Minimum Age: 16


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Standards of Efficiency Test Sheet 2016

General

The Test is a non-compulsory riding test taken after the Lungeing Test and either before or after AH. It is a ‘stepping stone’ half way between B and A Test.

Candidates will be required to ride their own horse and at least two horses belonging to other Members. It is a requirement that candidates allow their horse to be ridden by two other candidates on the flat and over show jumps including a course. Horses should be fit, suitable for other riders to use and go quietly in a double bridle.

Objective

Riders will be able to:

  • Ride horses in harmony and balance.
  • Be an effective rider on the flat, in show jumping and across country, showing balance and security of position (as described in Pony Club Publications).
  • Assess horses’ way of going on the flat and over show jumps and cross country fences up to 1 metre.
  • Discuss plans to develop horses’ training.

The criteria against which the assessors will make their decisions:

Riding your own horse in a double bridle

1. Ensure the bridle is correctly fitted on the horse.
2. Hold the two reins of the bridle correctly.
3. Use appropriate lengths of rein from the bridoon and curb to accommodate the way of going, and the experience of the horse.
4. Sit in a correct and balanced position, showing harmony with the horse, allowing the aids to be applied effectively.
5. Use a suitable riding plan to show logical progressive work.
6. In discussion, show clear understanding of the different action of bits on the horse.
7. Accurately assess the horse’s acceptance of bridle.
8. Show understanding of the school rules.
9. Show consideration and awareness of other horses in the school.

Riding your own horse on the flat

10. Sit in a correct and balanced position, showing harmony with the horse.
11. Demonstrate effective aids.
12. Use a suitable riding plan to show logical progressive work. .
13. Demonstrate work designed to improve rhythm, suppleness and contact.
14. Be able to show direct transitions, leg yielding, shoulder-in, walk to canter and counter canter. The degree of training of the horse will be taken into account.
15. Accurately assess the horse’s way of going using the Scale of Training as a template.
16. Discuss a specific plan to improve the horse’s way of going.

Riding an unfamiliar horse on the flat

17. Sit in a correct and balanced position.
18. Build up rapport and harmony with the horse.
19. Use effective aids.
20. Use a suitable riding plan to show logical progressive work within the horse’s capabilities.
21. Accurately assess the horse’s way of going, acknowledging both strengths and areas for improvement, using the Scale of Training as a template.
22. Discuss a specific plan to improve the horse’s way of going.
23. Demonstrate work designed to improve weak areas in rhythm, suppleness and contact. Depending on the horse’s stage of education this could include direct transitions, leg yielding, shoulder-in, walk to canter, counter canter.

Show jumping on your own horse

24. Shorten stirrups to an appropriate length for jumping. 
25. Warm up the horse appropriately for jumping, taking into account the ground conditions.
26. Show a secure and correct lower leg position.
27. Ensure the hand allows natural stretch over the fence by the horse.
28. Have a correct position showing balance, independence and security.
29. Adopt a forward rhythmical pace, suitable for the horse’s degree of training and type of fences.
30. Maintain the rhythm to and away from fences.
31. Show confident, effective riding demonstrating smooth, fluent turns and balanced approaches, and showing consideration for welfare.
32. Accurately assess the horse’s way of going, acknowledging both strengths and areas for improvement, using the Scale of Training as a template. 
33. Discuss a specific plan to improve this horse’s way of going.

Review an unfamiliar horse’s show jumping round

34. What was your overall impression of the round?
35. How did the horse cope with the turns and changes of direction?
36. Give some examples of exercises on the flat which you might use with this horse in the collecting ring before jumping his first round.
37. What sort of shape did the horse make over the fence?
38. Did the horse appear to prefer to stand off his fences, or to come in deep to them? 
39. What fences, or grid, would you build to improve this horse’s jumping ability? 
40. How did the horse jump combinations and related distances? 
41. How could you use ground poles to improve this horse’s jumping of combinations and related distances?
42. From what you have seen, how much influence did the rider need to have over the horse?
43. Again, from what you have seen, at what level in Pony Club competitions would you expect this horse to be competing?

Riding cross country

44. Have a correct, balanced position appropriate for undulating terrain.
45. Show a secure and correct lower leg position.
46. Maintain a suitable rein contact between, towards, in the air and away from fences.
47. Ride effectively, developing the horse’s confidence in the open and over fences.
48. Maintain a rhythmical balanced pace, both in between and on approach to fences.
49. Demonstrate an understanding of pace and balance for a variety of fences.
50. Assess and describe aspects of the horse’s strengths and areas for improvement both on the flat and over fences, using the Scale of Training as a template.
51. Describe suitable plans to improve the horse’s way of going across country.

Theory

52. Describe the paces and their variations, e.g. working and medium.
53. Explain the first five Scales of Training.
54. Give the reasons for using school work and lateral work.
55. Explain the build up to lateral movements.
56. Describe the uses of trotting and canter poles.
57. Give advantages and disadvantages of grid work.
58. Give the uses of trotting, canter and ground poles, related distances, and fences up to one metre in both training and competition.
59. Give the related distances used in competition (for fences up to 1 metre).
60. Discuss the considerations of riding verticals, oxers, doubles and dog legs.
61. Discuss the considerations of riding banks, drops, ditches, corners, angled rails, jumping into the dark and going or jumping into water.
62. Explain the considerations when course walking.
63. Explain how you would develop pace and speed for Pony Club Eventing PC 100 (Intermediate).
64. Describe examples of training young horses in preparation for their first show or outing in company.

RECOMMENDED READING

The list below is by no means comprehensive. At this level candidates are encouraged to read many publications, articles and attend conventions with a wide variety of speakers.

Pony Club Publications:

  • The Manual of Horsemanship.
  • A Young Persons Guide to Eventing - Gill Watson.
  • To Be A Dressage Rider - Jane Kidd.
  • A Young Persons Guide to Show Jumping - Tim Stockdale.
  • Look…  No Hands! Straightforward Cross Country - Eric Smiley
  • The Pony Club Guide To Endurance Riding – Nicola Parsler
  • Vital Statistics: A Guide to Conformation – Maggie Raynor
  • Body Basics: A Guide to the Anatomy of the Horse – Maggie Raynor
  • Fit for the Bit: A Guide to Care of the Horse’s Mouth – Maggie Raynor and
  • All Systems Go! A Guide to Equine Fitness -  David Marlin and Maggie Raynor
  • The Pony Club Guide to Bits and Bitting – Carolyn Henderson

Suggested further reading:

  • British Dressage Rules (FEI Definitions of Paces and movements)
  • The Complete Training of Horse and Rider in the Principles of Classical Horsemanship - Alois Podhajsky
  • Complete Horse Riding Manual - William Micklem.
  • Training Show Jumpers - Anthony Paalman
  • Kottas on Dressage - Arthur Kottas
  • 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse & Rider – Jec Aristotle Ballou
  • The Basic Training of the Young Horse - Ingrid and Reiner Klimke
  • Cavaletti for Dressage and Jumping – Ingrid and Reiner Klimke
  • 101 Jumping Exercises: For Horse and Rider – Linda Allen

Internet Resources

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