This system has been developed by us, based on years of experience teaching beginners and novices. It gives riders a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of correct, classical riding so
that they can progress to higher levels, both on the flat and over jumps.
The Grades run from 1 to 6 and riders can’t move onto the next grade until all the requirements of the previous grade have been completed. Each time a rider completes a grade, they can purchase
a Progress Certificate if they wish. Riders who pass Grade 6 will be above the level of the BHS Stage 1 Riding exam and equipped with the skills for doing dressage or jumping at a local level.
Grades 1 and 2 are assessed by a rider’s regular instructor. Grades 3 and above are assessed by Mary Stitson.
The following gives a sample of what is included in each grade.
Please note that jumping is optional.
Mounting, dismounting and leading
Correct position and balance
How to halt, walk and turn
Sitting trot with stirrups
Walk without Stirrups
Learning to change direction
Large circles in walk
Understand what it means for a horse to be ‘going forwards’
Using reins effectively
Starting sitting trot without stirrups
Grade 4 - Flat
Learning to move horse or pony sideways (leg yield)
Trotting over a line of poles
Sitting and rising trot without stirrups
Grade 4 - Jump
Correct balance and position
Transitions between trot and canter
Courses of poles in trot
Grade 5 - Flat
Understanding the horse’s way of going
Leg yield in trot
20m circles in canter
Grade 5 - Jump
Linking fences together
Riding consistently forward over poles and jumps
Keeping balance and position in canter
Changes of lead through trot
Grade 6 - Flat
Increasing / Decreasing stride in trot
Canter without stirrups
Grade 6 - Jump
Uprights and narrow spreads
Courses in canter
Walk to canter transitions