Rider Levels – Ease of Handling

These are generalized skill expectations  for riders in Ease of Handling per WEIAUSA and USFWE.   Effective January 2015.

  Don’t be too concerned about which organization lets you do what at any particular level.  This is for guidance purposes until you are actually entered in an accredited show.  What is really important is getting both legs over your horse and riding!  You will soon have a really good idea of your strengths and those areas that need work.

  • USFWE Level 1 = Introductory Level in WEIAUSA
  • USFWE Level  2 = Novice in WEIAUSA
  • USFWE Level 3 = about Intermediate in WEIAUSA
  • USFWE Level 4 &5 = appx.  Advanced in WEIAUS
  • USFWE Level  6 =  Masters in WEIAUSA

The following list is a generalization as well.  Again, don’t be too concerned about when you can trot and when you have to canter.   Every rider is welcome to ride in clinics and fun shows to the best of their ability!  Without any arduous requirements.  When you reach Level 5 (Advanced) and plan to take a shot at a national championship you can start taking all this a little more seriously.

  • Level 1 riders will travel between obstacles at the trot
  • Level 2  will travel between obstacles at the trot or canter.
  • Level 3 up will travel between obstacles at the canter.
  • Levels 6 and Masters do all work one handed at the canter.

This is a list of the obstacles  and rider expectations as generally accepted by all groups.    As the training of the horse progresses, the obstacle expectations may change as well.  The following is for Ease of Handling only.  Green text indicates we have an article about the obstacle.

Cross Bridge

  • All levels.
  • Performed at a Walk

Figure 8 

  • Level 1 at  Walk or Trot.
  • Level 2 and 3 at Trot or Canter with simple change.
  • Level 4 up at Canter with flying change.
  • Level 1 – 4, circles can be any size but must be uniform .
  • Level 5 & 6 circles are 10 feet.

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Livestock Pen

  • Level 1 at the Walk
  • Level 2 – 6  at the Walk OR Canter within the pen.

 

  • Water Jug
  • All Levels,  this obstacle is performed standing.
  • Level 1 will transition from a trot, all others from the canter.

Corridor Bell

  • Level 1 – Enter corridor at the Walk – No rein back.
  • Level 2 & 3. Enter corridor at the Walk or Canter.
  • Level 4 up.  Enter corridor at the Canter.

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Remove and Replace a Pole

  • Level 1 – Pick up or Replace Pole at the walk or trot.
  • Level 2 – Pick up or Replace Pole at the trot or canter.
  • Level 3 & up – the work is done at the canter.

 

10171680_839553456065732_563518196555829705_nSkewer Ring or Knock a Ball with the Pole

  • Level 1 – Walk or Trot
  • Level 2 & 3 – Walk  Trot or Canter
  • Level 4 up at the Canter

 

Switch Cup – there are a variety of configurations for this obstacle.

  • Level 1  Walk – No rein back.
  • Level 2 & 3  Walk or Canter.
  • Level 4 up  at the Canter.
Ginny Furness photo

 

Single Pole Slalom

  • Level 1 at the Trot.
  • Level 2 and 3 at Canter with simple change.
  • Level 4 up at Canter with flying change.

Double Pole Slalom

  • Level 1 at the Trot.
  • Level 2 and 3 at Canter with simple change.
  • Level 4 up at Canter with flying change.

Gate

  • Level 1 not a required obstacle
  • Level 2 & 3 performed in one direction
  • Level 4 up may be required in both directions.

Jump

  • Level 1 not a required obstacle
  • Level 2 up at the canter.

Side Step over Pole

  • Level 1 not a required obstacle
  • Level 2 up at the walk

Water Ditch

  • Level 1 not a required obstacle
  • Level 2 up at the walk

Bank Jump

  • Level 1 not a required obstacle
  • Level 2 up at the walk

Cloverleaf

  • Level 1 & 2 not a required obstacle
  • Level 3 at a canter simple change
  • Level 4 up at a canter flying change

Cattle Sorting

  • Level 1 not a challenge
  • Level 2 up at appropriate gait for the conditions and set up.

The following are additional USFWE Obstacles

Move a Sack

  • Level 1 – At the Walk
  • Level 2 & 3 at the Walk or Canter
  • Level 4 up at the Canter

Varied Footing

  • All Levels at the walk.

Drag item

  • Level 1 – not a required obstacle
  • Level 2 & 3 at the Walk or Canter
  • Level 4 up at the Canter

Throw a Rope

  • Level 1 not a requirement
  • Level 2 and up.  While stationary.

Ground Tie

  • Level 1 & 2 not a requirement
  • Level 3 up.  The horse should remain in place.

Feature photo by Tammy Sparks Williams

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