At the novice level, riders will build on their foundations to develop more advanced riding skills. Some of the skills taught at novice level training are as follows:
- Riders should have excellent equitation by this point, and will continue to build on their abilities to give correct aids, in the correct timing.
- Riders will develop a more “feel” for what is going on between them and the horse. This will greatly open the communication channels and will develop a more rideable, willing, and able partner in the horse.
- Riders will learn to confidently ride in trails and fields at the walk, trot, canter, and up to 400m/m.
- Riders will learn how to regulate and know their horse’s speed in m/m, and to know how much ground they are covering in relationship to speed as they canter and gallop on a xc course.
- Riders will learn to correctly put a horse into a frame, bending, and to ride basic dressage patterns, movements, and tests with technical correctness.
- Riders will begin to jump larger stadium and xc jumps with more technical grids and courses.
- Riders will learn to correctly use their seat with in various positions to more effectively influence the horse. (i.e-deep seat, light-seat, half-seat).
- Riders will learn the “rebalancing half-halt” and will gain the ability to keep the horse light on the forehand and will begin to learn degrees of collection and extension and the difference between the collected, working, medium, and extended gaits.
- Riders will begin to understand The Training Scale, and how to apply the training scale to each ride. This will deepen the rider’s ability to understand where difficulties in their training are coming from and how to solve those problems.
Novice Riders can expect to solidify their skills riding at the USEA levels of:
- Baby Novice
- Beginner Novice
Riders who want to specifically focus on dressage can expect to master skills at the USDF levels of:
- Training Level
- First Level
- Second Level
- Third Level
Autumn Rae recommends the following books for novice riders at Scattered Acres.