Assessing Your Horsemanship Skill Level



The Blue Sky Sage crew (which Mike and Bobbi are part of) are very capable at the lope . . .

The wide open spaces of Wyoming are perfect for good, long lopes . . .

The Blue Sky Sage saddle horses have been carefully selected & trained to give a good, safe lope . . .

The Blue Sky Sage "Double Wade" saddles have been custom built to provide a safe, comfortable lope . . . 

When we have guests that CAN POST THE TROT CORRECTLY, we do lots of loping . . .

When we have guests that CANNOT POST THE TROT CORRECTLY, we do not do any loping . . .


Blue Sky Sage welcomes riders from advanced skill level horsewomen to the intermediate/strong novice skill levels, however in order for each guest to receive the ride they expect, it is imperative that all individuals on a given ride week have similar skills and fitness levels.  Over the many years we have been conducting horseback adventures, we have discovered that a rider's ability to correctly post the trot is the best indicator of skill level and that is directly tied to fitness.  

 ADVANCED SKILL LEVELmay include most or all of these characteristics and/or others:

  • You are at or near your ideal weight; physically fit and active, good overall body strength and control, on a regular exercise/fitness regimen that may include yoga, Pilates, strength training, brisk hiking, bicycling, etc. Click here for details about health and fitness for successful horseback riding.
  • Horses and riding may be a lifestyle choice for you.
  • You own/lease a Horse or have regular, hands-on access to a Horse for riding.
  • You understand the principles of the "independent seat" and put them into practice on every ride.
  • You can properly post the trot and transition smoothly into faster gaits.
  • You ride outside of the ring or arena for extended periods of time on a regular basis doing trail riding in open country.
  • Your riding experience may include several years of riding competition in any of the many disciplines including hunter/jumper, dressage, fox hunting, etc., or riding with western tack participating in team penning, cutting, or riding outside the arena at the trot or faster paces.
  • You travel to participate in horseback adventures around the country and/or the world as often as possible.
  • You have the desire to be a "student of the Horse".
  •  You have done enough riding outside to have become dirty, sweaty, tired and sore and still LOVED IT! 
    IT is imperative that you honestly assess your fitness and skill level and that we speak directly to make sure you are booking into a ride that suits you, both from a safety aspect and an intensity level. 

Intermediate / Strong Novice Skill Level: may include most or all of these characteristics:  

  • Your physical fitness is less than ideal, i.e., may be a little overweight, may or may not have good stamina, etc. Click here for details on health and fitness for successful horseback riding. Let's talk directly about your condition if you have any questions.
  • Horses and riding are an interest you wish to explore more in depth before making a commitment to a full-time pursuit. 
  • You are willing to put in the effort to learn the concepts and practice the "independent seat".
  • Can groom and tack up a Horse with supervision or you have a strong desire to learn correctly.
  • You find that the trot is uncomfortable and is your least favorite gait.
  • You have never progressed to the canter or lope.
  • You have not ridden outside the ring or arena or only have been exposed to the "outside" on a limited basis.
  • Have ridden on "nose to tail" trail rides at a walk, any distance.
  • Are currently taking lessons or are planning to start lessons for several months in advance of your horse vacation.
  • It's okay to be a Novice!

Blue Sky Sage offers a couple rides each season for people who may be less fit and/or skilled than the "experienced/fit" description, but still would like to participate in something besides the typical dude ranch ride. The intensity level and pace will be adjusted to accommodate the characteristics described and the number one priority is SAFETY, for both rider and horse. If you have any questions at all about your skill and fitness level, call us and we can talk.

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