Definition of Experience? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 23 Old 06-11-2009, 02:34 AM
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I believe the saying is a really old one - probably when the only serious competition was horse racing , so the average rider wasn't exposing themselves to the risks that they do today.
I've been riding for 24 years, have never taken part in competitions and have fallen off :
4 times jumping
2 times got bucked off
2 times got rodeoed off
1 at full gallop when my horse jumped sideways at a rabbit that suddenly appeared
1 when my horse and I fell into a ditch
1 when my horse lost her footing on a sharp turn and dropped a shoulder.

That makes 11 ,
Am I experianced , I don't know. I have backed about 10 - 15 horses , done the basic training on about 20 more, bought my first horse 20 years ago.
I would not know where to start if asked a horse to perform passage or canter pirouetts , am comfey on jumping upto about 1.2m but know that I although I can tell when a horse is going to take off can't really see a stride untill I am about 3 strides out so anything larger is dangerous for the horse.
I watch GP dressage / showjumping / eventing and admire others abilities , and the girl ( cant remember her name ) that became reining champion on a saddle and bridleless horse is just amazing.

I think that everyones experiance is different , and the level of experiance cannot be judged by ability as everyone has different abilities ( leciester piggot wouldn't jump 7' , this dosen't make him a novice rider )
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post #12 of 23 Old 06-11-2009, 12:44 PM
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A person is their own best judge. Having said that, you can tell a good hand from a newer rider by how they tell you their experience. I have a sister in law that considers herself a really great experienced rider, but has only ridden 2 horses in her life. In my personal view, you can't be an experienced rider until you've been around a good long time. I have ridden since I was a small child, and wehn I'm riding a new horse, I rarely will claim to be much of a rider, however, my instructor of years says I'm a great little hand and a **** good rider. It seems like the best most experienced horsemen have been tossed enough, and ridden enough rank horses to know not to brag about their 'level'. Having said that, there are blessed few riders out there that are at the 'experienced' or 'advanced' level at ALL disciplines. I do fine at western, english, and bareback, but am beginner level in my eyes when it comes to dressage and jumping. I also don't think being a trainer has much to do with your riding level. You can be a good hand and handle the broncs but never be a trainer - you can be told what to do as you go...So, I guess the question needs a little clarification for me. are we talking riding or training? you can be an exp. rider, and a beginner trainer.....

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post #13 of 23 Old 06-11-2009, 01:46 PM
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There is a horseback vacation site which uses these definitions. They make sense to me.

Beginner: A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
Novice: A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
Intermediate: A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
Strong Intermediate: An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
Advanced: All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handling a spirited horse in open country.
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post #14 of 23 Old 06-11-2009, 02:09 PM
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There was an article a few months back on MSN or somewhere similar saying it takes about 10,000 hours to be an expert at something.

I know I've done 10,000 hours of horses and I sure don't feel like an expert though. So I think it's really subjective, as other people have been saying.
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post #15 of 23 Old 06-11-2009, 03:26 PM
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Survalia, I like that chart. I may have to use it as a gradient scale for my students. Thanks! I could not really give a solid position to someone, that is certainly a start, though!

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post #16 of 23 Old 06-11-2009, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Survalia View Post
There is a horseback vacation site which uses these definitions. They make sense to me.

Beginner: A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.
Novice: A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.
Intermediate: A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly.
Strong Intermediate: An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.
Advanced: All of the above, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and capable of handling a spirited horse in open country.
I guess I'm am a very strong intermediate advanced novice beginner I can do some to all of the things in each list. If I had to tag myself seriously? I'd say stupidly fearless strong intermediate its a good list though.
I think all those things can be learned but the person can still be horse stupid.
To me experience is hours in the saddle, the accumulation of knowledge, and the humility to know you will never know it all.


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post #17 of 23 Old 06-12-2009, 12:07 AM
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boy, ain't that the truth, vida...

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post #18 of 23 Old 06-12-2009, 12:37 AM
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my saying is your not a great horse man/woman if you haven't fallen off 100 times

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post #19 of 23 Old 06-15-2009, 12:59 AM
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If I have to fall off 100 times in order to be considered "great", then I'm not sure I ever want that title lol. It takes a lot to get me off.
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post #20 of 23 Old 06-15-2009, 12:24 PM
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Lots of time in the saddle on a wide variety of horses. A lot of my experience riding is on one horse...I've owned him for 14 years. So when I got a job at a jumper barn it was a shocker to my system to ride everything from ponies to warmbloods. I had to learn to ride all over again. And although many would disagree...I think competition. It's really the only way to test your skills against others IMHO.
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