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mlle_beau 07-25-2008 11:48 PM

Ranking riding ability?
Whenever I look at horse ads I always see things about them being for experienced riders only or stuff like that. How does a person know what "rank" they are? I've never seen a list that says "if you can do this you're a beginner, if you can do that you're intermediate" etc, haha. So what would you say are some general guidelines for what each "level" of rider is capable of doing?

shiver 07-26-2008 12:22 AM

This is a good question. I don't remember ever seeing an actual lets say "chart" before. Truthfully I don't think there is a clear standard.

My standard isn't based on how long you have ridden but how well you ride. And how comfortable you feel riding.

Beginner- Someone who has just started riding. Someone who doesn't have a lot of confidence around horses. Some one who walk trots and maybe some cantering. Is still understanding all the cues. And needs assistance form other advanced riders.

Intermediate- Someone who feels comfortable walk trot and cantering. They have been riding for some time ( years on my opinion) and feel comfortable around most horses. They understand horse lingo and can multi task all the cues while riding. They feel comfortable without a trainer, in and out of the area. Others also agree that they are intermediate not just a beginner getting ahead of themselves. lol but true.

Advance- Someone who feels comfortable around all horses. They feel confident giving good advise and training. They are not usually nervous riders. They can handle almost anything set in front of them and they know when to back away and and let things rest. An advance rider has been riding for many years and it is like second nature to them.

Again this is just my opinion. Others will talk about more specific things being accomplished my the rider. But it all boils down to about the same thing.

JackieB 07-26-2008 12:33 AM

I'd say Shiver did a great job of providing an explanation. Beginner we all know. Intermediate riders should know how to ride any well-trained horse without giving it conflicting cues, and so on. Intermediates also know how to tack, feed, and otherwise care for horses. Advanced riders can ride even horses that need a lot of training yet and they don't get nervous or worry about falling off. They also should know how to train these horses.

I'll never call myself advanced, but I have gone to describing myself as intermediate in the last year or so. Frankly, I'd be happy always being a beginner, and there is so much to learn about horses that I really do feel that way much of the time, but I probably am intermediate now.

shiver 07-26-2008 12:50 AM

Thank you JackieB I was trying to say all that also. Thanks for adding it.

I also consider myself an intermediate rider. I have been riding for 7 years now. And like you I don't think i will ever consider myself an advanced rider either.

My daughter on the other hand who is 16 and has been riding for 7 years, I consider and advance rider. There is just a lot to consider when figuring out your riding ability.

OP- Unless you are an advanced rider like described above I would stear clear of horses advertised advanced. Advanced rider required, in most cases, is secret code for wild horse that I we can't handle.

mlle_beau 07-26-2008 01:07 AM

Yep, I consider myself very much a beginner and I imagine I will be one for many more years! :) I'm not shopping for a horse right now anyways, but I saw an ad like that today and it made me think of the whole thing. Haha I like your decoding of the "advanced riders only" label, I've always considered it to be the same unless it is a young horse that hasn't been started in which case you obviously don't want someone inexperience trying to train it.

BabyD 07-26-2008 06:32 AM

Everyone always tells me I'm an advanced rider and I am dumbfounded as to why! There is so much I don't know yet. I've only been riding 11 years. I've got my whole life to become an advanced rider. For now I consider myself knowledgeable but too young to have enough experience to become an advanced rider. All in good time. I'm in no rush to strap that label on myself.

I think a lot of it has to do with our family taking on remedial horses. A few with severe aggression and because I'm described by many as "All balls and no brains" I am the only one who is willing to work with a horse in that state. I keep telling people it's a lot more stubbornness than skill.

I think there is are different kinds of advanced horsemen. I know plenty of professionals who wouldn't come near some of my horses when we first got them with a 20 foot pole. Their expertise lies in something totally different.

claireauriga 07-26-2008 06:50 AM

Well, for something more specific, my riding stables has a chat with grades 1-12 and a brief description of what is required of each level in terms of riding ability, to help sort people into group lessons.

I'd definitely agree that the transition from beginner/novice to intermediate comes when you are capable of independent work, multi-tasking, working with a variety of well-trained horses and have begun to master more complex controls than 'faster' and 'slower'. But I'd also like to mark a distinction between 'total beginner' and 'novice', or whatever you'd like to call the two stages. Novices can walk-trot-canter and perform basic figures confidently on a well-trained horse. Total beginners are still getting to that point.

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