After School Programme

Te Atatū Pony Club’s After School (Riders Without Horses) Programme


Ideal for city kids ages 8 – 12 who love horses, but don’t have one and would like to learn the basics about handling and looking after a horse

Fun after-school programme

We are hoping to start the programme in Term 2, 2024. Watch this space for details.

Experienced and engaging coaching (Coach Kimberley Barker)

Activities and lessons cover:

  • Safety around horses and ponies
  • Grooming and pony care
  • Catching, haltering and covering
  • Feeding horses (feed types, pasture and weeds, treats)
  • Sitting in the saddle
  • Walking and halting
  • Saddle and bridle cleaning and care
  • Horse colours, markings and terms
  • Horse hooves, lameness

NZPCA curriculum, certificates on completion

While we make sure the children get plenty of hands-on pony time each week by handling, grooming and looking after ponies, this is not a pony riding programme. If we are able to organise pony rides for the children during the course, we will do so, but there is no guarantee that this will be available (it depends on the weather, and volunteer/ pony availability).

*Parents and caregivers should note that the lessons cover the same material each term and so you and your child should not expect a new programme. If your child has completed several terms already, they may find the content repetitive and be better to try riding lessons. We are happy to provide you with a list of well-regarded riding schools.

All you and your child need is comfortable outdoor clothes and closed-toe shoes.

Te Atatū Pony Club provides helmets

Caregivers come along (not a drop off activity)

How to sign up – contact us via email at and let us know you are interested, and we will send you more information.

More information about Riders Without Horses

Riders Without Horses (RWH) is an after-school programme which we run during select school terms.

Currently we are hoping to run the programme from Term 2 2024.

When the programme begins, the weekly sessions will be on Thursdays from 4:30pm to 6pm, so please arrive a bit before 4.30 pm each session so that your child is settled and ready to start learning on time.

During the programme, if your child is unwell, please stay home and we will do our best to provide another opportunity to engage your children. Please note, that there are no refunds for missed classes. If Te Atatū Pony Club needs to cancel, a make-up session will be offered on another day.

Who is the programme suitable for?

The programme is suitable for 8-12 year old children who are interested in learning more about horses. Some may be attending a riding school somewhere else for regular lessons and want to improve their knowledge of horse care, for others they will be interested in horses, animals or farm life and may decide to go on to riding lessons after this programme.

Supervision for children on a farm

RWH is not a drop off programme – as we can have up to 10 participants at one time with a single coach, every child must have a parent / caregiver on site throughout the session. Although the horses we use are very good natured they are still large animals (even the little ones!) and we are in a farm environment so accidents can happen. It’s important you are on hand to help reduce the chance of these happening.

What equipment is required?

Both child and accompanying adult must have covered shoes. We recommend gumboots if you have them as the grounds can be wet and muddy. We may have a spare pair you can borrow. When your child is near or on a pony they must wear a helmet – if you have your own that’s great, otherwise we will provide. We also have plenty of sunscreen.

How much does it cost?

If your child completed the programme in Term 4 2023, the cost for re-enrolment when the progamme begins will be $235 for 10 weeks.

If your child did not complete the programme last term, you and your child will also need to pay to become members of Te Atatū Pony Club and the NZ Pony Club Association (Pony Club membership runs from 1 October – 30 September each year). This amount to an extra $65 for this term (but will not need to be paid again in Term 2 and 3). This extra money is all paid as levies to the District and National Pony Club organisations.

Our volunteers donate their time to coordinate this programme as a way of raising funds for our club.

Who runs the programme?

RWH is an official New Zealand Pony Club Association programme. At Te Atatū Pony Club we employ a fantastic coach – Kimberley Barker – who runs the sessions and she is supported by Te Atatū Pony Club parent and teenage volunteers.
Our ability to run the programme each term relies on us being able to employ a suitable coach, and find a volunteer amongst our Te Atatū Pony Club Adult members to coordinate it.

What will my child learn in the RWH programme?

The programme offers some instruction about riding but should not be thought of as riding lessons. It’s about caring for and looking after horses and gaining the skills and knowledge to safely handle them in a fun and educational environment. This theory-based programme is devised by the New Zealand Pony Club Association (NZPCA) but unlike other Riders Without Horses programmes, here at Te Atatū Pony Club we ensure the kids get lots of contact and activities with the horses.

The topics covered in the 10 weeks of the school term are:

  • Learn about Pony Club. Safety factors when handling ponies. Getting to know the parts of the pony.
  • Learn to feed a titbit. Learn to catch, put on a halter, lead, tie up and release in the paddock. Getting to know the bridle.
  • Grooming at D level. How to hold the reins in both hands and one hand. Getting to know the saddle.
  • How to mount and dismount. How to sit in the saddle. How to make the pony walk and halt. Riding on the Road. Learn about terms, measuring, colours and markings.
  • How to put on, take off and care for a cover. How to clean saddlery. Learn about why we clip and types of clips.
  • Learn about poisonous plants. Learn about suitable paddocks. Learn how to groom more thoroughly.
  • Learn about why we feed, feedstuffs and rules of feeding. Learn about the care of the pony in different seasons. Recognise lameness and signs of a healthy pony.
  • Learn about exercises and why we do them. Learn about ponies’ paces. Learn the aids to turn and trot. Learn to handle a whip.
  • Learn the parts of the foot. Learn about shoeing. Learn about the reasons for poor condition, worms, bots and teeth. Learn about the dressage arena and test.
  • Learn about horses’ vices. Learn about building fences and jumping tracks. Learn about problems with jumping. Learn about the jumping position.

At the end of the programme your child will receive a certificate of completion which is recognised by all pony clubs across New Zealand.

Does Te Atatū Pony Club provide regular riding lessons for people without horses?

No we don’t. If your child attends our RWH programme they will get plenty of contact with a pony, and will have some pony rides, sharing the pony with other children. They will groom and handle the pony but these are not riding lessons. The following link provides information on Riding Schools in Auckland and you are welcome to talk to our coach or volunteer coordinator about any we would recommend.

How do I sign up?

Email us at and let us know you want to enrol. We can then answer any other questions you might have that aren’t covered on this page.

My child is already enrolled and I need to contact you. How do I do that?

Email us at

Thanks for your patience – please try to give us 24 hours to reply to your email as we are just volunteers who have paid jobs and families too.