The Rainbow Level is an introductory level for beginner riders who are not yet able to ride and care for a horse independently. Rainbow Level riders ride on the leadline, or with an instructor walking close by, to ensure their safety and control. They may require help with tasks such as leading and grooming, as well as the simple reading, writing and memorization required to complete the Level.


The following is what I need to accomplish in this level:

o   I take regular lessons - at least once a month - with a knowledgeable instructor.


o   I always wear boots and an ASTM-SEI approved helmet when I am working around horses.  I can put on my helmet myself and show you how it fits correctly.


o   I can tell you how to dress safely for riding.


o   I can show you how to correctly approach a pony, and how to move around a pony safely - including walking around behind.


o   I can tell you why you have to groom a pony and pick out his feet before every ride.


o   I can help my instructor or an older, more experienced rider prepare for a ride.  I help with the grooming, cleaning hooves, and putting on the saddle and bridle.  When I am a little bit bigger, I will be able to tack up a pony without any help.


o   I can show you the basic parts of a saddle and bridle, such as the bit, reins, stirrups and girth.


o   I can lead a pony safely, both with a halter and lead rope and with the bridle reins.


o   I can help to do a safety check on my tack and pony before I ride.  I can pull down the stirrups, put the reins over my pony’s head, and help check the girth.


o   I can mount and dismount correctly and safely.  Even if I have to use the mounting block, or have my instructor give me a leg up, I know it is important to get on and off a pony carefully.


o   I can demonstrate a basic balanced position while my pony is walking and standing still.  I know that a bad position is dangerous for me and uncomfortable for my pony, so I always work hard to keep my eyes up, heels down, and “building blocks” in place!


o   I can pick up the reins and hold them correctly, at a suitable length.


o   I can perform basic stretches and warm-up exercises at the walk, on the leadline.  (This means someone is holding onto my pony to help me steer him.)


o   I can go Around the World.


o   I can demonstrate how I use my aids (my seat, legs, hands and voice) to ask my pony to walk, halt, and turn.


o   I can walk once all the way around the arena without a leadline.


o   I can ride in a balanced two-point position at the halt and the walk.


o   I can walk my pony over ground poles, showing a good jumping position, keeping my eyes up and riding straight over the middle of each pole.


o   I can ride the trot on the leadline.  I can ride both a sitting trot and a posting trot, holding on to the saddle if necessary.  I can keep up a steady rhythm at the posting trot, so it is comfortable for both me and my pony.


o   I can tell you why it is important to cool out my pony after hard work, and help take care of him after a ride.


o   I can name at least ten parts of the pony, and at least three grooming tools.

o   I can feed a treat to a quiet pony safely.  I know why it can be dangerous to feed a pony too many treats, and always ask permission.

o   I have filled out the “My Pony” worksheet with the name, color, markings, height, and breed of the pony I usually ride.  It is okay if my instructor or another experienced horseperson helps me to find this information and write it down.

o   I have helped an experienced horseperson clean out a stall.  I know why it is important to clean out a pony’s stall and water buckets every day.


o   I can correctly put a halter on a horse


o   I can safely led my horse through a gate/stall door


o   I know how to tell what my stirrup length needs to be


o   I can tell which gait my horse is in at the walk and trot


o   I can back a horse up on the ground and under saddle


o   I can count the beats for a walk



Click Here to go back to list of Learning Levels for Horsemanship