At the Club

The season and the rallies

The pony club season is October to April (pretty much daylight saving hours).

During the season, our rally nights are on Thursdays from 6-8pm. Riders must wear correct pony club uniform to rallies and bring the appropriate pony club manual.

As part of your pony club membership, you gain access to around 20 rally-coaching sessions. During this time, you can expect to cover the practical and theoretical basics of learning to work with your horse, establishing good dressage and jumping, moving towards (for those who are keen) a range of competitions. Our coaches keep a close eye on the development and practice of our members. We like to have fun, and provide a positive, supportive environment for riders and families.

Our pony club members are placed into two or three groups based on the certificates they are studying for (you start at D, then D+, then C, C+ and so on). The requirements for each certificate are set out in the NZPCA (NZ Pony Club Association) manuals and cover both riding and horse care (practical and theory). External examiners come to Pony Club when our coaches advise that riders are ready to sit their certificates.

The rallies start at 6pm sharp – all the kids have to be ready to ride, in correct uniform, with their horses tacked up and ready to go, at that time. If the weather is too hot or too wet the coaches organise a theory session and start working through those requirements of the certificates.

At Te Atatu Pony Club some families stay after the rally and have a shared meal. Non-riding siblings are welcome.


Our coaches

Our coaches are not members of our pony club but come to us on Thursday evenings to coach at the rallies and prepare members to sit their certificates.

Sarah Bishell

Sarah Bishell brings a wealth of experience to Te Atatu Pony Club. She has been involved with horses and pony clubs across the Auckland region for the past 32 years. After a serious accident at age 17, she focused her efforts on coaching and developing riders of all ages and abilities. She has been a qualified coach with ESNZ and NZPCA for over 22 years. She is a qualified NZPCA C+ examiner. Sarah has also worked for many riding schools over the years and has run her own school, Diamond Lodge Equestrian, for the past 16 years. Diamond Lodge is the first and only riding school that is a centre member authorised to run its own pony club with NZPCA.

Sarah’s youngest daughter is currently at Huapai PC and Sarah is the Kumeu District’s Dístrict Commissioner. 2020 – 2021 will be Sarah’s first season coaching at Te Atatu PC and she is looking forward to meeting everyone and helping our riders to progress this season.

Sofie Boswell

Sofie Boswell is a 27 year old event rider based in Swanson, West Auckland. She has been a member of Massey Pony Club since she was thirteen years old and has been instructing all levels for a number of years. Sofie is a full-time physiotherapist and owns her own business ‘Oh! Physio’ which she runs while juggling parenting her young daughter, coaching our riders and competing on her own horses at events around the North Island. She is regularly out eventing at 2* level and show jumping to 120cm.

Her personal goals for the 2020/2021 season are to step up to Pro-Am SJ and 3* eventing at HOY 2021. Sofie has coached at Te Atatu Pony Club for several seasons and aims to inspire and aid our young riders to achieve their goals.