Fall is finally here. There is nothing like waking up to a crisp fall morning, going out and feeding the horses. I think we all feel relaxed and comfortable in this weather after the long hot summer. It is a good time to look back at the things we did this passed year and try to improve on them or move on to another idea all together. We had a great group of parents that helped with the last years events, from getting instructors, to paying the bills, or the ever important task of making the food. All of these volunteers are important and I hope that they will be able to help make next year as successful as last.
Sadly, some of our members will not rejoin next year. They will leave for various reasons but they will all be missed the same. I think that it is during this time of membership renewal that we have to remember why we joined and stayed in Pony Club for so many years. Although the reasons maybe different for each family, I think that we all have one common purpose and that is to see our children grow up to appreciate and obtain some level of competency in the sport of horsemanship. Pony Club also does something for our kids that we may or may not expect. It teaches them to respect the horse and themselves, it teaches patience and responsibility. They gain a tremendous amount of organizational skills. The most important thing I notice is the amount of compassion that they show for their horses and their fellow members. They are skills that we need to see more of in these times. Pony Club has helped develop these skills in every member to one degree or another.
So if this is your year to leave Pony Club, no matter what the reason, we hope you remember all the great education and values your child has received, and leave thankful for the years you were involved. We hope that you will come back at some time to help and see how we are doing. Please take the time to thank a member in your club that is leaving, for all they have contributed to your club. They will appreciate the kind words.
On the other side of the coin we will be welcoming new members to the clubs. These are the future of Pony Club. They are filled with excitement about the years to come and often come with great new ideas. It is important that the new member feels involved and useful. Although we do not want to just throw these poor folks into the lions den, it’s nice to pair them up with an older member and give them a job they may enjoy doing. New members often feel left out and in the dark.
Pony Club can seem like a complicated system to someone just joining. There are a few rules! You can overwhelm someone very easily with all the paperwork and volunteering. I think pairing the new member with an older member that has been through the system helps to ease that confusion. Just someone they can call to ask any question. We have some great families in our region that have been around a long time. If anyone knows the ropes they do. This is a good way to utilize a family that may have an older child that is off to college.
We had our first official C’2 regional rating on the 12th of September. There was a C’2 rating in the spring in which Hollen Zimmerman received her C’2 but that was a single candidate due to other cancellations. Ellen Fischer kindly came to Rolling Rock for that one member. In the fall rating we had 6 members participate, and as of today, 5 have met the standards. Sarah Laux and Andy Wyatt passed on the rating day. Ann and Alice Beckman had to re test a single section and have now received their C’2, as well as Stephanie Quatchak. Congratulations on a job well done. It was a very good group and the test seemed to go well, even with the rain we had.
I would like to thank Jen Sacksen for coming all the way from Rolling Rock to participate and over see the rating. I would like to thank Jennifer Millener for also helping with the rating, and Sharon and Bob Cameron for the use of their barn to house the horses. Thanks to the Myers family for the use of their indoor. That was a life saver there. Last but not least the LaSalle and Gaffney families for housing our guests that really made it nice. All in all a success I think, and I hope that we have more in the spring at Rolling Rock for the next C’2 Regional Rating.
I would like to conclude with my thoughts on our 2008 season. I think that this year we showed how much we can do if we work together as a region and pull our resources. I was very happy to see the number of clubs that sent teams to rallies. The number of upper level kids we had at camps and clinics. The large number of members that participated in the D’3/C’1 clinic. When the members attend these events it makes it possible to have more and do them even better. So you can look forward to the same quality of regional event next year as we were able to put on last. Maybe even better!