What level rider would you say I am? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-26-2012, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
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What level rider would you say I am?

Hi. I've been riding on and off for 15+ years. I rode with family friends on their farms at a young age, started at a show barn from 8-14, only rode casually from 15-18 and then began taking lessons again at 19 (couple months shy of my 20th birthday). I just turned 21 last month.

Below are examples of what I can do at each speed.

On the ground:
- lungeing horses at WTC, including young/spooky horses
- desensitizing horses to scary new stimuli (mirrors)
- handling/leading rough, hot, and large horses
- can tack up and check saddle fit and bridle fit on my own
- grooming (including clipping)
- basic showmanship skills including pivots, WT, patterns, backing up, etc.

At the Walk:
- renvers & travers
- shoulder-in
- half-pass & leg yield
- side pass
- serpentine
- circles of various sizes
- collection
- figure 8
- standing in the stirrups (not 2point) for 1 minute
- no stirrups

At the trot:
- renvers & travers
- shoulder in
- half pass & leg yield
- side pass
- serpentine
- figure 8
- collection
- circles of various sizes
- trotting over cavaletti
- 2point
- spiral exercise
- sitting a collected trot

At the canter:
- travers
- counter-cantering
- canter from a stand still, walk, and trot
- 2point
- serpentine
- figure 8
- both leads
- collection
- circles in various sizes
- spiral exercise
- no stirrups

In the saddle in general:
- sitting bucks, handling rearing
- sitting through kick-outs
- handling a horses that spook and bolt

And below are the areas I have a difficult time in, which I plan to work on on the lunge line.

In general:
- getting my weight in my heel
- sloppy jump position
- keeping my head up
- the weight tends to shift to the outside of my foot

At the walk:
- transitioning into canter from the walk isn't quite refined yet and can be sloppy

At the trot:
- still sometimes using hands for balance
- too much contact, hands often are too close to the pommel instead of being near the neck
- difficulty posting and driving forward at the same time
- difficulty sitting the trot on certain horses/at fast speeds
- cannot two-point for more than 5 strides without stirrups
- leg position teeters between too far back and too far forward
- still refining driving with the haunches

At the canter:
- tendency to fall behind the movement
- difficulty with balance at extended canter unless in 2point
- tendency to lean to the inside
- lead changes
- upper body moves too much and isn't still enough

I don't show yet, haven't in a long time. Part of it is because I'm worried that I won't do well because my equitation is not great and I'm not fully balanced yet (I haven't had ANY lunge lessons--but that's about to change).

So what level would I appear to be?
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-27-2012, 07:28 AM
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I don't show, so don't know what classifications they have, but it looks like you are getting a well-rounded experience.

I hope you're having fun doing all that. Are there fun shows, or small open shows, in your area? Maybe jump in and do a hunter under saddle class and see how it goes.
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-27-2012, 08:35 AM
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I'm not sure exactly what you mean by what "level" you are, so I'll assume you are talking about beginner, novice, intermediate, etc.

It sounds like you've had some very well-trained horses to ride if they will collect and do various dressage movements for you. That's great. I assume you have also been around some green horses since you describe lunging young horses, bucking, etc.

I've seen some general classifications to help people going to horse vacation rentals decide how to describe their level of experience.

According to some of them:

Beginners have only been on a horse a few times and are insecure and clumsy with all aspects of riding.

Novices will have had lessons at a riding school or ridden a friend's horse. They can mount and dismount, walk and trot in an arena or travel at a controlled pace (walk/trot or canter) in a well modulated environment on a well trained horse.

Intermediates ride fairly regularly and may own or have owned their own horse. They may have competed at shows and or done extended rides on trails. They will be used to riding out with others and be able to control a horse at walk, trot and canter and take a small jump. They will have ridden a few different horses. They can handle spooking and small blow ups but mostly react to what the horse does rather than anticipating and diverting behaviors before they happen. If the horse does something completely unexpected they will lose their seat or their confidence at least momentarily.

Experienced riders either own/lease their own horse or are hired to ride for others. They ride often and will have competed or done serious long distance riding on many different types of horses. They are confident over difficult terrain and can control a horse at all paces. They can control an excited horse at a gallop over open country. They can train and give confidence to an inexperienced horse and feel comfortable getting on a trained horse they have never ridden before and taking it out at all gaits over countryside they have never seen before.

From these definitions I would say you are an advanced intermediate. :)
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