Norfolk Hunt

About Norfolk Hunt

The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., develops character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community in youth through a program that teaches the care of horses and ponies, riding and mounted sports.

This website is meant to provide you with the latest news and resources, and to give others an idea about what you can expect from the club. The Norfolk Hunt Pony Club is part of the Central New England Region of the United States Pony Club.  Pony Club is one of the leading junior equestrian organizations in the world, represented throughout 30 countries!  The United States has over 600 individual Clubs spread throughout 48 states and the Virgin Islands, with more than 12,000 members.  It is not necessary for a child to own a horse or pony, but they must have access to one when required.  Programs are offered at NHPC in dressage, eventing, show jumping, mounted games, quiz, and fox-hunting. During “unmounted” meetings members learn about feeding, shoeing, veterinary care, and other areas of horse management. Under adult supervision, the more experienced Pony Club members instruct and assist younger members.

Meetings
This club meets approximately once or twice each month, often with breaks in summer & during winter holidays.  Some meetings revolve around unmounted horse management skills, some will be mounted lessons, and others will address skills needed for a variety of Pony Club sponsored competitions (rallies) in which participation is entirely OPTIONAL.  (The main focus of Pony Club is exposure to situations that will produce a knowledgeable, sensitive, and well-rounded horseman, thus Pony Club competitions are designed to TEACH more than judge.)  

They are a great way to learn more as well as a lot of fun!  The calendar might also include clinics & field trips (both educational & “just for fun”).  We strive to provide mounted & unmounted meetings that use Pony Club’s Standards of Proficiency as its syllabus to help prepare for the ratings tests that are usually offered in late spring or fall.  Members are not required to participate in every rating test --- they may undergo the testing only when they are ready to progress to the next level.


Club Library
NHPC maintains an extensive (and growing) library. Its contents are available to ALL members. A list and rules for use will be provided to you in your new member packet. The USPC also provides a GREAT resource with the USPC Bookstore. There are tones of FABULOUS learning materials available via phone or online. These additional materials are not required, but we encourage you to utilize them as much as possible.


Parents’ Role
As with any volunteer supported organization, parents play a VERY important role in Pony Club.  We strive to educate parents about their child’s equine passion so that they can be a strong guiding force.  Because of this, Pony Club is not a “drop-and-run” activity.  There are also many areas in which a parents” help is required.  Volunteering at an event, carpooling, running the concession, helping with administration & fund raising are all ways in which parents can pitch in!  You need not be a horseman to help out -- but you must be willing to help!


Costs
2016 Annual Membership for the Norfolk Hunt Chapter of the USPC is $155 (National Membership $120, Club/Regional/Sponsor fee of $35) and runs from January to December.  Renewal fees are collected by mid November.  Other expenses might include the purchase of the upper level USPC Manuals (the D Manual is provided upon joining).  The cost is currently around $15.00 for the C & B/A Manuals.  Typical mounted meetings, clinics, and ratings are offered at a special reduced rate from standard lesson/clinic prices.  They may cost from $15 to $50. Whenever possible, the Club subsidizes a large portion of all activities.  Most unmounted activities require no fee at all.


Safety
We are committed to safety.  It is a membership REQUIREMENT that Pony Clubbers wear a riding helmet that meets the ASTM/SEI standard and medical arm band when attending mounted meetings.  Parents should be prepared to purchase these items & the minimum basic riding equipment, jodhpurs, boots, etc.

THE HISTORY OF THE NORFOLK HUNT PONY CLUB

    The Norfolk Hunt Pony Club was originally founded by the Norfolk Hunt Club (**) in 1954.  This was the same year the United States Pony Club came into being in America, making the Norfolk Hunt Pony Club one of the oldest Pony Clubs in the Nation!  Membership was a mere $2.50!

By 1956, led by Mrs. John Grew, the NHPC boasted a record 142 members!  Although the membership was enormous into the mid-70s, many members did not own horses or have access to them.  Many of the Clubs meetings, therefore, revolved around unmounted educational activities such as horse management, fox hunting, and veterinary care.  Mounted meetings were offered to those who had mounts.  Within a few years of inception, the NHPC put a 75-member cap on its membership, accepting for renewal only those members with a 50% attendance rate.  As the years have gone by, more & more new members are children who have ready access to a mount, although this is not a requirement for joining NHPC.  This has caused membership to decrease over the years --- because although the desire of children to be around & learn about horses remains strong, the cost & availability of this type of lifestyle has prohibited many families from getting involved.

The Club currently has 17 members --- a very manageable size compared to the “old days”.  With these smaller numbers, we are able to offer great opportunities to all of our members.  As was in 1954, an enthusiastic, generous and hard-working core of volunteers & parents keeps the Norfolk Hunt Pony Club operating in a progressive, positive, and fun fashion.

The Norfolk Hunt Club began as a drag hunt in Dedham, MA in 1895.  The Club still very actively hunts in the Dover area and encourages participation in the sport by offering occasional educational & beginner hunting opportunities to both Pony Clubbers & the general horse-loving population alike.  Visit them at www.norfolkhunt.com or call the Huntline at 508-359-5415.

USPC Pony Clubs and Riding Centers are assigned to one of 42 geographical regions, which are administered by a volunteer Regional Supervisor (RS) and other appointed and elected officers. Regions offer additional activities and opportunities for members and support for the club and center leaders under their administration. Norfolk Hunt Pony Club is part of the Central New England Region. Visit the region's website for the contact information for the Regional Officers.

Visit the Pony Club website to learn more about the Pony Club educational program, national events, activities and opportunities for members.