I’ve been a United States Pony Club Instructor for 35 years. I’ve held a lot of positions in Pony Club including USPC Regional Supervisor, and VRS, USPC Regional Instruction Coordinator, USPC District Commissioner, Regional Camp Director, Pony Club Examiner, course designer and event organizer. I believe United States Pony Club is the best equestrian youth organization in America today.
My goal in teaching is to instill strong basics in students so they can build on the foundation to be successful and independent horsemen and women. The complete horseman knows how to thoroughly care for his/her horse and equipment, in addition to riding. All horsemen can be thinking riders who understand the theory and principles behind what they do. Once the foundation for good horsemanship is established, a person can follow any style of riding whether it be show jumping or reining or trail riding The happiest horsemen and women are those that are well grounded and can continue to ride for a lifetime. Riding is one of the few sports that has no age limits.
My passion is horsemanship history. There are treasures in the origins of U.S Horsemanship that will always be valuable to equestrians. We have a proud heritage that came from Fort Riley, the finest Cavalry School in the World. Fort Riley Cavalry School was the equestrian “think tank” of it’s day and men like, Guy Henry and Harry Chamberlin were at the right place and the right time to develop the roots of good horsemanship in the United States. Those of us who have lived in the MidWest have had the honor of being exposed to the real thing.
Outside of Fort Riley, we have other horsemanship histories, such as the sports that developed out of ranching, the Native American way with horses, the horse whisperers, women with horses, the plantation riders, the cowboys etc. These are all areas I would like to include in time.
This, and other projects, are my attempt at contributing to the preservation of U.S. Horsemanship history, making it available to a new generation of horse-lovers.
Barbara Ellin Fox