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FutureVetGirl 08-23-2008 06:02 AM

"Experienced/Advanced" Riders/Horsemen/women?
 
Heh... a lot of slashes in there... sry.

Ok... so here's my question:

What is YOUR definition of an experienced/advanced rider/horseman/woman?

Here are a ten definitions that I've heard around:

1. You have to have some license or advanced training to be called experienced.

2. You have to have backed at least one horse.

3. You have to have worked with at least one rescue.

4. You have to be in top competitions.

5. You have to be able to talk fluently in "horse" to anyone and everyone, and understand exactly what people talk about all the time.

6. You have to have worked with many different kinds of horses.

7. You can control a stallion.

8. You can ride five crazy horses in one day without breaking a sweat. (isn't that impossible?)

9. You have completed every lesson with your local riding instructor at the top of your "class".

10. You've owned at least one horse for at least two years.

Now... I don't agree with most (or perhaps all) of these "definitions". So... I'd like to hear what you guys would call advanced or experienced. I'm not talking about being an all-around rider, or in one specific sport. Just... generally "advanced". I've seen a lot of things all over the internet saying that different horses need "experienced" riders... so I'm just wondering what you guys would define as "experienced". The question's above. :D

FutureVetGirl 08-23-2008 12:52 PM

anyone?

claireauriga 08-23-2008 02:05 PM

I would say they have been riding for several years and are competent at controlling, caring for and riding horses ranging from sturdy old lesson horses to spirited mounts and badly-behaved monsters, all whilst remaining calm, fair and consistent. They should have a good theoretical as well as practical knowledge of riding and horsecare. They should be capable of riding in appropriate competitions, should they so desire. Appropriate qualifications, such as those given by the BHS, are excellent indicators of ability. When placed in an unknown or unpredictable situation, they should be able to respond calmly, sensibly and appropriately, with due respect for the horse's health and safety. They should take excellent care of the safety of horses and riders that they have influence over and not take stupid risks. They should be an example of safety, good riding and good care.

moomoo 08-23-2008 02:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by claireauriga
I would say they have been riding for several years and are competent at controlling, caring for and riding horses ranging from sturdy old lesson horses to spirited mounts and badly-behaved monsters, all whilst remaining calm, fair and consistent. They should have a good theoretical as well as practical knowledge of riding and horsecare. They should be capable of riding in appropriate competitions, should they so desire. Appropriate qualifications, such as those given by the BHS, are excellent indicators of ability. When placed in an unknown or unpredictable situation, they should be able to respond calmly, sensibly and appropriately, with due respect for the horse's health and safety. They should take excellent care of the safety of horses and riders that they have influence over and not take stupid risks. They should be an example of safety, good riding and good care.

Yep, I agree :D

Spyder 08-23-2008 03:15 PM

Re: "Experienced/Advanced" Riders/Horsemen/women?
 
1. You have to have some license or advanced training to be called experienced.

License..absolutely NOT. A piece of paper simply means you were able to answer all the questions correctly. Now if you are talking about a vet then sure but many top Olympic riders have no such paper.

2. You have to have backed at least one horse.

This I agree with for without that experience you can't get a feel on what horses are capable of.

3. You have to have worked with at least one rescue.

Balderdash. Working with a rescue gives you nothing more than a different insight. Lots of people are experienced/advanced horsepeople without ever handling a rescue. If you have the right ability common sense will allow you to master the situation. I know some rescue operators that should never be near a horse.

4. You have to be in top competitions.

More or less true but you have to define exactly what a top competition really means. I know of some horse owners that never did more than show halter at top competitions. Some of them never ride.

5. You have to be able to talk fluently in "horse" to anyone and everyone, and understand exactly what people talk about all the time.

I don't talk "horse" to anyone. I do try to talk "sense" to people.

6. You have to have worked with many different kinds of horses.

I would almost agree but not having worked with every type does not dimish your ability.

7. You can control a stallion.

Not everyone will ever come in contact with a stallion but the ability to handle one safely certainly means you understand the nature of horses.

8. You can ride five crazy horses in one day without breaking a sweat. (isn't that impossible?)

If you were stupid enough to do that then you are no "horseman" to me...just a show off.

9. You have completed every lesson with your local riding instructor at the top of your "class".

Another balderdash. Sometimes finishing lower down makes you work harder. I fell off every time the horse stopped when I started riding. It made me work harder. I ended up competing at GP dressage.

