What level of rider am I? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-09-2013, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 17
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Smile What level of rider am I?

In walk-
10m circle
15m circle
20m circle
Very confident

In trot-
10-20m circle
Jump 60-70cm 2ft 3
Very confident (learning leg yield)

In canter-
20m circle
Jumping 60-70
Confident but not the best at it

I ride a 7yr old lazy pony so it can be hard to get her to canter she is my own, she's not a riding school pony I have had her at pony club camp and rallies I have hacked her in a forest and on the road and I have rode her in an open field, 8I have done small Xc on her
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-09-2013, 07:50 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Missouri
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At this point, to me you would still be beginner.

As was brought out in another thread, riding many different horses is what makes you move up in skills.

And can change too, even if Advance Expert is rightly said in a H/J ring, and can change to beginner if you switch to XC, or Reining.

The basics that go along with being experience rider to me also include how do you do when handling horses on ground.

And how well you do in disasters too of course.

Horses make me a better person.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-09-2013, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Horseback riding "levels" are going to be really specific and yet vague. Someone doing advanced things on one horse may hardly be able to get another horse to stay walking. What determines your overall ability is how well you can do things with whatever horse you're on.
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-09-2013, 08:28 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
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I think these levels are a bit arbitrary. People are always going on about what "level" they are but there are no standardised levels. In every place and group these levels are going to be different. And it can't do any good to be preoccupied with it - it will either damage confidences, or make people overestimate their skills. No good can come from it!

Like at the school I learned to ride at they had beginner, intermediate and advanced classes (walk/trot, trot/canter, canter/jump) but once you got your own horse and went out to pony club or something you were a beginner all over again. And then you work your way up through the ranks, competitions, learning and you're one of the "experienced" and "advanced" riders, then you enter the adult world of riding and you there is a whole lot more to learn.

And even then each persons idea of an advanced rider is different. Like I know great dressage riders who never jump at all - so jumping isn't a pre-requisite. Then I've seen country riders who can ride ANYTHING and get them going settled and well even after just a few rides on a youngster and sure its not fancy dressage but its a skill that a lot of riders don't have. Or the trainers and riders out there that ride buckers and spookers everyday and fix all these problems so that other riders can be brave enough to get on them again.

Then you see the people with the perfect positions and hands and they can get so much out of a trained horse and polish up so well, they can ride out and fix problems, and carry on with poise - but they're not into training young ones or dealing with problem horses.

Or just the random rider you know who loves trail riding and can ride for hours over any terrain, leap over any obstacle, gallop bareback across fields with a horse they've spent years working on. They can do practically anything well but have no interest in anything in particular.

I'm just saying there is no way to know what "level" you are, or what anyone is. There are just so many different skills and areas. That's just my opinion.

If you're in an organisation you can compare your skills to their guidelines, or if someone asks you can explain your situation in more detail - you don't need to worry about levels. Just try your hardest and keep going :)

Last edited by Saskia; 04-09-2013 at 08:32 AM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-09-2013, 08:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
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i dont think levels matter, an advanced dressage rider who has never jumped, started jumping,she'd be a beginner,

at every level there will be fault no matter what.

no such thing as the perfect rider
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-09-2013, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Georgetown CA
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It is really hard to say. How long have you been riding, how many different horses have you ridden?

Are you instinctively and quickly able to gain control of a horse who rears, bucks moderately, spooks, or takes off with you? How are your hands? Are they merely light, or have they started to become "educated"? Hint-educated hands have instinctive release, they are tough to come by, and require tremenous feel.

The physical skill set to do what you described in my opinion would be the hallmark of a beginner. A beginner (my opinion only, as this question is very subjective), is not a novice, who has just started riding and is just getting their seat, but they are able to work at all gaits with light/sympathetic hands, if a horse is relatively well-behaved. They should be in the process of *building* instinct to handle emergencies like the dangerous horse behaviors mentioned above. Achieving instinct is not something that is done in a certian amount of time, it takes riding different horses and simply having enough different situations thrown at you where you become able to respond to them without thinking, because they happen in a split second. A beginner should have no problem motivating a lazy horse, and should also be able to tone down their cues on a hotter horse.

An intermediate rider has instinct like that, they do all of the above skills as well, but can immediately, safely, gain control of most horses in an out of control situation, better yet, their instinct will warn them often *before* the horse goes off. They are working on *feel*, trying to gain educated hands that will release at the split second they should. I believe the majority of long term horse riders fall into this category, myself included. I believe most people do not progress to the experienced level, mainly because most of us simply aren't able to ride that often, that many horses, to truly gain *feel* for all horses. We might gain feel for our own, but an expert can.......

Do all of the above as well as have a quick instinctive feel for release of pressure on all horses when they are working with them. They are able to easily tell what each horse needs as far as the pressure/release action is concerned. When *release* becomes instinctive, I believe you have truly started to achieve feel, and that is what an expert can do, not just with their own horse, but with any horse. That falls under the category of educated hands as well obviously, because an educated hand will instinctively release.

This is why many people choose to send their younger horse, or horse with issues, to an expert. A horse will progress in it's training much more rapidly with an educated hand, and a rider/handler with expert feel. Then, give them back to an intermediate rider, and that person should be able to continue to build the education of their horse.

To summarize, Novice--working on attaining seat at all gaits, need a completely reliable mount. Beginner-can easily sit all gaits and sit the paticulars of their discipline (jumping, barrels etc.), have light hands, can handle horses that are need some motivation or calming down, are accumulating instinct to react and read a horse to predict and manage more difficult behaviors. Intermediate-can instinctively predict difficult behaviors and manage them, are working on true feel. Expert- have attained true feel instinctively with all horses

Again, veery subjective subject, and this is just how I define the levels after 30+ years of watching people and horses.
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beginner , intermediate , novice

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