Riding Ability Levels
If you are interested in purchasing a horse from me, please read my definitions below. Please honestly represent your riding level to me, and I will try to match you to a horse that fits your needs.
ABSOLUTE BEGINNER- Has no horse experience at all. Does not know to halter, bridle, saddle or mount a horse. Does not know the proper cues to make a horse go, stop, turn, etc. Does not understand the basics of horses behaviors and is not comfortable around horses.
BEGINNER-A rider with limited experience. May have had a few lessons, ridden some as a child, or some instruction from knowledgeable horsemen. May need some help saddling, bridling, and mounting a horse. Does not post and make rising trot. (Still bounces at a trot) Is not comfortable riding on a horse, but knows the basic cues of how to make a horse stop, go and turn. A beginner should be able to control a well trained and gentle horse at a walk and slow jog. A beginner rider is best suited and more confident on a slower moving horse that is not too responsive or forward; and needs a rock solid horse that is not spooky to build confidence. A beginner level rider will need an honest horse that does not have any barn sour or buddy sour issues. A beginner level rider will need instruction to improve on areas that they need help with and to keep their horse riding well.
ADVANCED BEGINNER - A rider who has advanced enough that they can halter, bridle and saddle a horse unassisted. They can also mount and ride off unassisted. An advanced beginner may also be in control, at a short canter on a gentle well trained horse that is not forward or chargy.
CONFIDENT BEGINNER - A rider who has the ability to do all of the above, but has no anxiety when riding horses. This rider will be able to give firm and persuasive cues when needed, and is OK riding a less willing horse that may need more guidance and aids.
NOVICE -A rider who is capable of applying all tack on a horse and mounting and dismounting unassisted, comfortable and in control at the walk. A Novice is able to post a trot, (no longer has toes down and bounces) and is in control at a slow lope on a well trained horse. They have not competed or trained horses. A novice rider will have enough balance to properly use their stirrups for balance, and does not give the horse unintentional cues by "squeezing" the horse with their legs to hang on. A novice level rider will have balance and be able to control a horse that is a little more responsive and forward than a beginner level horse - although not comfortable on a chargy or green horse. A novice level rider is beginning to understand what leads are and is able to tell or is learning what lead their horse is on. A novice rider has enough experience that they are able to rate a horses speed and control a well broke horse through a lope in circles and changing direction. -
INTERMEDIATE - Rider with a sure, steady, and comfortable seat. They are confident and do not apply unintentional aids. Can control the horse in all movements. Rides regularly and knows how to ride. Really feels comfortable on a responsive, forward moving horse, and has soft hands. Has no problems controlling a horse in exercises such as loping circles, making transitions that require flying lead changes, rating a horse's speed, and knows how to sit down at a stop. They know how to ask a horse for a specific lead and lead changes. An intermediate level rider understands how to train horses and can keep their horse well broke, and willing. An intermediate rider will have ridden for years and has ridden many different horses. An intermediate rider can correct a spoiled or unwilling horse, and is capable or riding a green or skittish horse. An intermediate level rider may or may not have shown or competed in equestrian events.
ADVANCED - An Advanced rider is someone that has ridden all their life on a regular basis and has had advanced lessons. Currently competes at high levels in one of the disciplines: Showing, Rodeo, Etc. Has enough ability to give lessons and can train horses, or break colts.
*** Once again, I can not stress enough the importance of honestly representing your riding ability level. Many people over rate themselves and doing so may result in getting a horse that is unsuitable. Riding horses is suppose to be fun, and you will not have fun if you choose a horse that is more than you can handle. Choose a horse that will help you build your confidence, and make sure you are comfortable with a horse before purchasing! If you are not an advanced rider, get riding instructions immediately (or before) purchasing a horse. Riding instructions can benefit any level rider.
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