Beginner level lessons are for people who are new to riding and desire to learn the basics of equitation and horsemanship in the highest quality of educational settings. Beginners are only given private lessons to ensure the safety of the rider, a faster progression in abilities, and the well-being of the horse. All beginners start lessons on a lunge-line learning correct position, balance, and aids, and have several skills they need to master and riding tests they need to pass before jumping, cantering, or entering a group lesson. Beginners will be introduced to the nature of horses, how to communicate with them, and ways in which to effectively and safely handle them on the ground and in the saddle. Some of the skills taught at beginner level training are as follows:
- Body Parts: You must first learn the different parts of a horse and how to handle or avoid them and how to properly fit tack to them.
- Grooming: Proper grooming of a horse is critical to being able to keep the horse clean, healthy and free from injury.
- Bridling and Saddling: As you are learning how to ride you will also learn how to properly bridle and saddle a horse. This is part of the lesson until you are able to do it proficiently on your own. One you pass the grooming, bridling, and saddling tests, you can come to your lesson early and have your horse fully tacked at the beginning of your lesson.
- Leading: Students will learn how to properly and safely lead a horse.
- How to safely enter a herd of horses and halter the horse you need: This can be an intimidating endeavor in the beginning. Students will learn how to safely work within a herd and separate horses from the herd.
- Mounting and dismounting.
- Balance and Control: Once you’re on the horse, the next skill you’ll learn has to do with balance and control of your body. In order to ride and be one with the horse, you have to develop your seat and center of balance so you can move with the horse, instead of bouncing.
- Equitation: While developing your balance and control you will learn the correct position to ride in. This position will allow for the best communication and balance with the horse.
- Stopping and Steering: Once you’ve developed your balance on the lunge line, you'll be taught to stop and steer the horse on your own.
- The Aids: Once you’ve developed your seat and have learned good equitation, you’ll learn how to ask the horse to walk, trot, canter, halt, and make basic patterns.
Autumn Rae recommends the following books for beginner riders at Scattered Acres.