FAQ's & Glossary for APC Site

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I join pony club if I don’t own a pony?

  • Ardmore Pony club (APC) is one of the few clubs in NZ able to accommodate members who do not own a pony. APC is located at Sonshine Ranch which runs riding lessons and camps for children. After a period of lessons a rider may be considered eligible to join the club, providing there is a suitable pony available to hire from Sonshine Ranch. For information on pony hireage and conditions, refer to the Sonshine Ranch website or the Sonshine Ranch Pony Hire Agreement Form.

How much does it cost?

  • The club endeavors to keep the costs reasonable through fundraising activities and by utilizing the skills and resources available through our club parents.
  • To allow you to budget for the first and subsequent years, an estimate of the cost to join one child is provided. Please note there are discounts if more than one child from the same family joins the club.
  • First Season - allow for a total joining cost of ~$470* ( includes a family joining fee of $75, annual subscription of $240, bond of $50, gear hire of $30 & club accessories ~ $75.)
  • Subsequent Seasons - allow an annual cost of ~$260* (includes the annual subscription fee $240 & gear hire $20)
  • For information on the exact amounts, please refer to the Membership section of the Club Site or the APC Handbook (pg 6).
  • *In addition to this is the cost of owning, leasing or hiring a horse.

What gear do I need to purchase?

  • If you hire a ranch pony all the tack (saddles, saddle blankets, reins) is supplied by the ranch. Club shirts and back protectors are available for hire from the club. Gear for competitions, such as saddle pads and bibs, are provided by the club.
  • Members need to purchase a helmet to NZPCA approved standards, riding boots, club tie, badge, white shirt and beige jodhpurs. These can be purchased through the club (tie and badge), clothing stores (plain long sleeved white shirt) and equestrian stores (helmet, riding boots and jodhpurs). Second hand items are also often available for purchase.
  • For more information please refer to the APC Handbook (pg 6-9)

What happens if I do not like the hire pony I am on?

  • The ranch endeavors to match riders with suitable ponies. Please remember that it takes time and patience for a good partnership to be established between a horse and rider.  As the hire of the pony is a special arrangement between Sonshine Ranch and the family, any concerns should be raised directly with Sonshine Ranch. For more information on pony hireage and conditions, refer to the Sonshine Ranch Pony Hire Agreement Form.

When does the pony club season start and finish?

  • The season runs from late August to April each year, with the exact dates confirmed before the start of the season. On the club website, there is a calendar that includes all upcoming events applicable to club members.

What happens during a pony club season?

  • The club organizes rallies for all members. In between rallies, the ranch runs Supervised Rides (RSRs) for club members on hire ponies. In addition, there are events such as Franklin District Ribbon Day, Ballyndene and  APC Derby Day. The combination of rallies, events and RSRs mean that club members ride for most weekends throughout the year, with a short break over Christmas and New Year.

What happens between seasons, can I still ride?

  • Between pony club seasons, Ranch or parent Supervised Rides (RSRs and PSRs) are held each weekend. In addition, members are able to participate in the Ardmore Pony Club Winter Series which is a closed competition consisting of 3 events; Dressage, Show Jumping and Mounted Games.

When are pony club rallies run (day and time)?

  • Rallies are organized by Ardmore Pony Club and are generally held on a Saturday afternoon or in the evening during the week.

How are rally groups organised?

  • Our Head Coach plans our lessons to work toward NZPCA certificate achievement. This involves organizing a roster of coaches to provide the required instruction at each rally. To assist with development and achievement at the right level, club members are split into groups according and will generally ride with that group during the season.

Do you have to start Pony Club on D certificate?

  • Members generally start Pony Club on a D certificate. However, if the member is 12 years or above, and has done sufficient number of lessons to prove competence, they may be started on a D+ certificate.

Can you complete multiple certificates in one season?

  • In some circumstances it is possible to work on a higher level card at the same time as working towards the next level.  It is usual for D or D+ certificates take a season to complete, while C and above take a minimum of 2 seasons.

Can I do both pony club and riding lessons?

  • By arrangement with Sonshine Ranch, it may be possible to do lessons and pony club. Please discuss this option directly with Sonshine Ranch.

Is it possible to do private lessons on a hire pony?

  • By arrangement with Sonshine Ranch, it may be possible to do private lessons. Please discuss this option directly with the Ranch.

If I am on a hire pony, can I attend outside competitions?

  • As part of the hire agreement, some ranch ponies are available for a limited number of external Pony Club Events, such as the Franklin District Ribbon Day, Zone Games and Ballyndene, if ranch staff are available to provide transportation and supervision.  Participation in other offsite events is not generally allowed.

Can you do extra riding during the week?

