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peanuts
Jan. 1, 2010, 10:03 AM
Hi there,

I'm a CPC member going for my HA this year, starting with the written test early this month. I have reached that "total panic" phase of studying, (:eek::D:eek::D:eek:) and I was wondering if there are any USPC or CPC pony clubbers out there who either have their A or are attempting it this year. I would love to hear what your favourite resources are/were, any guidance as to the layout of the test, or any other words of wisdom.....

Many thanks! :)

WakeRider
Jan. 1, 2010, 07:59 PM
took my HA USPC test this past year, i found the best resource was thehorse.com they have a ton of great information!

shawneeAcres
Jan. 1, 2010, 08:04 PM
I am a graduate H-A pony clubber from back in the 70's, all I can say it the test was EXTREMELY intense bt I loved every minute of it! There is SO MUCH material covered, jsut read and retain all you can in all aspects of horse care, training, teaching, veterinary, feeding etc! Be CONFIDENT in all aspects of the testing don't be tentative. Remeber there is not ONE right way to do anything with horses, but if you can back up what you do with good reasoning it will get you far!

KSevnter
Jan. 1, 2010, 08:42 PM
I found the illustrated veterinary encyclopedia to be really helpful when I took it 16 years ago, and I still reference it a lot. I made flash cards for all the vet, conformation, nutrition information and that worked well for me but everyone is different.

Really practice your lunging that is something that is failed fairly often. Lunge any type of horse you can get your hands on green/experienced etc and try and find a graduate A to help you prep.

Here is the link to the encyclopedia, it is expensive new but there are used copies on amazon. Good luck.

http://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Veterinary-Encyclopedia-Horsemen/dp/0935842039

SimplyIdle
Jan. 1, 2010, 11:48 PM
I actually just passed my H recently so I am fresh with all of the information. Here are the books I used which were very helpful, but were no substitute for hands-on experiences.

Some of my favorites are
confirmation: http://uspcbooks.stores.yahoo.net/coandpe.html
Grooming: http://uspcbooks.stores.yahoo.net/groomingtowin1.html
Anatomy: http://uspcbooks.stores.yahoo.net/hoancoat.html
Teeth: http://uspcbooks.stores.yahoo.net/hoteandthpr.html

Plus a ton of other awesome books if you need any more suggestions.

Helpful things for me were having discussions with other upper level members and horse people about the information. This allows you to plan what to say as well as get input. During the exam, you need to go in with a confident attitude - this in many ways saved me during difficult times. And speak as much as possible which I always thought helped me when I didn't have such a good answer for something, I was less likely to be call on or marked down, haha.

It's a long, draining test, but it was worth it. Good luck!!!

eventingismylife
Jan. 2, 2010, 12:25 AM
I haven't taken it yet, myself, but I have may friends that are studying for it and/or taken it. Everyone agreed that studying everything-down to your dusty D level manual will do you good. Study like you are going to the most intense Quiz rally you've ever been to-hope I helped, and good luck!

roki143
Jan. 2, 2010, 08:32 AM
I got my HA at 16 (so about 9 years ago), and never did try for my A, and I was a total geek about my studying. I literally now have 3 binders full of notes on all the questions. I just took the standards and created a section for each individual 'question'.

It actually worked out fairly well for a couple of reasons. 1) I couls go over sutff with people who weren't as familiar with the material just because they could go over my notes as I talked. 2) It really helped in the testing when all of us (at my rating) needed to quickly brush up or go over something, we just opened the binder to that section.

Good Luck! And have fun!

Blugal
Jan. 2, 2010, 12:08 PM
For the written test, I found it helpful to get my hands on as many exams from previous years as possible. I would go through the required reading, make flash cards, and study until I felt ready. Then I would take a practice exam, honestly going through it in exam conditions. It always helped me figure out what my weak areas were. (If you aren't sure, you could ask an instructor or another A to mark it for you.)

Then go back and study the weak areas until you feel confident again, and try another practice exam. Doing this will also give you a much better feel for the layout of the test - if you only do one exam, you might think some areas are more emphasized than others, even though it was just specific to that year's test.

Studying for Quiz also really helped. Bouncing questions off each other and our team having a goal of doing really well at quiz motivated us. The Quiz knowledge was often more trivia and more detail-specific than is needed on the A written exam - which is great, as in order to know the trivia and details, you need to know the core subjects very well.

There is no substitute for practical experience, so get out there and get as much as you can.

I passed my A almost 8 years ago. I still refer to my books frequently - it is hard to maintain all the detailed knowledge, as well as keep up with veterinary advances, without reviewing once in a while. I also have learned a ton *since* finishing my A - much of it was putting theory into practice (e.g. dealing with strangles and having a quarantine).