I recently hopped up on a horse that I was told was just too much for an intermediate rider to handle well. To be honest I was thinking, well I'm an intermediate rider but the horse doesn't seem that bad. The lady was very impressed by how well I rode and especially how well the horse started listening.
It left me wondering though... I can't find distances to jumps, I've never even tried. I've never jumped high. I'm terrible at sitting the trot on a bouncy horse. I still have a hard time not standing in my stirrups a bit when the horse is cantering fast. Little show experience. However, I am good at calming nervous horses and working through problems on naughty ones. I'm good at figuring out what kind of riding individual horses need and I'm good at changing horses attitudes and responsiveness for the better.
I have no idea what level rider I am.
I have no idea how to tell what level rider any given horse needs.
How does everyone else decide these things?