Loudoun Hunt

LHPC Certifications Information

The goal of Pony Club is to teach every member communication, confidence, leadership, safety, self-reliance, and good horsemanship. As members learn and develop at their own pace, they have the opportunity to progress through the Pony Club Standards of Proficiency (SOP). The SOP outlines a clear progression of skills in riding and horse management. Each level requires an increasing depth of knowledge and abilities. These range from D level (beginner) to A level (advanced). Your first five levels will be through your Club Certifications. Pony Club members may choose a Horse Management path or a riding path through the SOPs.

Club Level Certifications

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club (LHPC) will comply with the following procedures for a member to participate in local level Certifications. In compliance with the United States Pony Club (USPC) policy, LHPC will offer a minimum of two Club Certifications per year, usually one in the spring and one in the fall. Testing dates will be determined by the District Commissioner (DC). There should be at least two candidates for each level being tested. Only Members in Good Standing will be considered for Certifications.

All candidates must be familiar with the Standards of Proficiency for the level they are requesting.

All candidates should take their Certification on their regular mount. It is the responsibility of the candidate and his/her parent(s) or guardian to bring an appropriate mount(s) to the testing. The conditioned mount(s) must be capable of completing the flat, longeing (if applicable for the level) and jumping phases at the heights indicated at the appropriate Certification level. Candidates must be tested on and meet standards (pass) all sections of the test and in the appropriate area/arena/open terrain before being awarded the new inclusive Certification. Beginning at the D-2 level, candidates must meet standards for the Horse Management Certification before they may continue to be tested on the other portions of their selected Certification. For example, a Traditional (Eventing) D-2 candidate must meet standards on the Horse Management portion of the test before continuing to the Flat portion of the test and must pass the HM and Flat portion before testing for the jumping. Once the candidate has passed all three sections then they are a D-2 Traditional.

Parents and Pony Club members should not contact other Clubs to arrange for inclusion in a Certification being held outside their home Club. When and if necessary, the Club DCs will contact other Clubs for possible certification dates. Candidates must have their DC's permission to participate in any testing.


If a member wishes to be considered for the upcoming Certification, they must notify the DC in writing of their intent to participate and intended Certification level. Please use the Intent to Rate Application.

The DC will notify all members via e-mail at least 30 days before the scheduled Certification date.

A new member Certification shall comply with USPC guidelines, which encourage the first Certification to be as soon as the member meets the standards. In accordance with USPC recommendations, new members may initially certify at two levels, starting from D-1 (i.e., D-1 and D-2). The D-1 and D-2 Certification must be done separately but may be done on the same day. Subsequent Certifications must be one level per Certification.

Examiner Qualifications

D-1 and D-2: The examiner is selected by the DC from a listing of approved examiners prepared by the Regional Instruction Coordinator.

D-3 and C-1: The examiner shall be selected by the DC from a listing of approved examiners prepared by the Regional Instruction Coordinator. The examiner shall not have provided instruction, during the previous six months, to any of the candidates being certified.

C-2: The examiner shall be selected by the DC from a listing of approved examiners prepared by the Regional Instruction Coordinator or the USPC list of National Examiners. The Club will use National Examiners whenever possible to smooth the transition to the national C-3 level test.

All C-2 candidates for the H-B Certification are encouraged to attend the annual Region hosted H-B sessions held during the winter months.

Certification Check Lists

LHPC uses the Check List as a tool to assist candidates in preparing for Certifications. Check Lists must be completely signed off and submitted to the DC prior to the scheduled Certification. SOPs, Test Sheets, Check Lists and Comparison Flow Charts are available at https://www.ponyclub.org/Certifications/LocalLevel/StandardsTestSheetsChecklists.aspx

Horse Management Check Lists for D level may be signed off by:

an instructor,

the unmounted lesson coordinator,

a USPC member C3 and above and,

C-1s/C-2s that have taught that portion of the Check List at either camp or ground school

Traditional (Eventing), Dressage and Hunter Seat Equitation Check Lists must be signed off by your Pony Club instructor or your club DCs. For C-1 and above it is highly recommended that at least two instructors sign off on the mounted portions so that the candidate's skills are more broadly evaluated; however, this does not mean that each mounted section needs to be signed off by more than one.


Attire for all Certification levels will be as per the appropriate Standards of Proficiency. Candidates please note D and C standards are different.

National Level Certifications

The National Level Certifications (H-B, C-3, H-HM/H/H-A, B and A (including the specialty Certifications)) are facilitated on a national basis. Candidates should review information available at https://www.ponyclub.org/Certifications/NationalLevel/Certifications.aspx for general testing information, the SOPs, Test Sheets and on-line testing calendar.

Members are tested by USPC National Examiners who have apprenticed and demonstrated their understanding of Pony Club programs, goals, and the Standards of Proficiency at these levels. National Level tests are held throughout the country.