Rider Levels

Rider Level 1


At this Level Rider’s will learn how to handle their horse and pony at the walk and trot. This level also includes tiny tots who will do all tasks listed below but with a leader until of age or capability to go off the lead and on their own. There is no timeline to any of these levels and all depends on the development of the rider.


Before you can walk…

  • Safety rules around horses, don’t walk behind, lead on left side etc.
  • Grooming, using a curry comb, dandy brush and body brush, and picking out the feet

Before you can trot…

  • Proper riding boots and long pants
  • Riders must be able to demonstrate ‘up down’s’ at the walk, woah and go, and turn
  • Hold reins properly, be able to adjust them and understand inside and outside rein
  • Safe mounting; how to pull up to mounting block and mount safely
  • Be able to maneuver around the arena and cones with ease at the walk and trot
  • Rider must be able to navigate over poles

On the ground…

  • Parts of tack and parts of horse his can be taught on the ground 
  • Lead horse on the ground and be able to stop and steer

Rider Level 2


At this Level Rider’s will learn all the activities and exercise to prepare for the canter. Below are the tasks that must be completed before a rider is able to canter.


Before you can canter…

  • Riders must be able to demonstrate sitting trot with and without stirrup and two- point
  • Be able to recognize and fix your posting diagonal
  • Be able to maneuver horses over trot poles and around patterns such as circles and figure 8’s 
  • How to change direction; at the walk ;reverse and at the trot and canter across the diagonal
  • Proper riding attire including proper riding boots, chaps or tall boots, riding pants, riding helmet and gloves if desired

On the ground…

  • How to catch a horse, lead a horses and be able to steer, stop and back up from the ground 
  • Tack up saddle/unsaddle properly, bridle, hooves, blankets 
  • Adjusting stirrups, how to check for length and how to adjust from the ground

Rider Level 3


At this Level Rider’s must be able to complete the following before he/she is allow to jump. Rider’s must have previously learned how to walk, trot and canter. 


Before you can jump…

  • Proper riding attire including proper boots, helmet and clothing
  • Trot and canter pole courses with ease
  • Know your distances long short perfect
  • Canter no stirrups (some exceptions)
  • Half seat versus full seat at the canter
  • Canter 2 point
  • Simple Change across the diagonal
  • Independently be able to tack up, bridle, do stirrups from ground and saddle 

On the ground…

  • How to clean stall/paddock
  • Basic stable management and basic first aid. 
  • Basic types of bits
  • Use of boots and polos wraps

Rider Level 4


For those of you dreaming, planning or already showing, this is a list on things we require you meet before you can show. If you would like to show in the future please contact your coach to make appropriate goal plans.


Before you can show…

  • Appropriate show clothes 
  • How to clean and maintain tack
  • Proper turnout for a horse for a show
  • How to bathing for a show; weather dependant
  • Walk to canter transition and trot to halt.

Participate in an ‘In House Schooling Show’ flat class…

  • Be able to demonstrate lengthen and shorten stride
  • Be able to know how to pick up correct canter lead consistently
  • Riders can do walk/trot, and walk trot canter in flat classes

Participate In an ‘In House Schooling Show’ small jumping class…

  • Know the types of jumps and types of courses; hunter vs jumper
  • Able to jump a full course  of 7 jumps at a min 2’ 
  • Able to count rhythm and stride between jumps

Outside schooling shows…

  • Showing off property or anything over 2’3
  • Own or lease a horse min 3 days a week
  • Be able to lunge  at the walk and trot under supervision
  • Know how to walk and understand hunter and jumper courses
  • Leg yields turn on forehand/haunches
  • Lead change at the canter or efficient simple change

If you have any questions or concerns regarding rider levels please contact westcottequestrian@gmail.com