Efficiency Tests (E to A) / Road Rider Test

This test is now optional

CAUTION: The Pony Club Recommend that young riders who have passed the Road Rider Test should be encouraged to take the BHS Road Safety Test before riding on the road unaccompanied and even then only when the person responsible for their safety is entirely satisfied that, in their opinion, it is safe for the young person(s) to do so.

Click here to download the Road Rider Test Syllabus 2017

Minimum Age: 12

Standards of Efficiency Test Sheet 2010

Road Rider Test

A Certificate and a Badge can be awarded to succesful candidates


The aim of the Road Rider Test is to promote safety on the road by recognizing riders who can show that they ride with courtesy and responsibility, are aware of and obey the law, the Highway Code and The Pony Club Road Rider book and British Horse Society Riding and Road Craft Manual.

The Road Rider Test now optional

Riders must be over 12 years old 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)

Assessment Panel

  • Riding Assessor: A Pony Club C Test or above assessor who is also an experienced driver
  • Road Safety Assessor: A Pony Club assessor who has studied The Pony Club Road Rider DVD and Junior Road Rider book 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.

Test candidates are required to take the test in three parts consecutively.

Members should have achieved the previous level and be able to demonstrate understanding of the following sections:

Theory Test

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.

Tack and Turnout Inspection

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 BSI Standard(s) and properly secured.

Members should be able to demonstrate:

  1. Dress accordingly for the road (horse and rider)
  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

Complex Simulated Route

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 placed 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.  A candidate who fails 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 assessors 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 Assessors.

Any manoeuvre which is judged as dangerous to other road users could result in failure.

Essential Reading

  • The Pony Club Junior Road Rider Book
  • The Pony Club Road Rider DVD
  • Tales of the Road - A highway code for young road users
  • The British Horse Society’s Riding and Road Craft Manual
  • The Highway Code - current edition available from HMSO

Certificates and Badge

Certificates and Badges are available from The Pony Club for successful Candidates.

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.

Copyright Notice

The Test Cards produced on this page are protected by Copyright by The Pony Club all rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of The Pony Club.

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