  • The hire pony arrangement allows for one ride per week, however additional riding may be possible. Any additional riding must be by personal arrangement with the ranch.

Do I always ride the same pony during a pony club season?

  • As a general rule, you will ride the same pony throughout the Pony Club season. In the event that your allocated hire pony becomes unsound, another pony may be made available, however this is not guaranteed. For some outside events, you are only able to enter on a Pony that you have ridden for at least 3 Rallies. Moving to a new Pony may therefore make you ineligible for an event.

Can I graze my own pony at the club?

  • If you own your own pony and require a grazing arrangement this must be by application directly to the ranch, and is independent of the club. For more information, refer to the Grazing Terms and Conditions.

What is required of the parents?

  • Ardmore Pony Club (APC) is a family commitment. For each rider, a parent is registered as a non-riding parent member. APC relies on parental support in the form of help with rallies and RSRs, participation in committee meetings, fundraising, working bees etc.  The club would not be successful without our parent support.
  • For information please refer to the Membership section of the Club Site or the APC Handbook.

Does a parent have to attend the Pony Club sessions?

  • Although pony club sessions are supervised, parents are required to assist with numerous activities throughout the session. These activities allow the rallies to run smoothly and ensure the facilities are left clean and tidy. Parental attendance and assistance is therefore not only appreciated, it is also expected. If you are not able to participate in any rallies due to other commitments, there are many other tasks you may be able to assist with outside these times. Please contact the club committee.
  • For information please refer to the Membership section of the Club Site or the APC Handbook.

Can parents join in the Horse Management lessons?

  • Getting ponies ready to ride can involve both the rider and parent, especially if the event is a competition. For that reason, parents are encouraged to learn the basics of horse management. If enough interest is shown, special horse management classes may be held for the parents.

What is the connection between Sonshine Ranch and APC?

  • Ardmore Pony Club is privileged to have the use of Sonshine Ranch, however they are separate entities. Hans and Margrit Notter are the patrons of Ardmore Pony Club.

APC, FDPC, FTV, NZPCA, what does it all mean?

  • The NZ Pony Club Association (NZPCA) operates throughout New Zealand and is represented by many clubs and branches. Although called a Pony Club, Ardmore Pony Club (APC) is actually a branch of Franklin District Pony Club (FDPC). FDPC is one of 5 districts that form the Franklin Thames Valley Area Club (FTV) within NZPCA. Confused? Here it is in a different format.
  • For more information refer to the relevant web sites for: NZPCA, FDPC, FTV and APC.


  • APC
    • Ardmore Pony Club is a branch within Franklin District Pony Club (FDPC)
  • Ballyndene
    • A Franklin Thames Valley Area Club (FTV) competition combining showjumping, cross country and games and is held in February or March each year.
  • Certificate
    • This is a structured learning system whereby riders can achieve qualifications on riding and horse management. Riders start on D than work through D+, C, C+, B, H and A.
  • Closed Event
    • This is an event organised by a branch, or club, which is closed to riders outside the club except by invitation.
  • COGS
    • Community Organisation Grants Scheme provides funding grants to organisations that can demonstrate a community interest
  • FDPC
    • Franklin District Pony Club is one of 5 District Clubs that make up Franklin Thames valley Area Club (FTV)
  • FTV
    • Franklin Thames Valley Area Club is an area within New Zealand Pony Club Association (NZPCA)
  • HM
    • Horse Management is the theoretical component of certificate qualification
  • HOY
    • Horse of the Year is a National equestrian competition run each year in March over 5 days.  HOY provides for many different aspects of equestrian competition.
    • New Zealand Pony Club Association is a not for profit voluntary organization for young people interesting in ponies and riding. It is represented by the clubs throughout New Zealand.
  • ODE
    • One Day Event is a Pony Club competition for showjumping, cross country, dressage or mounted games
  • Open Event
    • This is an event organised by a branch, or club, that is open to riders outside the club
  • Privateers
    • Club members who own, or lease, their own ponies
  • PSR
    • Parent Supervised Ride is a session organized by the ranch for hire ponies and supervised by the parents (under the guidance of the ranch)
  • Rally
    • A rally can be mounted, unmounted or both. An unmounted rally provides instruction on horse care and management while a mounted rally gives instruction on riding principles. These allow members to gain the necessary confidence and knowledge to pass their certificate exams.
  • Ribbon Day (Labour Day Ribbon & Games Day)
    • A FDPC competition involving a number of disciplines that is held in October on Labour Day each year
  • RSR
    • Ranch Supervised Ride is a session organized for hire ponies and supervised by the ranch
  • Winter Series
    • A series of 3 competitions held in the off-season. They consist of Dressage, Show Jumping and Mounted Games