Horses … what little girl (and boy!) doesn’t love horses! Want to learn more about horses? Their care and handling? Want to start taking riding lessons? VonThun Farms in Washington Twp. (Warren County) is now a recognized Pony Club Riding Center offering the national Pony Club curriculum for both those who don’t own a horse, and those that do. As a riding center, we have chosen the Western discipline to be our main focus rather than the traditional english dressage, eventing, show jumping, & tetrathalon.
Pony Club was founded in 1954 as a youth organization to develop character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community through a program that teaches the care of horses and ponies, riding and mounted sports. The Pony Club certificate program is a nationally recognized gauge for young horse lovers to assess their expertise alongside their peers through badge and certificate programs.
During the winter months, and while we are still in the building phase of our Pony Club program, meetings will be held on the first and third Thursday of each month from 7:30 – 8:30 pm. As the weather breaks and we are able to meet in the barn, we’ll adjust our meeting times to include hands on activities and unmounted meetings focused on horse care, horse management, and fun. Pony Club members learn valuable horsemanship, management, and personal interactive skills with fellow horse-crazed kids.
Although Pony Club membership is open to folks of all ages, the NJ Pony Club region currently does not offer a Western riding discipline at their rallies. (We’re the first Western Pony Club Riding Center in the region, so we hope to have that change for 2019!) Pony Club members age out at the age of 25, at which time they can remain active and involved on the Horsemaster level.
Younger horse lovers and equestrians, age 5 to 10, are welcome to join our VonThun Farms Pony Pals Program, a basic, introductory program designed to teach all about horses, ponies, and their care. Pony Pals will meet on the first Thursday of the month from 6-7 pm, with occasional additional hands-on activities scheduled with Pony Club members.
Although neither the Pony Club, nor the Pony Pals Program formally include horseback riding or mounted lessons, horseback riding, trail riding, and mounted riding lessons are separate activities available at the farm at an additional cost. Programs were designed this way to keep membership costs reasonable for all, while offering additional riding activities for those who desire them.
PONY CLUB: Total yearly dues – $205
(National Pony Club dues $155/year, Regional Pony Club dues: $25/year, Local Pony Club dues: $25/year)
PONY PALS PROGRAM: Total yearly dues – $99
**Pony Club & Pony Pal members receive a 10% discount on riding lessons, camp, fun days, and other horse related activities held at the farm throughout the year.
To Join …
Interested? Email us and let us know that you’ll be joining us for a meeting … Cindy@VonThunFarms.com
You can decide after your first meeting if you’d like to join and become more involved. To join, it’s as simple as filling out the membership form and paying your dues! Winter meetings will be held at VonThun’s Farm Market, 438 Route 57 West in Washington (between Tractor Supply & Warren County College).