By Elizabeth Larson
Of the many opportunities offered to me through my time in Pony Club, one of my most memorable experiences was serving as an International Quiz Exchange representative in the fall of 2017.
In 2017, the International Quiz Exchange was hosted in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. During the week-long exchange, I quickly formed close connections with my fellow American teammates from across the United States. Hailing from the Oregon Region myself, it was wonderful to learn about other Pony Club perspectives from New Hampshire and South Carolina. We are still in touch to this day, three years later, and have even had the opportunity to visit each other!
In addition to my teammates, I met and befriended many international Pony Club members from Canada, Australia and England! Getting to know them was lovely, as well as eye-opening. Their shared Pony Club experiences taught me just how uniquely Pony Club functions on an international level, which broadened my equestrian horizons. Did you know Pony Club exists in over 30 countries worldwide?
In addition to our Quiz competition, run Canadian-style, all of the exchange participants toured British Columbia. Some of the highlights included our gorgeous visit to Whistler, our chance to trail ride in Kelowna, a tour of the world-class Vancouver Aquarium and bittersweet farewell dinner on a cruise ship together. The itinerary was chock-full of fun activities for the week and created many opportunities to bond with other representatives.
I had never considered applying for an International Exchange because I feared I could not afford it. I was very fortunate to receive support from the Oregon Region Pony Club as well as my local Pony Club for this trip. To this day, I am very appreciative. To my fellow Pony Club friends, remember to keep an open mind to the opportunities available to you. Most often, when there is a will, there is a way!
Although international travel may be on hold for a while, it is never too early to research opportunities now! If you have any questions about my experience, I would love to chat. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be in touch.