Membership of The Pony Club is a pre-requisite of eligibility for attending our events. This provides you with the required insurance cover - and represents excellent value, quite apart from all the benefits to be had from taking part in the coaching and competitions.
ALL hats worn (at ALL times when mounted) must conform to the standards enclosed with this newsletter. It has come to the notice of Pony Club Polo that there are hats being marketed by manufacturers which DO NOT reach the required standard despite looking to all intents and purposes like “the real thing”. Please – do not go and buy any hat unless it conforms to the standard, which includes the kite mark, however “cool” it may seem, you will not be allowed to play Pony Club Polo without the correct hat!
In addition, ALL hats must be tagged by your branch. Every branch should have someone designated to do this job. In case anyone has not, for any reason, managed to get their hat tagged, Pony Club Polo will ask you, while dismounted, to produce your hats for inspection at the start of Camp.
These guidelines are current as from 2011 - for latest Pony Club Hat standards see 'Downloads' page
FROM THE HPA WELFARE COMMITTEE:
Below are some of the points made at the most recent meeting of the HPA Welfare committee. These are things that should be automatic for you as members of the Pony Club, but as a reminder:
- Ponies MUST have the opportunity to rebuild condition through careful wintering – any pony in poor condition must not be played and remedial action put in place. Feet and shoeing must be in good order.
- Ponies must travel with passports and up to date vaccinations. Microchips are advised.
- Ponies must travel with enough ventilation. Whilst the up to date advice is to have hay on offer, it should be noted that ponies may suffer from increased risk of breathing problems if dry hay is fed in an enclosed space. Equally, ponies cannot eat at ground level whilst travelling. For these reasons, feeding may be better achieved by regular stops and un-loading for a period of feeding. Equally hay should be soaked or, ideally, substituted with haylage. Studs must be removed for travelling and for standing on hard surfaces.
- Water must be on offer before and after play. Research proves that dehydration is detrimental to play and water is EXTREMELY important for optimum performance. Withholding water is cruel and an out-of-date practice.
- Drinking should only be from a bucket personal to the individual pony. Ponies should NOT drink from a shared trough as this is one of the most efficient ways of transmitting bugs and disease, for example, strangles.
- Any outbreak of strangles should be notified to the HPA and all appropriate precautions taken to isolate the disease to avoid transmission. NO ponies that have been in contact with a strangles outbreak/yard/venue, should be travelled or mixed with other ponies until all clear given by a vet.
- Saddles must sit clear of ponies’ withers. Argentine saddles, with stirrup leathers passing right through, must not be used as will lead to serious dragging and injury if feet trapped. Girth straps must be replaced immediately if split. Careful care/cleaning of tack will reduce likelihood of this. Stirrup bars should at ALL times be down whilst riding is taking place.
- Headcollars must not be left trailing on ground as feet caught may lead to serious accidents.
- Research has proved that tendons are at most risk when over-heated therefore all bandages and boots should be removed between chukkas and work sessions. Velcro alone is NOT enough to avoid risk of bandage coming off in play. Tape should be torn off roll first and then one strip placed over Velcro to avoid risk of a pressure point.
- Studs should be removed except during play. Ponies should not stand in lines on hard ground with studs in place as wear and stress on joints will ensue. Studs must NOT have tungsten tips, which are forbidden in Polo.
- Hirelings should be fit for purpose. Both tack and condition of pony should be checked before accepting the pony. If not up too standard, these should be refused.
- Whips should not be longer than 48".