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The HoofbeatZ USA Difference
Summer Experience 2021 Registration
New Client Registration
Before you fill out our forms, please choose your level of experience from the descriptions below:
Total beginners have little experience--if any--with horses in general (and that's ok!). They may have been on a "trail ride" at a rental stable, but they do not know general horse handling, safety, or how to make the horse move, turn, trot, and stop unassisted. They cannot saddle or bridle a horse by themselves and are not comfortable handling a horse from the ground. They may have a "fear" of horses, or might have never even touched a horse.
Beginners have a little experience with horses which can include growing up around horses or having taken a few lessons. Maybe they used to ride when they were younger, but they may not be able to saddle and bridle a horse by themselves. This rider can mount and walk off unassisted. They know how to ask the horse to move, turn, and stop. They may also be able to even trot on a very smooth, well broke horse.
A confident beginner has the knowledge of a Beginner, but will also be able to handle a horse that may not be overly willing to do as asked. Sometimes an older horse that is well broken may still balk at leaving the barn or be a little reluctant to leave a secure place. This rider will have the confidence to give a little kick if needed to use a more persuasive aid when required, even though they may lack experience how to properly communicate with the horse. They may or may not be able to post or rise to the trot. They are willing to learn and have no "fear" of horses.
Novice riders have possibly had a few lessons, maybe owned a horse when they were younger (or recently), but have not competed or trained young, green horses. They can catch, halter, groom, saddle and bridle a horse by themselves. They can mount and ride off unassisted. A novice rider may or may not be able to rise (or post) to the trot, but they can trot without bouncing and can stay comfortable with a slow canter on a gentle, well broken horse. They should know how to ask and obtain a slow controlled walk, trot, and canter. They can change direction and circle their horse. They are learning what a diagonal is and leads are. They may have even started a little jumping and are comfortable on a well broken horse, but may not be comfortable on a greener, younger or less experience one.
The intermediate rider has taken lessons or trained under a mentor for while, rides in a specific discipline (or several) and may compete. He or she has ridden several different types of horses and can independently manage a horse's care. Their seat is secure, they do not apply unintentional aids to the horse when they lose balance or come unseated. They know how to rise or post to the trot and ask for and obtain a specific lead or change in lead. They are capable of riding a less experience horse and helping in that horse's training. This rider is knowledgeable about different horse breeds and disciplines. He or she knows basic horse conformation and can detect lameness issues.
Advanced riders have ridden most of their lives and have worked with a trainer/mentor for several years or had several years with intense riding instruction. They are able to ride most horses including working with young/green horses without assistance. They know advanced maneuvers in their preferred riding discipline and can positively affect the horse they are riding at all times. The advanced rider is able to teach lessons to beginners, break and train horses, and teach a horse advanced maneuvers. The advanced rider knows horse breeds and conformation well and is able to detect unsoundness vs. blemishes in a horse.