Novice riders and green horses
Let me begin by saying that I know this question is impossible to answer accurately as you can't see my riding or the horse involved. What I'm asking for are general guidelines that I could use to give me an idea of when the horse's owner and I could discuss me riding her.
I am a novice; I've been learning to ride for three summers. I can walk, trot, canter and leg yield, but I'm rusty. I do not have a very strong or stable lower leg yet, but my hands are soft. I still have some trouble with bouncing in the canter due to losing all my riding muscles over the past eight months, but when I get it I have a reasonably light seat. I do not yet have much individual control over each of my limbs and cannot control each leg of the horse separately and so on.
Megan is a five or six year old cob/thoroughbred (I'm not sure on her exact age, but she's young). She was broken at four, and soon after had a foal. That foal is now a yearling, and Megan is being brought back into work.
My friend Amy is a good and experienced rider, and the horse's owner has basically been putting Amy on her back for her first rides. Megan is learning quickly, and is much more focused on the road than she is in the field, where every little thing is a distraction. She's becoming much better at listening to leg, and is unused to contact (she has a very sharp halt!) but Amy is slowly introducing it and she's responding well. Right now the focus is on getting her to listen to the rider and concentrate on the task at hand, as she has the basics for stop, go and steering. Amy's only done work in walk and trot so far, no cantering, as Megan's still a little unpredictable in what she will find scary or distracting. When she's startled, she weaves about a bit rather than bolting.
The original plan was for me to help bring Megan back into work, but I felt my skills weren't nearly up to the level required and after discussion and observation it was decided to give the task to Amy. However, we would like me to be able to ride her too in time.
What I'm wondering is if you experienced riders and trainers out there have an idea of some milestones Megan should be reaching before someone like me can ride her very briefly (ten minutes max), in a safe, controlled environment. We feel that I could get on her now, but I'm choosing not to as I don't want to disrupt these important formative lessons. What kind of things do you think a horse should be capable of before someone like myself can ride her without having detrimental effects?
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