RIC Newsletter QTR IV 2014

Posted on Nov 6, 2014

Sunshine Region RIC Newsletter Qtr. IV 2014

Bunny Hendricks, RIC

Let’s start the Sunshine Region RIC Qtr. IV 2014 Newsletter with a big WELCOME to our newest club, Dancing Hoofbeats! We are so happy to have you in our Pony Club family! Please feel free to contact me to answer your questions about USPC Standards of Proficiency, Certifications, and any Instruction concerns you may have.

The final 3 months of the year bring us a lot of activities in the region.  October 4 is the Everything But The Horse Rally (EBTH) at the Turners’ Spot On Farm in Sorrento, FL. It benefits the Regional Junior Council and is the very best opportunity for new members to get their first Rally experience without having the added stress of handling and caring for a mount. It is a great time for Ds with some rally experience to have fun and pass on their knowledge to the new members as well as make new friends! Trish Morgan (Horseketeers PC), Jr. Council Lead, is your contact for this day of fun and learning!

October 11-12, Elizabeth Barranco (VRS National Testing) will be hosting an Upper Level Certifications Prep. Saturday, the 11th is for Unmounted HB Prep, taught by Dawn McLane, DVM, and Sunday the 12th is for Mounted Prep for Traditional and Dressage Certification Candidates at Rocking Horse Stables in Altoona, FL. For more information, contact your DC or Elizabeth Barranco.

The Sunshine Region Annual Meeting will be held October 25-26 in Clermont, FL. I am happy to hear that so many clubs are sending representatives to the meeting over phoning in. The good times, team building, and learning that happen when we are all face to face is far superior to calling in. Of course our friends in St. Croix Pony Club have little choice but to phone or Skype and we know they would be here physically if they could!

November 7-9 is our National Level Testings weekend. Elizabeth Barranco is in charge of organizing the HB, C3 & A Traditional, and C3 Dressage Certifications at Rocking Horse Stables in Altoona, FL. This is quite a large offering of levels and if you have not seen an upper level testing, you (DCs, Instructors, Parents, Sponsors, Members, and Horsemasters) are encouraged to attend any or all of the offerings. If you are a member C1 or up, I would strongly urge you to come to observe as much of the weekend as you can. It will go a long way towards understanding the scheduling and psychology involved in the upper level testings. While you may not get “up close and personal” with the Candidates and the National Examiners (NEs), if you (Club Level Certified members) offer to help (hold horses, move jumps, etc.) you will get to hear some brief snippets which will be very helpful to you!

November 21-23 will be Dressage Rally at Clarcona Horsemen’s Park in Apopka, FL. It is a Qualifying Rally for USPC 2015 Champs to be held at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, VA in July. Please carefully read the information to be sent by the Organizers for rules regarding what you must do if you wish to try to qualify for Championships. Refer to the RIC Newsletter Quarter III August and September lesson suggestions for lessons relating to Dressage Rally!

On December 6, there will be a Regional D3, C1, C2 Traditional and Dressage Certification weekend hosted by Fox Hollow Pony Club at Fannin Hill Farm in Brooksville, FL. This is currently in the organizational stage. Information was sent to the DCs. Clubs sending Candidates to this Certification will be asked to provide an adult volunteer for each candidate sent to this testing. Please have your DC contact Pam Crane if you are interested in having members certified and how you would like to help. ***Remember that to pass a certification at any level, the riders are showing that they are already proficient at that level, not that they are beginning to work on those skills.***

Here are some suggested lesson topics (mounted and unmounted) and reference sources for the final quarter of 2014! Seems hardly possible that we are approaching the end of another year! Always, there are resources and lesson plans available on the USPC web site for your use! Go to www.ponyclub.org, Click on Resources, Click on Instruction Resources, click on Teaching for a variety of topics and lessons.

