The system enables riders to ride with people of the same standard and ability which will make the lessons more structured enabling the rider to improve and develop within their capabilities. There are set guidelines on what a rider needs to achieve in order to progress to the next grade this enables the rider to become an all round horse person and the added structure encourages riders to gain confidence and to improve at their own pace.

There is a timetable with slots a week reserved for each level, (maximum 8 riders per lesson). These slots are reserved for the specified level only. A rider cannot join a grade above what they are graded, but can join the grade below as long as it is understood that the lesson content would be aimed at that lower level.

Lead Rein

An introduction to the wonderful world of horses and ponies. At this grade the children are given the chance build up their confidence around the ponies. Lessons are fun and full of games to help the child develop their balance on horseback with out to much pressure. They will have a groom leading them.

This level the children are off the lead rein in walk and trot aimed time is spent on improving their seat to establish a more balanced position and better control of the ponies. To grasp a basic understanding of how to care for your pony. Learn the basic green cross code for riding on the road.

Prerequisites – 15 Lessons, 3 stable management sessions

  • Leading a horse on your own.
  • Self-Mounting and Dismounting.
  • Walk in straight line along the arena.
  • Circle in walk (10mtr).
  • Figure of 8 in walk.
  • Walk to trot, Trot to walk transitions. Walk-halt, Halt walk.
  • Trot in straight lines.
  • Circle in trot (20 mtrs).
  • Basic posture of Rider.
  • Correct diagonal.



  • To learn the pre riding checks, how to receive a leg up and mount and dismount.
  • Know the pony must stand still while being mounted.
  • Be able to make the pony stand still while being mounted.
  • Sit in a safe and reasonably secure position in the saddle.
  • Know how to keep a safe distance when riding in a ride
  • Know not to get to close to the pony in front.
  • To learn to have control when riding off the lead rein, make controlled transitions, ride from halt to walk and walk to trot then trot to walk and walk to halt in a straight line
  • Be able to hold and shorten and lengthen reins.
  • To ride in walk independently from the rest of the ride.
  • Make changes of rein and circles in walk
  • Simple exercises.


  • Know how to approach a pony and give him a pat
  • Be able to put on and remove the head collar
  • Be able to tie and untie a pony correctly
  • Know some colours and parts of the ponies
  • Be able to check if the girth is loose before mounting
  • Be able to pull down stirrups before mounting
  • Be able to remove the saddle and put it away correctly.
  • Know that water must always be available
  • Basic grooming
  • Basic needs of the pony in stable and at grass.
  • Proper way to give a pony and apple or carrot.

Moving ahead improving skills learnt at level 1 introducing canter, the rider will learn to recognise correct diagonal, work with no stirrups or hands in walk and trot. Progressing on to some basic pole work. Getting more comfortable around the ponies in the stables and starting to be able to get the pony tacked up and ready with only a little help.

Prerequisites – 30 lessons, 6 stable management sessions

  • All the points from Grade-l.
  • Circles in trot (10mtr).
  • Figure of 8 in Trot.
  • Spirals in Trot (20 to 10 mtrs )
  • Trot to Canter, Canter to trot transitions, Trot – Halt, Halt – trot.
  • Canter in straight lines.
  • Variations in Trot.


  • Mount and dismount unaided from the ground.
  • Sit straight and balanced in the saddle.
  • Lengthen and shorten stirrups on floor and while mounted.
  • Check and adjust girth before and while mounted.
  • Know how the pony positions his feet when he halts square.
  • Be able to do working trot rising and sitting.
  • Be able to make transitions at the markers accurately.
  • Make changes of rein and circles in rising and sitting trot.
  • Change diagonal as necessary.
  • Ride over a short course of poles on the ground in walk and trot.
  • Know the sequence of legs in walk and trot.
  • Be able to ride as the leading file.
  • Be able to pass the ride safely.
  • Exercises at walk and trot without stirrups and reins.
  • Be able to canter from the front to the rear of the ride.


