BETA and Pony Club team up on equipment safety


Young riders can learn more about the safety of riding hats, body protectors and saddlery by taking a new Pony Club achievement badge developed in conjunction with the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA).

BETA, the body that represents the UK’s leading equestrian manufacturers, distributors and retailers, drew up the syllabus and will continue to work closely with the Pony Club as the badge becomes available across its branches.

The Equipment Safety badge represents a team effort between BETA and the Pony Club to help raise young riders’ awareness of important safety issues. It also compliments BETA’s training of tack shop staff to fit riders’ hats and body protectors and to offer reliable advice about saddlery. Riders of all ages can tap into that knowledge when they shop with a BETA-trained retailer.”

Pony Club members taking the Equipment Safety badge will be expected to know what to look for in a correctly fitting riding hat and body protector, and what the various safety standard labels denote. They will also learn about the advantages of shopping for new hats and body protectors with BETA-trained professional retailers.

The saddlery element of the badge tests young riders’ ability to decide when their tack needs repairing and how to choose the correct size of stirrup iron. The syllabus does not include the fitting of saddles or other tack. Cleaning, caring for and storing hats, body protectors and tack, as well as safety issues surrounding riders’ footwear are also covered.

A series of BETA Equipment Safety Courses, run by the trade association, will familiarise Pony Club instructors with the new badge’s requirements. For Pony Club members, meanwhile, the practical-based learning will be made fun with the inclusion of games such as ‘find the faults’ in hats, body protectors and tack.

The Equipment Safety badge is one of more than 30 achievement awards offered by the Pony Club which has a membership in excess of 100,000 young people.