Levels of Riding at LPEC

Our online booking portal uses a grading system for each rider, to ensure the best learning experience for everyone. On registration, riders are automatically graded as a lead rein. If you are an experienced rider coming for the first time, then please book in on a private so that we can assess you and change your grade online. The grades are explained below. When your instructor feels a rider is ready for the next level of lesson we will speak to you after your ride and upgrade you on our system, this will open up suitable lessons for you to be able to book.


Level one – This level is suitable for complete beginners up to children who are riding without a leader but still require some assistance with riding. Riders who are level one should join a 30-minute ride (with or without tacking up time). The lesson will be labelled as a lead rein. We advise that group lessons are more beneficial than private lessons for riders at this stage.

Before children can join level 2, they will learn:

·       How to hold their reins and shorten them.

·       To rise to the trot and start on some sitting trot practise.

·       To lift their hands from the saddle and some gentle steering independently in walk.

·       Be able to ride in rising trot, sitting trot and hover trot (jump position).

·       They’ll have some canter practise with assistance from their instructor.

There are more details such as balance, confidence, and position and so riders will be able to move up to the next level only when our instructor feels that they are completely ready.  


Level two – Children at this level are capable of riding without a leader. The lessons will be for 30 minutes of riding still (with or without tacking up time) All children will be off lead rein mostly in closed order (following on one behind the other as a group). Children will learn how to steer independently in trot by riding group school movements and shapes. During the summer we may ride outdoors in an arena or an enclosed grass area. We still advise that groups are the best option for riders at this level, however a private lesson during the school holidays can help with a boost of confidence.

Before moving up to Level three riders must;

·       Be able to canter to the back of the ride and turn across the arena.

·       Be capable of trotting over poles in a basic layout.

·       Be able to show a light seat ready for jumping.

·       Understand simple changes of rein.

·       Be capable of riding in at the front, middle and back of the ride.


Level Three (Novice) – Children and adults at level three will ride on a 45-minute lesson (with or without tacking up on top). This is where we introduce open-order riding. This gives the group time to work more on riding exercises. We will start to learn to ride exercises in trot such as serpentines, shallow loops, and centre lines. We will have lots of holiday activities available for children of this level.

Before moving up to Level Four riders must;

·       Be able to ride accurate transitions at a letter in the arena.

·       Jump a small cross pole and straight jump.

·       Be comfortable on a variety of horses or ponies.

·       Be able to trot without their stirrups.


Level Four (Novice Plus) Children and adults at level four are competent. Riders at this level will benefit from both group lessons and private instruction. We advise everyone to try to stick to a regular space and instructor where possible as riders at this level will be able to ride on hacks, in our jumping arena and cross-country field when the weather allows. Each group lesson at this level will have variety as to where you will ride and what you’ll do but we will include some dressage and jumping.


Riders at level four will;

·       Be able to ride a dressage test with instruction.

·       Jump a small course of jumps in trot or canter.

·       Walk, trot and canter without stirrups.

·       Keep a contact and develop an understanding of their horse’s way of going and how to improve it.

Each rider at Liscombe Park Equestrian centre will be monitored by their instructor for their progression in riding. Please remember that each child learns at their own pace so there is no set time on how quickly they will move up a level. Our instructors will let you know when your child is ready to book onto the next level of lesson and we will change their grade on the booking system. 

Level 5 - Intermediate 

This level is mostly riders who own their own horses, capable of riding alone without instruction. Riders at this level can ride anywhere and enjoy all our facilities and competitions. 

Level 6 - Advanced

Similar to Level 5, riders at this level can ride without instruction and also have a good understanding of feel, ride dressage tests over Prelim and jump courses 90cm+

Level 7 - Advanced Plus