elementary knowledge of grooming, feeding and general care of the horse. Basic riding ability.  D can be examined by an accredited Club examiner.


Further knowledge of grooming, feeding, care of horses, parts of the horse. More capable riding ability, jumping, hoof care, common illnesses and injuries.

D Star  can be examined by an accredited Club examiner.


Independent seat required, with correct aids and a degree of competence in other aspects of riding. General knowledge of horse care and parts of the horse.  Horsemanship on the ground and mounted.

 C must be examined by an accredited Zone examiner.


Active riding skills at a fast pace, using a correct, strong seat, well established in forward jumping position. Good horse knowledge.

C star must be examined by an accredited Zone examiner.


Action activities and a 40km ride. The K certificate is a non-jumping alternative to the C* Certificate.

K must be examined by an accredited Zone examiner.


Active, capable rider who understands the aids thoroughly and can apply them appropriately.  Lungeing, groundwork, jumping, cross country.

B must be examined by a State Examiner.


Strong rider able to ride a variety of mounts. High standard of horsemanship and general knowledge.

Candidates must apply through their zone and zone to State to provide expressions of interest to sit the A Certificate.

Particulars of all certificates may be found in the Australian Pony Club ‘‘Syllabus of Instruction’’ available to download HERE.

The C Certificate is recommended as the baseline for all members and will ensure that the rider has a good foundation of skill, safety and horsemanship.

Candidates can progress from C to B via either the C* or the K Certificate.


A Club examiner within a Club may test for E, D and D*.

Zone examiners for certificates E to K Certificates above (Zone Examiners). Zone Examiners should not test in their own Club unless circumstances, such as excessive distance, make this necessary.


Any section of a Test passed by the candidate will be held as credit/s until such time as all sections are passed (maximum two years from original practical Assessment date).


Written papers are no longer required for E, D, D* and C Certificates. Candidates will be required to keep a journal for C* and above. Written papers are an option for some parts of the higher certificates.


Candidates will be required to work through the syllabus using Pony Club Australia certificate resources (i.e. Certificate Manuals).


Worksheets are available for B and A which guide Candidates throughout the Syllabus requirements. There is no course content in the worksheets as it is expected that Candidates at this level will gather their knowledge from a variety of sources.


Supplementary testing may be required where horses or conditions are unsuitable on the scheduled day of assessment or where further development is required from the rider.

Supplementary testing may be undertaken at a time agreed by the Examiner and candidate once the candidate is ready and within two years of the first assessment at this level. Where possible, one of the original examiners should be engaged for the supplementary test.


For ridden assessments, candidates must wear Pony Club or PCA Accredited Centre formal uniform.

The horse must be clean and tidy, with hooves showing evidence of care.

All tack must be clean and fit correctly, and be in good repair.

Riders should ride in a snaffle bit where possible. If another bit is used for higher certificates, the candidate should be able to explain its action.


Horse and rider combinations for practical assessment must have attended a minimum of 2 working rallies and must be the rider’s qualified mount as per State/Territory Rules.


Certificates and cloth patches are available from the Pony Club NSW office for presentation to members gaining certificates. Cloth patches are to be worn on the right-hand sleeve of shirt or jumper above the elbow starting with D at the top.


  • Syllabus of Instruction (available for download HERE)
  • Riding Book (Green Book) (available for purchase HERE)
  • Pony Club Manual No. 1 (NZ) D & C Certificates
  • Pony Club Manual No. 2 (NZ) B, H & A Certificates
  • Manual of Horsemanship (BHS)

To order any of the above publications please visit our online store HERE.

Certificate manuals must now be ordered via Pony Club Australia shop HERE.

E Standard
Under 7 Years
D Standard
7 Years
D Star Standard
9 Years
C Standard
12 Years
C Star Standard
14 Years
K Standard
14 Years
B Standard
16 Years
A Standard
17 Years

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