Different riding levels sharing the riding ring
Hopefully some other riders who ride at a larger barn could share some of their rules for riding in the ring.
I know that there is basic riding ring etiquette but I am hoping to gain some insight on what other barns have posted for safety and riding when all levels are using the same riding area?
Mostly I would like to clear up some rules for my daughter who is 10 and a beginner rider when she wants to ride and there are more experienced riders coming close to her at a canter etc.. We recently had an episode where she felt very uneasy riding when a more advanced rider was cantering and jumping in the ring.
My daughter has a very level headed horse so it did not bother him but it bothered her and now she is expressing concern about riding with these people and doesnt want to tell them for fear they will be upset with her.
I have talked to her and to them but I am just looking for more suggestions or maybe just post what your barn uses for ring riding rules.
I don't agist so dont have that problem, but when I'm riding at dressage comps, if there are any younger kids riding there generally everyone here keeps away from them, same with if there's a horse going stupid, everyone avoids them.
I think it was a good idea to talk to the people who are riding with your daughter, fair enough that they can ride in there at the same time as her, but if a 10 year old is riding her pony in tha arena the least they can do is give her some space. Maybe tell your daughter to only ride in a certain area of the arena when other people are riding, and ask them to avoid that area. They can't expect a 10 year old to have sufficient experience to move her pony swiftly out of their way if they ride too close.
I suggested that but the more advanced riders dont feel that they should sacrafice not being able to use the whole ring if they are working on something , schooling etc..
I think that there should be some general rules posted but up to now it really hasnt been an issue at the barn. As her mother I expressed concern to the BO and other riders there and to some degree I felt that they were getting kinda defensive about it which I kinda expected but I feel that having general rules posted would be a big help, I may propose this to the BO as well.
At shows and where I get lessons, we all kinda keep out of the way. No, we don't sacrifice the arena for beginners, but we know not to canter right beside them.
And in the local shows, they give a 20 minute walk jog only session for the beginners to practice. Then its the beginners choice to stay when the more experienced people start loping.
Personally, I'd talk to your daughter and re-assure her that she's fine. She's on a reliable pony, and she's safe (well as safe as you can be on a horse). I'm sure she's a sensible rider and sticks out of the way. Talk to the other riders, and just ask them to respect her space, and that should be fine. Its good experience to get used to riding in an arena with others.
In my oppinion, the beginner riders should get right of way in the ring, as they cannot cotrol a horse as well as an experianced rider can. But if the rider is not up to a level of experiance they should not be riding in a ring with other riders, as they could cause accidents. If you a riding a green horse, then you should book a private time to be in the ring with no other horses with this horse.
But to add to this, as someone(s) said above, the more experianced riders should not be sacrifising their ring space/time because of less advanced riders. Also they shouldn't have to douge a beginner rider every three seconds. So I think to stop this a cetain day(s) should be put in place so that only experianced riders can use the ring at a certain time. There is nothing wrong with being a beginner rider, as you still have plenty to learn. All riders can learn something.
To add to this, there should also be a day/time for just beginner riders, although several beginner riders trying to do different things could become a problem. So a trainer/instructor should be there to supervise, same goes for the advanced riders a trainer/instructor should be there.
I am an advanced rider, I do ride confidently and ride to train myself and my horse. Speaking from my experience, I will give a young and in-experienced rider a good berth and always call "inside" or "outside" when passing or coming up behind them and I expect them to know what that means. I also expect they aren't going to be riding around sporadically or just randomly stopping. Ride where you're going to ride and CALL IT. If you are ever unsure of where someone else is going, then CALL inside or outside.
As a general rule, always pass left to left (like when you're driving), unless there is a person on a circle or going to a fence, then they get the inside track. It is courteous to call "inside" when you are on a circle or going to a fence.
Also, depending on the configuration of the jumps and your barn's rules, it is courteous to walk either on the far inside track, or the far outside track. At a dressage barn ALWAYS walk on the inside track. At a h/j barn it varies.
As far as rules - faster on the outside and slower on the inside - unless there is a course set up.
Everyone going the same direction.
If you put something up - take it down/put it away.
Don't stop on the rail.
No lunging while others are mounted without asking.
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