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What is a "good rider"?

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  • What is a "good rider"?

    When someone ways another person is a good rider, what do you think of?

    Can ride anything without coming off?
    Isnt afraid to gt up there and learn how to ride this horse?
    Eventually learns to get the most out of a particular horse?
    Gets the most out of a particular horse in the first ride?
    Has perfect position? Nice hands?

    Whaddya think?
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

  • #2
    I think it is a term that is tossed around far too much. When MOST people tell me so-and-so is a "good rider" I don't assume anything until I see it first hand. I've seen too many supposedly "good riders" come off not so difficult horses to believe otherwise.

    I do have a few friends who can adequately judge a rider well enough to make the comment without my ever so suspicious mind thinking they're exaggerating.

    To me a good rider is just that, good hands, good seat, good "feel" and most importantly, the ability to adapt to each horse as an individual.


    • #3
      Way too subjective a term to put a set definition to it. Also depends alot on the viewpoint of the one who uses it.

      It could mean any of those things you stated and plenty more.

      To me -- a "good rider" is one who is considerate of the horse and can hold their own on the kind of trail rides I like to go on (off road). One I don't have to keep turning around and 'checking on'. sylvia
      Never explain yourself to someone who is committed to misunderstanding you.


      • #4
        The ability to understand what a certain horse needs in a rider and how to give it to them.

        The ability to train, not just tool around a ring looking pretty.
        "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

        Phoenix Animal Rescue


        • #5
          A good rider is able to assess the horse, the situation, and their skills and decide how to be fair to the horse in that particular situation. Whether that means getting help from a trainer or setting the horse up for success, a good rider can evaluate what's going on with maturity. IMHO.
          Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay


          • #6
            Good at what? would be my question.

            I know some 10YO kids who are "good riders" when given a been there done that horse...they can equitate the hell out of it and make stuff happen.

            But I wouldn't dare put them on a green bean.

            Good at sticking?

            Good at training the young horse?

            Good at riding anything and making it look fabulous?

            Define good.

            I'm a "good" rider. I stick. But I have virtually zero classical training. I'm not a good shower.

            Good is all about the definition really.
            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

            Might be a reason, never an excuse...


            • #7
              To me, a "good rider" is somebody who:
              1) Is a perpetual student of the theory of "horsemanship", and
              2) Has good riding form, and
              3) Can get the horse to perform to an acceptable standard, and
              4) Can stay on the horse while that's happening (or not), and
              5) Can manange to not be an excessive burden to the horse while doing so.

              Need all five to pass go.


              • #8
                A good rider, to me, can read a new horse, a different horse; and can read the same horse on a 'different day.'

                And, especially, it's about being an effective rider. The rider must be mentally and physically relaxed and flexible. They must know when to push through an issue and when to stop. They have to know how to set up a positive experience and be able to recognize and reward a horse's efforts.

                It's more about how they ride - the difference between 'can ride' and 'have ridden.'

                You'll know if you watch the horse - there will be communication, a conversation going on. The horse will change for them. A good rider makes the horse look better. Your focus will change, you will 'see' the horse more and the rider less.
                Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.


                • #9
                  I good rider can actually RIDE and is effective as well as knowledgeable. You ask her questions and she can actually answer them
                  Knows good flat (DRESSAGE)basics and has correct equitation. Can stay on and ride a green horse.
                  I get VERY annoyed when kids talk about what a good rider so and so is when in reality they look cute on a horse have decent equitation but simply arent effective. It happens all the time the Im always tempted to be like "yeah whatever" but I dont want to hurt the person they are talking about feelings.
                  Riding isent about the rider looking good, its about the rider making the horse look good. Im so tired of some 15 year old getting rave reveiws cause she petite and looks nice on a horse.

                  The people at my barn need to get that idea out of there heads. Im SO sick of hearing about it. Posting without sitrups doesent really mean shit besides your probably somewhat strong. Big deal, do something with the horse besides jog it around the ring. Really, it would make you a better rider to not worship the equiatation obessed kid and open your mind to learn new things.
                  Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Author Unknown


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by greysandbays View Post
                    To me, a "good rider" is somebody who:
                    1) Is a perpetual student of the theory of "horsemanship", and
                    2) Has good riding form, and
                    3) Can get the horse to perform to an acceptable standard, and
                    4) Can stay on the horse while that's happening (or not), and
                    5) Can manange to not be an excessive burden to the horse while doing so.

