04-27-2008, 10:22 PM
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I just quickly thought about it, and these are my (very, VERY basic) answers:
Beginner - no knowledge up to being able to confidently jump a 2'6" course with fair form.
Beginner/Intermediate: Basic understanding of strides, can find the "box"
Intermediate: Able to jump a fairly technical course while being in correct form, knows leads, changes leads, can design a basic course. Can jump a 3'9" course with ease.
Advanced: Influences striding of the horse, can tell the horse when to jump, can find distances in a very difficult course, has excellent form. Jumps 4'+ well.
I think the transition from intermediate to advanced is a very grey area, and isn't very well defined.
To be honest, you can't put a label on heights and say "well if you can jump 3' then you're intermediate" because that may not be the case. But I tried to outline things...
This is very vague. As in, VERY vague... I just threw some stuff out there that I would expect to see in a rider at each level.
There are so many different factors in this, and I'm too tired tonight to write them all up.
You are not an advanced rider if you're plunked on a schoolmaster horse that takes care of you and although you're jumping 4'6", you don't have the proper form. An advanced rider rides every single stride of a course, and can influence almost every movement. They tell the horse how to approach, when to jump, then let the horse do its thing while actually jumping, then take over again when the first hoof hits the ground.
I personally think I'm an advanced intermediate; I think I have a good understanding of jumping, but I'm the first to admit I have a ton to learn still about jumping, and you won't find me in the GP ring anytime soon! But I can influence a horse's stride, find the box to get a good bascule, change leads, and figure my way around a fairly technical course.