D Ratings

All new members must wait 30 days to take the D1 rating. The club will also offer at least one "prep" for each rating within a month of the rating date. Only ratings D1/D2 may be combined (all others must be taken separately).

How to Prepare

Important reference materials are available on the USPC website at http://www.ponyclub.org/?page=NoticeForms under forms under "D" for the D standards and test sheets and under "F" for flow charts. Members should use the Flow Chart to get signed off by any of the instructors on all areas of the standard prior to taking a rating.   Practice "talking" and explaining your answers out loud to someone before the rating.

D Standards of Proficiency 2009
D Study Guide (Written Test)
D-1 Test Sheet 
D-2 Test Sheet
D-3 Test Sheet 
D1 - Guidelines for D-1 to C-2 Testing

Flowchart -- D1
Flowchart -- D2
Flowchart -- D3

General Guidelines for the D Ratings

  • Ratings can be stressful, so don't be too hard on yourself. Remember that no one is perfect! A trainer once said. "if you want perfect, buy a bicycle!" You can only control your own preparation. You horse may not be aware that they need to be on good behavior that day. The D Ratings are meant to be good learning experiences.
  • Proper attire for the D ratings is Pony Club Casual. You can read about the difference between proper formal, informal and casual attire in the D Manual. Pony Club Casual includes a polo shirt (tucked in), pony club pin, belt, breeches, tall boots or half chaps, and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) approved helmet bearing the letters SEI (Safety Equipment Institute). Hair should be neatly tied back and we recommend you use a hair net. Most candidates also wear gloves. Clothes must be clean and boots must be polished. D3 candidates will need cross country vests as well to ride in the open.
  • Horse must be clean without stains or dirt. Feet must be picked out. Shoeing must be up to date. You horse should show regular care and grooming.
  • Make sure your tack is really clean and all the stitching is intact. Have a instructor or upper level pony clubber look over your tack before the rating to make sure that it meets standard.
  • Come to the farm with enough time before the start of the rating to give you the chance to do any last minute grooming.   Don't forget snacks and water for yourself!
  • Each member taking a rating should have one parent present during the entire rating. Parents can help setting up jumps and support the ratings coordinator as needed.
  • For D 3 candidates only. The D3 rating is a big step beyond the D2. At the D3 level, you must keep a Health and Maintenance Record Book for at least 3 months. Also you need to know how to put on protective boots and bell boots and know the structures they protect. Finally you will to begin to learn to put on stable wraps. At this point in pony club, members who wish to test and compete at the D3 level will need to be riding more than one time a week. This extra saddle time can be in the form of practice rides, lease days and/or extra lessons. Please speak with your instructor to plan accordingly.