                    Need all five to pass go.
                    Amen. I think I'm going to print this out and hang it up on my bulletin board under "Things to Aspire To."
                    "...through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
                    Fanning the hairs, who wave like feathered wings." William Shakespeare


                    • #11
                      well, I know one when I see one.

                      I took lessons with a fellow who did reiners and such, had cowboyed out west, little funny looking guy with a big head and shoulders and long arms, barrel chest and little short legs who was sort of bowlegged and oddly gaited on the ground--let me tell you, mounted he looked like Adonis. He had the classic seat and was just motionless on the horses he rode. Invisible cues, all that. He could ride. Once he told me I'd ridden well in the lesson and I was flat astonished. (I suspect he was being kind, or maybe indicating I was less bad.)

                      Me, I stay alive on a horse. I am NOT a Good Rider. Two and a half years into being a re rerider, though, I am less bad.

                      However, a random thought--my next door neighbor has great natural talent, a good seat, great long legged build, good hands...but if anything at all unexpected happens she falls apart. She probably has never had a lesson in her life and doesnt know a lot of things that come in handy as a result. She has ridden very few horses, another drawback of being largely self taught. She is not a very effective rider because she tends to let her horse get away with murder. So, am I "good" or "better" compared to her in a sticky situation, even though I dont look as good on the horse?


                      • #12

                        I think a good rider is an effective rider.

                        One that can handle several situations on several different horses. One that can figure out what training method works on a particular horse they are riding at the moment and maybe that method is not something that came out of a book or lessons but something they realized and figured out worked well for that particular horse. And maybe five seconds later on the same horse, something conventional works.

                        I also think a good seat and good, independent hands are a must. Also being able to manuever different parts of your body, legs, seat and hands to get the most from your horse. (I'm too old for any of that anymore...)

                        Also a good rider must have compassion for the horses.
                        Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
                        One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
                        Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook


                        • #13
                          I second greysandbays!

                          I think a good rider has outstanding fundamentals (good hands, position, leg, etc.) and is able to get the best out of 'most' horses. No one can ride every horse perfectly, but the best riders I know can get on a majority of horses and within a ride or two have them going as well as possible. Additionally, I also believe good riders have the innate ability to communite effectively with even the most challenging horses.


                          • #14
                            I think "good rider" is someone who can get on a strange horse, and in a matter of minutes, have reached a communication level with that horse so you can almost see a positive connection between them. They might not get the best out of that horse that day, or have the best form themselves, but you know they are working as a team and coming to an agreement pretty quickly.
                            Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                            • #15
                              A "good rider" needs not only independent seat and hands, but also the ability to read the horse quite quickly so that they can keep hot horses calm and energize horses that hardly move. They need to be able to know what the horse is thinking and correct the thought so that when the motion occurs there appears to be no argument going on whatsoever. This means quickly understanding how much of a cue it will take to get the horse to achieve the action. Also a good rider is always aware of their surroundings and does not place themself or their horse in imminent danger due to lack of horse sense. I have found the "good rider" definitions vary greatly based on:
                              Actual riding experience
                              Discipline/hobby of person being asked
                              If the person asked feels that they are being rated against another rider or it is an open ended question


                              • #16
                                When a rider can get on any horse and become one with it. Be it green, unbroke, or a schoolmaster. A good rider can get on a horse and bring the best out and understands it all starts from the ground.
                                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                                • #17
                                  To me a good rider is someone who can bring out the best in any horse they ride in a kind, compassionate way. There are many riders out there who are effective and athletic, with good hands, seat, and leg, but don't have the innate empathy it really takes to bring out the best in any horse they ride. They can 'make' a horse do what they want, but not enjoy it. A good rider is someone who can take on a tough horse, see the best in it, and turn it into a calm, willing 'good boy' or 'good girl'.
                                  Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
                                  Witherun Farm


                                  • #18
                                    The definition that my trainer gives is that a good rider looks like he/she is one with the horse. She often asks the kids "If the ring were filled with riders right now, how would you be able to pick out the good riders from the bad riders?" And the answer is that they look like they are one with the horse.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      These are thought-rpovoking! Keep em coming.
                                      “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


                                      • #20
                                        To me a "good rider" is confident and conveys that confidence to the horse. They have a secure and balanced position that doesn't interfere with the horse and their aids are tactful and effective. Their seat is independant and they are empathetic to the horse.