Meet Clare Echterling, a C-3 Graduate of Horse and Hound Pony Club in the Midwest Region.
Clare, a college professor who is currently completing her PhD in English Literature, credits much of her success in academia to the skills, values and hard work she learned in Pony Club. In addition to working on her PhD, Claire also teaches college courses in English and Environmental Studies; her research has been published in several academic journals. Hear what Claire has to say about the impact Pony Club had on her career choice:
“When I started teaching as a Pony Club member, I realized I loved it. I had always loved to read, mostly books about horses. When I got ready to start college, I planned to major in English and become a high school teacher. As I continued with my undergraduate I realized I loved research and writing and my professors encouraged me to pursue a graduate degree. I think the lessons of accountability, self-motivation, and hard work I learned in Pony Club really helped me succeed in my graduate career. Honestly, managing a college classroom is easier than a ring full of Pony Club members and their ponies.
Pony Club was one of, if not the most influential things in my life and helped make me who I am today. I especially loved working toward each consecutive certification. I thrive on reaching goals, and the certification exams really helped me learn how to set and meet my goals. As a nerdy book-lover, I adored studying the manuals and practicing my horse-management skills almost as much as riding itself. Quiz Rally (Knowdown when I started!) was my jam, I loved it.
Now that I'm older, I really appreciate all of the mentors I had in Pony Club. I did as a member too, of course, but now as I reflect back, I think that's one of the most unique things about Pony Club. I had such a strong network of wonderful adults behind me, teaching me, supporting me; and all of the other Pony Club parents and volunteers. I really admire their dedication.
Pony Club taught me hard work, teamwork, drive, determination, how to handle setbacks and failure gracefully and learn from those challenges, punctuality and dedication.
Please show your support as other Pony Club members pursue their dreams and ambitions.