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View Full Version : When is a rider no longer a beginner?



Rescue_Rider9
Dec. 18, 2009, 11:58 AM
I am just curios. I would assume they should be able to WTC on their own and know leads and diagonals?

Just wondering what everyone else thinks!
Thanks!

Thomas_1
Dec. 18, 2009, 12:02 PM
I'm thinking that just knowing leads and diagonals is within the domain of a novice

Threedaydream
Dec. 18, 2009, 12:05 PM
Any good coach will make me feel like a beginner any day! :lol:

Rescue_Rider9
Dec. 18, 2009, 12:06 PM
Oh more clarification, I meant to ask when do they move up to "intermediate rider" status? Sorry

sunhawk
Dec. 18, 2009, 12:06 PM
They should at least be able to accomplish a training level dressage test, be able to put a horse reasonably straight on a straight line, ride turns and corners, take a horse down a line of trot poles to a cross rail and canter away, without being told how to do it, it won't be stellar, but they won't look like an accident waiting to happen. Then as an intermediate rider, they can polish the skills they have, and become able to tackle more complicated maneuvers under the aid of a coach. They won't be able to ride tricky horses, they will be on a 'schoolmaster'. They won't know how to really keep a horse between the leg and hand, their transitions will be rudamentory. They should definately be able to tell which diagonal they are on, and change, and they should be able to tell which lead they are on. They won't be able to shorten and length stride yet.

deltawave
Dec. 18, 2009, 12:29 PM
It's sort of like art--a definition is tough, but I know it when I see it. :) If you're looking for a strict definition, you won't find one. It' s subjective.

A beginner is still struggling with their balance at all gaits, lacks an independent seat and hands, prone to mistakes but has the basics (leads, diagonals) down and is competent enough to get and keep a reasonably well-schooled and willing horse in the correct gaits and pace.

After a rider is able to competently handle horses that are a little less willing or well-schooled, can sit the trot reasonably well, handle his/herself over terrain or at the gallop, sit out a silly spook or buck without coming unglued, is pretty much 100% on leads/diagonals (and can usually get these by "feel" instead of having to look) and you trust them to ride a greener horse without worrying about them, they're no longer beginners. Roughly. :)

RAyers
Dec. 18, 2009, 12:41 PM
To me, an intermediate rider is one who has overcome the basic balance challeges and is capable of pushing the boudaries of their ability.

The beginning rider is one who is simply trying to get all their parts to work together coherently.

mosngodo
Dec. 18, 2009, 12:46 PM
I know it when I see it. If you're looking for a strict definition, you won't find one. It' s subjective.

CookiePony
Dec. 18, 2009, 01:21 PM
There's also the Wofford Scale:
http://equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/eventing/rate_your_riding_031108/

Polydor
Dec. 18, 2009, 01:31 PM
CookiePony: interesting chart that you posted.

Highflyer
Dec. 18, 2009, 02:20 PM
If you're familiar with the pony club ratings scale, I'd put it somewhere between D3/ C1. Able to WTC/ hop over small fences/ ride comfortably in the open/ cope with a horse that is a little green or goofy/ tack and untack and groom and deal with minor wounds and know when to call the vet for bigger stuff.

purplnurpl
Dec. 18, 2009, 03:22 PM
There's also the Wofford Scale:
http://equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/english/eventing/rate_your_riding_031108/

Totally awesome. Never seen that before.
Thanks Cookie!

millerra
Dec. 18, 2009, 03:35 PM
I read along time ago (so it's been rewritten in my mind)

Beginner - unable to deal w/ the minor unpredictable activity from a horse w/out losing balance, etc

Intermediate - momentary loss of balance from an unpredicted movement (trip), shy

Advanced - can deal w/ a spook or trip as if nothing really happened and just carries on...

Just a simple definition...

ncsuequine
Dec. 18, 2009, 10:32 PM
I have always found it hard to define the difference and EVERYONE has their own opinion. When I am looking at horses to buy or lease, I always ask what their definition of beginner or intermediate is, because its VERY subjective.

We designed a scale of Ib, B1, B2, B3 then I1, I2, I3

Completion of our B3 level is walk/trot/canter without stirrups. Jumping a single obstacle at 2'6". And learning about flexion and acceptance (basic training level 1 test)

Completion of our I1 is walk/trot/canter without stirrips in all positions (rising, sitting, 2-pt). Jumping 2'6 courses and 3" single fences. These riders also have a solid understanding of high training level, low 1st level collection and dressage movements.

