Horse Clubs and Associations for Kids

There are many horse clubs and associations organized for children. Many do not require that you own a horse or pony. Some, you will be actively involved in, others just provide information and services, such as registering horse show points, or sending breed information. Whatever your interest, from specific breeds and high-level competition to socializing and fun, there is a club out there for you.

  • 01 of 09

    Pony Club

    Pony Club dressage rider.

    The Spruce / Katherine Blocksdorf

    The most well known is the Pony Club. Pony Clubs can be found in Canada, the United States, the UK, New Zealand, and Australia. Members meet throughout the year and enjoy a variety of social events, competitions, clinics, and meets. You don’t need to own a pony or horse, but if you wish to be an active participant, some riding is necessary. Members often must take lessons and compete in events like rally, dressage, and jumping. Some events, like Quiz, are theory only competitions and don’t include riding or handling horses.

  • 02 of 09

    4-H Clubs

    Pony mule.

    The Spruce / Katherine Blocksdorf

    4-H is popular in North America, and clubs can be found that are oriented to riding or to horse care. Children don’t need to own a horse. Membership is open to youth up to 25 years old. 4-H Clubs will have a theme and members may participate in events that involve theory and riding skills.

  • 03 of 09

    Young Riders

    Horse Jumping Worms Eye View

    Miguel Pereira / Getty Images

    If a youth rider is serious about FEI style competition, Young Riders programs offer information and experience opportunities. Young Riders is recognized as a starting point from many top-level and Olympic riders.

  • 04 of 09

    Little Britches Rodeo

    Girl riding horse around barrels.

    Lisa Peardon / Getty Images

    If rodeo is more your style, you may be interested in joining the National Little Britches Rodeo Association. A horse may not be necessary for most events. Rodeo Expert Stevee Casey outlines what you can expect when you’re involved in youth rodeo.

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  • 05 of 09

    Breed Clubs

    Arabian Head Profile

    The Spruce / Katherine Blocksdorf

    American Quarter Horse Association, The Arabian Horse Association, the American Junior Paint Horse Association, and many more breed associations and registries offer youth programs and associations so youth riders and enthusiasts can learn more about their favorite breed and gain experience in both pleasure riding and competition. Many breed clubs offer scholarships and other opportunities.

  • 06 of 09

    Fan Clubs

    Miniature Horse Photo

    The Spruce / Katherine Blocksdorf

    Both the American Standardbred and Thoroughbred Breeds have fan clubs. Some are to promote racing and other, focus on the re-homing of ex-racehorses. Other breeds like the Miniature Horse have fan clubs too., Kids can get breed information and hands-on experience through some fan clubs. Some top-level riders, like John Whitaker, have fan clubs.

  • 07 of 09

    Intercollegiate Horse Show Association

    Horses on show grounds

    The Spruce / Katherine Blocksdorf

    The Intercollegiate Horse Show Association is an opportunity for college-aged youth in the USA and Canada to compete, regardless of skill level, budget or experience. Members may compete in English or Western events and accrue points for year-end prizes. Scholarships are also offered through IHSA.

  • 08 of 09

    Provincial and State Horse Clubs

    Child with show pony

    The Spruce / Katherine Blocksdorf

    Most US state horse councils and Canadian provincial horse federations offer youth programs and clubs to support kids in learning and improving their riding and horse care skills. Many offer clinics and competitions geared towards youth riders. They may also offer bursaries and scholarships.

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  • 09 of 09

    Local Clubs

    Girl riding white pony.

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    There are lots of local riding clubs that welcome both children and adults. Many offer programs especially for kids or families. These clubs may be very formal, or very casual and may offer competition, volunteer and social opportunities.

Clubs also provide other benefits to youth riders, including learning about team work, the benefits of volunteering and provide an important social outlet. Many welcome the whole family.