Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I honestly think attempting to label people in the horse world is a colossal waste of time. There are SO many factors that go into it, that while it can be easy to identify a total novice/beginner rider, the lines blur a lot after that.
For example, I know a lot of girls who compete doing 3'0" courses and win. However, they are winning on push button trained horses, they have no idea how to actually train or ride, they get scared and freak out if the horse so much as flinches, they can't go for a hack and basically unless they're displaying flawless showring equitation, they are completely lost on a horse. Most people would label them intermediate to advanced based on a showring performance, but down to the nitty gritty they're still just novices when it comes to the entirety of the horse world. If their horse died tomorrow (heaven forbid), they'd be right back to learning walk trot all over on a new horse.
I would consider myself an advanced rider in terms of riding since I was born, doing a lot of training on youngsters and problem horses, having a lot of self confidence, able to get on virtually any horse and being able to easily recognize problems/issues and taking steps to rectify them. However, my equitation sucks and I would place dead last in most show rings because I've never been taught to ride PROPERLY. So vice versa, I am very much a novice in terms of getting a horse to perform without assistance in a specific discipline to any sort of standard that would have me winning a show.
Don't worry about levels or labels or where anybody else is at. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The woman who is currently my trainer and coach gives me huge props for my bareback riding skills because she can't ride bareback - never really practiced and no confidence in her own ability to stay on. In the end, it's all relative and no rider ever stops learning or ever perfects everything, or even anything for that matter! Just work your hardest and be proud of your accomplishments, however small you may think they are!
I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.