***Always, please use the USPC Standards of Proficiency in your club’s (or RC’s) planning and teaching, paying particular attention to the Horse Management Expectations and the Riding Expectations that are printed in bold type at the beginning of those sections of each level of proficiency, D1-A. These are the directives that explain HOW, or to what degree each of the skills on the standards must be performed to be considered mastered in order for the candidate to pass them.***

October– The Unmounted Lesson topic (to get us ready for the upcoming winter) will be horse blankets: Information teaching how to blanket a mount is in the USPC C Manual (Vol. II) 2013, pp. 126-129. Additional information regarding blanketing- including how to measure a horse to determine blanket size- is available on several short Free videos on www.AllHorseTalk.com. Just go to the site, sign up for a Free membership, and find the videos titled: Blanketing 101 (7:46min.), Blanketing 102 Pt. I (7:32), Blanketing 102 Pt. II (7:26), and Don’t Throw Away That Ratty Blanket Just Yet! (How to Recycle Blanket Parts) (5:29). This would be a great topic for your C1 and Up members to be involved with some supervised unmounted instruction to help prepare for the HB Certification!

October’s Mounted Lesson topic is grid work, also called gymnastics. Please refer to the USPC Standards of Proficiency (SoP) and The Riding Expectations at the top of the SoP at each level for the correct riding skills that should be demonstrated and Expectations to be sure that what you are asking of the riders is appropriate for their level and their mount’s level as well, and refer to the Manuals for guides for correct spacing. For example, current D2s would be working on D3 gymnastics (trot poles followed by a cross rail, then a vertical set at, but not to exceed 2’3”.)

Remember that for schooling purposes, the grids may be set lower than the maximum height to build rider skills and confidence, but for testing purposes, the maximum height must be in use. Information regarding aspects of very basic Gymnastic Jumping or Grid work for the D Levels is located in the D Manual on pages 118-119. Information regarding aspects of Simple Gymnastic Jumping for the C Levels is located in the C Manual on pages 61-70. There is a lot of great information here!

November’s Unmounted topic is to do a Record Book Review. Since it is encouraged to keep records up to date and done on a calendar year basis, November is a great time to check each member’s record book. Please use the written Horse Management Expectations at the top of the HM Section of every SoP to determine the appropriate level of depth of knowledge for each certification level.

The guidelines for time required to present records for certifications are: D1- bring a Stall Card for own mount; D2- bring a Stall Card for own mount and discuss what is included on the card; D3- Record Book including a minimum of 3 months’ records; C1- Record Book including a minimum of 6 months’ records at the appropriate depth of knowledge; C2- Record Book including a minimum of 9 months’ records; HB and up- Record Book including a minimum of one year’s records. This would be another good opportunity to have your C2 and Up members involved in instructions!

There is a sample of a basic record book (appropriate through the C2 Level) on the USPC web site, www.ponyclub.org.

For November’s mounted lesson, build on October’s grid lesson and do jumping lines and courses appropriate for the level of your members’ riding levels and their mount’s training levels.

For Ds, the USPC D Manual page 108 shows you how to set up a simple two jump line with appropriate distances for horses and ponies and on pages 108-109, you will find a suggested simple course set up for Ds. Pages 109-112 contains very important reminders that are important for jumping. A great addition to the jumping lesson might be instruction and practice of the various types of releases over fences. Do you know how many there are?

The USPC C Manual Riding Over Fences chapter (pp. 50-90) has a great deal of information on riding theory, distances, related distances and bending lines, and Suitable Courses for C Level Jumping. Pages 82-86 focus on this month’s topic of simple lines and appropriate courses.

December’s suggested activity is a Christmas/Holiday gathering. A covered dish lunch and games are a fun way to wrap up the year and to review the highlights of the year’s activities.

If members and parents have photos and videos from the year to share, have a computer available to share them on. If possible, perhaps interface a computer with a large screen television to make viewing easier for all.

A “Chinese Gift Exchange” is always fun. Set a limit for spending and decide if the gifts will be “horsey” or “gag” gifts. Participation should be optional.

There is a plan for a Scavenger Hunt on the Pony Club web site. Go to www.ponyclub.org, Click on Resources, Click on Instruction Resources, Click on Teaching for the Scavenger Hunt suggestions. Read beforehand so you can have the needed materials at the party.

Have a wonderful Quarter IV and see you next year!!

Bunny Hendricks