The game show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? ran from 2007-2011; the concept was for adults to answer questions taken from grade school text books to test their knowledge (or lack thereof). We thought it would be fun to apply the same technique to horse people of all ages, and who better to test our knowledge than the Canadian Pony Club (CPC) versus, me, a middle-aged rider/horse owner with nothing to lose but my pride.
Founded in the United Kingdom in 1929, the Pony Club came to Canada in 1934 and has been educating and providing a safe, fun atmosphere for young girls and boys who want to learn all about horses (and ponies). Members can be as young as six years old, and up to 25 years old when they “age out.” However, around five years ago, by popular demand, the CPC launched an adult program called Horsemasters for those 21 years and over who want to continue their testing and/or compete at PC shows. Horsemasters may ride at the same levels as the children, but they are scored separately.
When it comes to the Pony Club Quiz there is an order of difficulty. The D level is the “easiest” and the quizzes progress upwards to C, B and finally A. Those competing who place in the Top 4 can be offered the chance to attend and compete on behalf of the Region at National Quiz, which is hosted by and in a different region each year (it was going to be in Edmonton in 2020, until COVID-19 hit ‒ now there will be a virtual Quiz with the goal for Edmonton to host live in 2021).
According to Laurie Blake, the Central Ontario Region Quiz chair, there are four components to Quiz: Written test, Visuals (usually set out on a table, with a work bank to choose from), Oral (all levels do as a team), and Games. “The games are fun and done as a team, but still tricky,” says Blake. “For instance in the sock game, an item is placed in a sock and the competitors have to feel the sock (while not putting hand in it) to guess what it is. The item can be anything from a hoof pick to a rein stop or martingale donut.”
I tackled the C level written test; the answers are at the bottom of each section to try and prove that I knew as much as the average pony club rider.
The first section is “Alphabet Soup” which asks you to finish the word using the clue and first letter given. As you see below, I only got three of the five! Two of the questions, B and D, I literally had no answer.
A type of minor wound – Abrasion
Farrier tool used to raise the clenches – Beats me
A piece of equipment that can be used instead of a bridle for lunging. – Cavesson
Another name for the disease caused by Streptococcus equi – Don’t know
The long muscular tube that connects from the pharynx to the stomach. – Esophagus
The missing answers are Buffer and Distemper!
Part Two is matching the conformation fault to its effect. I got 5 out of 8 correct. Am feeling more confident that I can outsmart a pony clubber…
1. Ewe Neck
2. Cow Hocks
3. Swan Neck
4. Sickle Hocks
5. Toe In
6. Base Narrow
7. Long Back
8. Sway Back
2____ More stress on inside of hind legs
3____Hard to ride on contact, over flexes neck
4____More stress on outside of hoof. Faulty gait
7____Weak back, prone to injury. Improved scope
5____More stress on outside of leg. Faulty gait
8____Weak back, poor engagement.
1____Difficulty in flexion & head carriage
6____Stress on plantar ligament, hock doesn’t full extend
Correct Answers: 2,3,5,7,6,8,1,4
The third part is Multiple Choice, which I used to love in school. Here, not so much.
1. Which of the following is not considered a fat soluble vitamin?
I’m going to say d, that vitamin K is not fat soluble… and quite frankly I’m not even sure there is a vitamin K!
2. Which of the following pressure points are not acted upon by a snaffle?
I’m going to say b, the lips are not pressure points and therefore do not get affected.
3. Which of the following is not a tendon in the leg?
b. superficial flexor
c. deep flexor
They got me with this one. I am no anatomy expert beyond the basics, and these should be basics. My guess? The deep flexor. I think those are in the neck!
How did I do? None of my answers were correct. Epic fail!
Correct Answers: 1-a. C; 2-c. Poll; 3-d. Suspensory
Suffice to say that when it comes to yours truly, despite decades of riding and owning horses, I am not smarter than a Pony Clubber! Time to join the Horsemasters!