10. You've owned at least one horse for at least two years.

I would agree as it takes dedication and patience to work through problems. Accomplishing something as a 3 month wonder would make me think short cuts were used...certainly no horseman to me.

ponyboy 08-23-2008 06:49 PM

I'm anxious to see people's responses too... I wish there was some kind of formal definition of experience. A long time ago I attended an equestrian summer program at an agricultural college. There were 20 riders, 4 of whom didn't have their own horses including me. I can say without boasting that I was a better rider than all but one person there... I had both jumped higher and done more different dressage movements. I even knew more about horse care although I lacked practical experience in that department (students weren't allowed to work at the school barn I went to). I didn't notice a radical difference in the spiritedness of the privately owned horses vs school horses either... the three of them I rode were all better behaved than most of my school horses.

But I digress... I think we have to define "good" vs "experienced." You can have a person that competes in high-level dressage but has always ridden fully trained, well-behaved horses, or you can have someone who only trail rides but has broken lots of youngsters. I would call the first one good and the second one experienced.

claireauriga 08-23-2008 08:41 PM

You're typically asked to class yourself as 'novice, intermediate or experienced'. I'd say that novice needs to be spread out more - that category includes non-riders and people who can walk, trot and canter competently, who are beginning to learn about more sophisticated riding. After three months I am absolutely still a novice, but I am not a total beginner!

I also think people who've been riding a long time tend to classify themselves as 'experienced' when really they're still 'intermediate' riders. I reserve 'experienced' for the best, not for those who are good competent riders on the majority of horses but not of the uppermost calibre.

farmpony84 08-23-2008 09:47 PM

I dont' think you can put a specific definition on what an experience horseperson is....

Some people have owned horses there entire lives and have ridden in the highest classes of competition, yet they've never cared for a horse, nor have they ever trained one, although they are considered to be top notch...

You have other people that have never owned a horse and have spent their lives caring for other peoples horses in every way, including training...

I know "backyard" people that have horses and have never had a lesson a day in their lives, yet they can outride just about anyone... And they can treat a horse for any issue and can diagnose almost as good as a vet, they can also train....

I also know trainers... well... people that get paid alot of money to train horses and riders that are just.... not impressive to me....

I've owned horses for 21 years... I trained my first horse (he has the worst manners of all of mine! teehee... and the most vices...) geuss you learn from your mistakes.... I'm learning to train and maintain horses from a professional, been taking lessons forever... Own 6 horses... care for 6 horses.... I've shown locally forever... never been to an AA show... The AQHA shows are really big around her, 20 in a class is fairly small... I don't know what level rider I would consider myself? I've handled and ridden studs.... II've ridden crazy horses before but... we can all do stupid stuff! I don't have a peice of paper... I'm just a horseperson......

~*~anebel~*~ 08-25-2008 12:37 PM

I think an experienced horseperson is someone who is passionate about horses, has technical knowledge about all aspects of horsecare and knows horses inside out.
An experienced horseperson knows how to maintain and run a horse facility safely and still make a profit, they know how to treat an illness and when to call the vet out, and when it is time to say "goodbye" to a horsey friend when it is their time. An experienced horseperson takes responsibility for their horses' conditions and knows about good feed/nutritional management and how to keep weight off an easy keeper and keep weight on a hard keeper. They know when a farrier has done a good job, or a poor one. They can identify lameness and know how to do a flexion test.
Being an experienced horseperson has nothing to do with riding. It has to do with being able to manage horses effectively and compassionately.

However, being and experienced rider combines all of the above skills of a horseperson, along with knowledge of how to solve problems in the saddle. An experienced rider can ride a spooky horse through the "scary corner" without picking up a whip. An experienced rider can motivate a pluggish horse into doing spectacular movements. An experienced rider can sit on a firey horse without being scared of what they will or wont do and has the self discipline and body control to guide the hot horse through demanding movements without the horse becoming frazzled. An experienced rider will then take the horse and cool it out on a trail ride through the property and down the driveway, on a loose rein. An experienced rider can ride many disciplines without too much difficulty and win. An experienced rider knows when to call it quits, when to push a little harder and when the horse needs a break.

Kirsti Arndt 08-26-2008 03:37 PM

i agree with some of the above except the competition part. I think an experienced horseperson or a master horseperson must also be intuitive, flexible and inovative in their approach and in dealing with situations.


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