Lilykoi
Dec. 18, 2009, 10:48 PM
I've taught for years and of course all the things mentioned are good barometers. But for me its when the student starts to become more of a rider and less of a passenger. Doesn't matter what discipline and sometimes it is not even a major event, but you know it when you see it.

Houdiniboy
Dec. 18, 2009, 11:04 PM
I've taught for years and of course all the things mentioned are good barometers. But for me its when the student starts to become more of a rider and less of a passenger. Doesn't matter what discipline and sometimes it is not even a major event, but you know it when you see it.

Very well said.

Rescue_Rider9
Dec. 19, 2009, 10:52 AM
Thank you everyone!!! All of these things helped and that chart is amazing! hah I also forgot about PC ratings!

Mukluk
Dec. 20, 2009, 04:47 PM
I read somewhere that it is after 100 falls.

deltawave
Dec. 20, 2009, 05:59 PM
I read somewhere that it is after 100 falls.


Jeez! I've fallen off like 15 times total in my life--guess maybe I'll be ready to post the trot by the time I'm 70. ;) :lol:

Chesnut_Mare
Dec. 22, 2009, 06:12 PM
I love that Woffard chart it's really great. Also the ncsuequine scale was cool and made sense.

lstevenson
Dec. 22, 2009, 08:12 PM
When they have found balance on a horse at all gaits and speeds.

How long it takes to achieve that depends on natural talent, how much they get to practice, and how good their instructor is.

I regularly get riders in clinics who have been riding for a long time, and have not yet found balance on a horse. And I find that it's because they have only been taught how to "look the part" (ie heels down, sit up, ect) instead of how to find their balance.

ncsuequine
Dec. 22, 2009, 11:18 PM
I love that Woffard chart it's really great. Also the ncsuequine scale was cool and made sense.

Thanks, Chesnut_Mare! The facility that I work for is in the process of taking that scale and turning it into a grade system similiar to public school (kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, etc...). We already have that system set-up for our horses.

The new system will allow us to put each rider into a grade and then have evaluations every 3 months and if they graduate to the next grade they will get a certificate of completion for their previous grade!

It would be great if there was some sort of standard "grade" system, but I guess that would be so hard because of the differences in teaching styles and so forth.

smm20
Dec. 24, 2009, 04:19 PM
I'm surprised that on the Wofford chart, jumping 2'6" cross-country (level 3) comes before beginning to recognize distances in show jumping (level 5). Maybe it is because I'm a wussy HJ rider, but I can't imagine jumping 2'6" cross-country without having the ability to see distances! (I realize that level 3 states trot or canter 2'6", but still!)

mbm
Dec. 24, 2009, 11:30 PM
I like the Wofford chart, but for Dressage, the level 10 indicator seems a bit out of place.....

Level 8
• Usually receives an “8” for
position from FEI Judges.

Level9
• Capable of producing a “10”
in FEI competition.

Level 10
• Able to secure 60% or better at
Prix St. Georges level on suitable
horses

I have seen some PSG tests where the rider appears to be a level "7" or so.... So if i were to re-write this , I would make it GP - not PSG.... ;)

But that is the only part of the Dressage scale that i didn't think "fit".

The Horsemanship one was interesting too.....

So much better that saying beginner, novice etc. :)

asterix
Dec. 28, 2009, 05:59 PM
I'm surprised that on the Wofford chart, jumping 2'6" cross-country (level 3) comes before beginning to recognize distances in show jumping (level 5). Maybe it is because I'm a wussy HJ rider, but I can't imagine jumping 2'6" cross-country without having the ability to see distances! (I realize that level 3 states trot or canter 2'6", but still!)

Ah, it's a matter of perspective. Mr. asterix couldn't see a distance to save his life (heck, he can barely STEER to a stadium fence :lol::lol:), but I've seen him hop over 2'6" xc fences with no problem whatsoever. If the horse knows what it's doing, and you are talking about a simple fence (coop, log, that sort of thing) on reasonably level ground? Then it's just a grab-mane-and-stay-in-your-heel sort of thing. The less you interfere with an experienced horse cantering over a simple obstacle, the better. I can probably screw that up easier than mr. asterix can :D:D

Seeing distances is MUCH more sophisticated!