The “How?” or “When?” on Moving Up

Like many of you, I’m an ambitious rider.  I want to get better; I want to grow as a rider and as a horsewoman.  So the big question is–how do you all decide when to move up?  Is it when you win the blue ribbon or score your ideal score?  Or when you feel like you need more of a challenge?  Perhaps you find more value in asking your trainer when you should be taking on more?   Since there is such a broad range of writers and readers out there I’d love to see what you all consider when moving up.


Cute pony text break.
Cute pony text break.

As for me–my trainer is fantastic.  Among a thousand other things, I trust her to help me ride better, and to help me properly gauge my progress with O.  So yes, I trust her to help me move up the levels.  I’ve never felt pushed to climb the levels by anyone other than myself.  At my barn we attempt to be as transparent as possible.  Your big goal could be doing ground poles for the rest of your life, jumping in a grand prix, or just enjoying your weekly rides.

That said, I’ve always been pretty open about my desire to be competitive.  Do I need to win everything?  HECK NO.  (also note-I wouldn’t anyway)  But I love the feeling of showing, and striving towards something with my horse.  I want to have fun, and I want my horse to be happy as well.  Together, my trainer and I seem to have a pretty good game plan, and I’m excited for the next years of showing and trying to “earn” my way up the levels.


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