  • Approach and handle a pony correctly
  • Catch a pony in the field and put on a head collar
  • Lead pony in a head collar and a bridle.
  • Make the pony stand still from the floor.
  • Be able to take a bridle off wash the bit and hang it up correctly.
  • Name different parts of the saddle and the bridle and stand the saddle on the ground correctly.
  • Know how to brush a pony off with a dandy brush.
  • Know how to use the body brush on the pony’s face mane and tail.
  • Be able to pick out the ponies feet.
  • Name simple points of the pony and recognise different markings on the face.
  • Name some breeds of native ponies
  • Know the basic needs of a pony in summer and winter. Why they need shelter, water and food.
  • Know the difference between good and bad fences
  • Know two types of food ponies eat.

Getting better in the three basic paces, expanding on the pole work and introduce small jumping. In order to progress to the next level you must pass the Embassy Pony Club D1 test in riding and stable management.

Prerequisites – 50 lessons, 8 stable management sessions

  • All the points up to Grade ll.
  • Circles in Canter (10mtr)
  • Walk to Canter transitions, Canter to Walk.
  • Trot to Halt, Halt to Trot transitions.
  • Variations in Canter.
  • Jumping single jump.
  • Canter Poles
  • Stride work between 2 ground poles.
  • Serpentine – 4 loops in trot


  • Mount and dismount unaided from the ground from both sides.
  • Know the sequence of legs in canter
  • Be able to lead a drill ride.
  • Ride over a short course of poles on the ground in trot including some small X poles
  • Be able to maintain a balanced position in forward seat.
  • Be able to maintain a balanced position without stirrups in walk, trot and canter
  • Be able to turn and ride circles in canter.
  • Be able to recognise leading legs in canter and know how to change
  • Know the rules of the school and be able to ride in open order safely.


  • Know how to provide water in a field and how to maintain it.
  • Know the different items of the grooming kit and how to use them.
  • Lead a pony in hand at walk and trot and turn him correctly.
  • Recognise different markings on the legs and body.
  • Name the different types of breeds.
  • Know the procedure for cleaning the saddle and the bridle.
  • Put on the saddle and the bridle and know if it fits.
  • Recognise the basic feed stuffs.
  • Know how to give hay to several ponies in a paddock.
  • Recognise some poisonous plants.
  • Recognise stable, sweat and turn out rugs.

At this level you must be confident in all three paces on all horses/ponies. Improved confidence jumping and dealing with problems correctly the rider will also be confident on hacks. Start learning how to work horses/ponies in a good outline developing your feel on the horse. At this level the rider is setting an example to the previous levels and should be able to help them to improve. They could also be used as a teaching assistant to gain more knowledge.

Prerequisites – 75 lessons, 10 stable management sessions

  • All the points up to Grade 3.
  • Figure of 8 in canter with simple change of leg through trot.
  • Few steps of counter canter like in Junior dressage
  • Jumping 6-8 fences courses of 70-80CM.
  • ‘Leg-yielding’ in Walk & Trot


  • Confident to ride all horses/ponies in all paces and over jumps.
  • Jumping confidently with a secure position and being able to ride a course of jumps.
  • Being able to maintain a secure forward seat in the school and out hacking.
  • Being confident to hack
  • Being able to deal with problems correctly and effectively.
  • Have an increased feel of how the horse moves underneath you. Starting to feel canter leads etc.
  • Feel if your horse is stiff, hollow, unsound etc
  • Learning how to work the horses correctly and improve their way of going.
  • Using initiative and riding correct exercises to improve your horse.
  • Riding all school figures, serpentines, shallow loops etc.
  • Be able to ride and understand basic lateral work.
  • Be able to warm up independently and ride safely when working in with others.


  • Having a good, confident manner around all horses/ponies.
  • Being able to deal with difficult horses from the ground.
  • Understanding the benefits of lunging and know how to lunge correctly.
  • Be able to lunge a horse using correct equipment in walk and trot.
  • Name ten rules of feeding.
  • Learning what weights of feed different horses and ratios of feed to grass.
  • Recognising different rugs and be able to put them on/off correctly.
  • Know how to put on an exercise bandage
  • Know how to put on a tail bandage.
  • Be able to plait a mane and tail.
  • Know what a horse must have to travel safely.
  • Recognise minor ailments and know how to treat correctly.
  • Be able to recognise lameness.