When are you no longer considered a "beginner" rider? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-11-2014, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by RegularJoe View Post
Here's how equitours classifies riding skill. Since they're putting their customers on horses, one would presume they've given this a little thought:

A rider who has limited experience, is unable to post the trot and does not canter.

A rider who is capable of mounting and dismounting unassisted, capable of applying basic aids, comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length posting trots, and short canters.

A rider who has a firm seat, is confident and in control at all paces (including posting trots, two point canters and gallops), but does not ride regularly

Strong Intermediate
An intermediate rider who is currently riding regularly and is comfortable in the saddle for at least 6 hours per day.

All of the mentioned abilities, plus an independent seat, soft hands, and a desire to handle a spirited horse in open country.

Ability Level - Equitours - Horseback riding vacations and equestrian lessons by Equitours

I like that breakdown a lot. Thanks for sharing!

The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire. ~Sharon Ralls Lemon
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-14-2014, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by TXhorseman View Post
I am very uncomfortable when people ask me if I would label them a "Beginner", "Intermediate", "Advanced", etc. rider. There are so many aspects to riding that someone with great skill in one area may have only limited skill or no skill in another. Someone who rides one horse well in various movements, may have little control when on another horse that may or may not possess the skills of the other horse.

Rather than worrying about labels, I concentrate on refining the skills a rider already possesses as well as introducing that rider to new experiences. Learning to ride well is a never ending process. If there is no end to the journey how can we tell how far along the journey we have come?

This for me nails it on the head.

When teaching boarding school pupils, we had a new intake of riders. One pf these was a senior girl from Japan and when asked she said she had been riding for several years.
In the arena there wasn't a lot I could teach her. She had the pony she was on working well and on the bit throughout. Her position was good.

Next rode we went down on the beach. She was riding an Anglo Arab I competed on. When we cantered along the sand she was totally out of control, Faro was taking a hold and going from A to B faster than he should.

Poor girl was in a state of shock! She had never ridden outside of an arena, didn't know that horses could take a hold and when they did, what to do about it! (She soon learned)

If I were to go to TxHorseman for lessons then as a western rider I would be a total novice having ridden very little western. However, knowing how to ride English would mean I know how the horse is moving, how to sit, whether the horse is moving correctly.
I would need to learn the western aids and the difference in aids for various movements. If I had anything about me and the experience I have with horses, I would expect to pick this up relatively quickly and be able to apply it automatically within a couple of rides.
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