Meet Hanna Bailey, a 15-year-old member of the Midlands Pony Club in Tasmania.

Hanna recently graduated from the Pony Club Australia Leadership Certificate Program. This program is designed for members aged 14 to 18 and aims to develop leadership skills and personal growth through four main parts: skill development, community engagement, leadership growth, and reflection. But it’s not just about horses; it teaches important life skills too.

Hanna was motivated to join the Leadership Certificate Program because she wanted to learn what being a leader was like in an area that she wasn’t always comfortable in. She expected to gain leadership skills, but she found some unexpected benefits as well. For instance, she found it interesting to learn about money and budgeting, which wasn’t something she anticipated but really enjoyed.

Skill Development

As part of her skill development, Hanna completed a first aid course through her school as an elective subject. This valuable skill set is crucial for both everyday life and in equestrian sports.

Community Engagement

For her community development, Hanna volunteered at Pony Club camp and worked in the canteen during the club’s horse trials event. She gained a deep understanding of foundational safety issues in equestrian sports, focusing specifically on risk assessment. Hanna also engaged with a variety of Pony Club members from diverse backgrounds during her time volunteering at the camp. She learned that age does not determine capability and that some riders need more attention with their ponies, while others may need help overcoming mental blocks.

Leadership Growth

Hanna’s insights into leadership are inspiring. She believes that being a successful leader means doing what’s right, even if it’s not the easiest path. “If you always take shortcuts as a leader, you will never truly see the people around you succeed. A leader should push others to be as good as, if not better than, themselves and always show up with a positive attitude.”

Hanna demonstrated her leadership skills by arranging for a fifth-year vet student to speak to club members. The vet taught members how to care for abscesses, check temperatures, and recognise when their horse is happy and healthy.


Hanna also excelled in teamwork. She found that working in groups helped expand everyone’s social circles and believed it to be beneficial for all.

Reflecting on her experience, Hanna says, “This program helped me come out of my shell in a horsey environment. I went from feeling uncomfortable in larger crowds of equestrians to being completely fine with talking in front of them. I have experienced a lot of personal growth thanks to this amazing program.” She now feels more comfortable in areas where she would have been uncomfortable before.

For anyone considering joining the Leadership Certificate Program, Hanna’s advice is simple: “Do it. It is one of my favorite things I have done in the past year.” Looking ahead, she hopes to keep teaching and showing people what she has learned.

Hanna’s experience with the Leadership Certificate Program shows how dedicated she is and how much she’s grown. Her story is a great example for anyone wanting to build their skills and make a positive impact in their pony clubs and beyond.

For more information about PCA’s Leadership Certificate Program, download the brochure.