Efficiency Tests (E to A) / Road Rider Test

Minimum Age: 12

Standards of Efficiency Test Sheet 2018

Road Rider Test

A Certificate and a Badge can be awarded to succesful candidates

This test is optional

The Pony Club Road Rider Test may be completed separately or on the same day, following completion of the Road Rider Badge.

The aim of the Road Rider Test is to promote safety on the road by recognising riders who can show that they ride with courtesy and responsibility. Riders must be aware of and obey the law, the Highway Code, The Pony Club Road Rider book and British Horse Society Ride Safe Guide.

For details of the BHS test contact the BHS Office.
Riders must be over 12yrs and should have been well prepared by working up the three Pony Club Road Rider test levels:
The Pony Club Road Rider Mini Achievement Badge (E/D Test)
The Pony Club Road Rider Achievement Badge (D+/C Test)
The Pony Club Road Rider Test (C+/B Test)

It is recognised that many members have to ride on roads.

From 2018, members may be taken onto suitable roads once a full written risk assessment has been completed.  Members must have passed the Road Rider Badge using the complex simulated route and have demonstrated the skills to be safe.

Parent’s/Guardians/Carers must give written permission to take members onto the road on their ponies

Details of the training, running, organisation and administration of the Pony Club Road Rider Test can be found on the Pony Club website http://www.pcuk.org

Riding Assessor: A Pony Club C Test assessor or above who is also an experienced driver
Road Safety Assessor: Road Safety Officer or a Pony Club/BHS assessor who has been on a one day course in basic Road Safety run by the BHS and is also an experienced driver.

The Test - The Test is of the rider’s road craft and riding ability and not of the horse or pony. NB. There is no such thing as a bomb proof horse or pony. The test is in three parts as follows;

Designed to test the rider’s knowledge of the Highway Code and of the generally accepted rules of riding on the highway as set out in the current edition of Junior Road Rider. Ten questions may be given orally or in the form of a test paper and should invite factual answers, not opinions. Recommended sample questions are given on the website. Candidates should achieve 8 out of 10 to pass this section.

This inspection is entirely a safety measure carried out to make sure that the horse’s tack and rider’s clothing are in a safe and satisfactory condition for riding.  It is not a ‘show’ inspection.  Hats must be to the current Pony Club standard and properly secured.

Members should be able to demonstrate:
1. Dress accordingly for the road (horse and rider) – Appropriate HI VIZ (The BHS minimum recommendation is a hi-viz jacket or tabard for the rider and leg bands on the horse) must be worn at all times on the road
2. Know the importance of Be Seen to Be Safe
3. Necessary checks before going on the road
4. Recognition of common road signs
5. Understand the sequence of traffic lights and the meaning of the Amber light and how to behave at traffic lights
6. Be able to explain what position a rider should take when negotiating a roundabout

Designed to test in safe but simulated road conditions, a rider’s precautions against and reactions to a series of noises and sights which could be reasonably met with locally on the roads and which might make a horse shy.
Road junctions must be included so that candidates may demonstrate their road craft and ability to use arm signals.  Hazards must be places far enough apart to allow candidates to show TROT between each or any of them. Trot must be shown by candidates at this stage of the test.

To be ridden as a complete route
Major to Minor and Minor to Major
Two Left Turns and Two Right Turns
A Stop and Give way sign, Hazards and Trot
Observation, Road Positioning and Signals
Correct sequence for making a Left or Right signal
Look – Signal – Look Again (Life Saver Look) Manoeuvre
How to say ‘Thank You’

To be successful the candidate must pass in all three parts of the test. Candidates who fail in either part one or part two may not take part three. The test is of the rider not of the horse.  To be successful the candidate must satisfy the examiners in all three parts of the test consecutively.  Eight out of ten theory questions must be correctly answered. A Test Marking Sheet can be found on the website together with Notes for Examiners.
Any manoeuvre which is judged as dangerous to other road users could result in failure.

On Road Exercise (OPTIONAL)
From 2018 members who have passed the ‘off road’ test may be taken onto roads to put into practice that information they have learnt in the test and in the complex simulated route. A full written risk assessment will be completed in advance of the exercise.

The following considerations must be taken before this is completed;
• The route should be walked to note any particular hazards on the day and the risk assessment update as appropriate.
• A full plan of the route and hazards to be encountered should be identified.
• A full verbal briefing must be given to members and volunteers in advance of going out on to the road
• A plan of what to do in the event of a problem must be discussed with members and volunteers.
• Depending on the route it may be necessary to contact the local neighbourhood policing to inform them the exercise is taking place if you have more than one group.
• The route should be manned at suitable distances/locations throughout the test

**Notes for coaches
Going onto roads is a situation where conditions will be difficult to control.  For this purpose a great deal of consideration must be given as to whether it is appropriate for your members in the area in which you are training. Hazards such as roadworks, litter, animals in fields can all cause certain horses to take fright.

If you have never run a ‘live on road’ exercise before, we strongly advise that you contact your local BHS Ride Safe coach for advice and information

There are good compromises that should be considered in the first instance – for example a farm with a network of farm roads and tracks, a private estate with a network of roads and tracks.

Members will require written permission to be allowed to be taken out on to roads –this will confirm that the pony is suitable to be taken into a ‘live road’ situation.

If you have any concerns you can reserve the right at any time to refuse to take a member and pony onto the roads.

A full risk assessment must be completed of the route in advance of members being taken onto the road, in a ‘live road’ situation.  The sorts of considerations in the risk assessment include:
- The maximum number in each group/pair/individuals (max 4 in a group)
- The type of road being used –junctions, blind bends, width
- Ponies suitability to be ridden on the road
- The weather
- The number of volunteers to support the exercise (on foot/mounted/following in a vehicle with hazards on)
- Hi-viz required for volunteers
- Any significant facilities/premises bordering the route – for example building sites, factories, fields of cattle/horses that could all cause ponies to be frightened.
- How to handle an incident.
- Any issues picked up on the day of the exercise e.g. hedge cutting, activities behind perimeter fences likely to cause horses to be frightened

Essential Reading
The Pony Club Junior Road Rider Book and DVD
Young Persons Highway Code
The British Horse Society’s Ride Safe Guide
The Highway Code - current edition available from HMSO

Certificates and badges available from The Pony Club

©  2018 The Pony Club

Instructor / Assessor Resources

For notes for assessors, marking sheets and details of the Road Rider Achievement badge and Mini Achievement Badge, please see the Coaching Resources page.

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