Athletic Equestrian League


Levels in the AEL include Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Novice, Intermediate and Open. In the flat phase, each rider will be scored on a scale of 0 to 40 points. For the fences or patterns phase, each rider is required to complete eight tasks, and will be scored from zero to five on each task, for a total possible of 40 points. For the Practicum phase, each rider scores between 0-20 points.

Attire is more "athletic" than normal show attire, and both English and Western riders are required to wear SEI-ASTM certified helmets. Competitors wear an arm number, plus colored wristbands for their flat phase, in order to ease the judging since the judge has to watch and score all riders for the flat class.

Each level has progressively difficult practicum tasks, and all practicum tasks take into account rider knowledge and safety. All practicum tasks are pulled from the Certified Horsemanship Association(CHA) Composite Manual.

Beginner: Beginner flat riders compete in both directions of the ring at the walk and trot or jog. Beginner fence riders compete over a set pattern of ground poles, which includes work at the walk, trot, and halt. Beginner pattern riders compete over a set pattern which includes work at the walk, jog and halt. Beginner riders have had less than 36 weeks of riding instruction and are capable of performing the rising trot or the jog and have not shown in a mounted competition at the canter or lope.

Advanced Beginner: Advanced Beginner flat riders compete in both directions of the ring at the walk and trot or jog and the canter or lope. Beginner fence riders compete over a set pattern of ground poles, which includes work at the walk, trot, and halt and are asked to canter. Beginner pattern riders compete over a set pattern which includes work at the walk, jog, extended jog, lope and halt. Advanced Beginner riders have had less than 36 weeks of riding instruction and are capable of performing the rising trot or the jog and can canter or lope in a group and have not shown in a mounted competition at the canter or lope. Advanced Beginner English riders have not shown in a mounted competition over 12" fences. Advanced Beginner Western riders have not placed in a recognized AQHA, APHA or NSBA competition.

Novice: Novice English riders compete in both directions of the ring at the walk, rising trot, sitting trot, canter, and halt. Novice Western riders compete in both directions of the ring at the walk, jog, extended jog, lope, and halt. Novice fences riders compete over a set pattern of cross-rails, which includes work at the walk, trot, canter and halt. Novice Western riders compete in a pattern which includes work at the walk, jog, extended jog, lope and halt. Novice riders have had more than 36 weeks of riding instruction and are capable of performing the rising trot or jog and the canter or lope. Novice Fences riders have not shown in a mounted competition over fences higher than 18". Novice Western riders have not won a class in recognized AQHA, APHA or NSBA competition.

Intermediate: Intermediate riders compete in both directions of the ring at the walk, rising and sitting trot, canter, halt, and will perform an extended trot. Intermediate Western riders compete in both directions of the ring at the walk, jog, extended jog, lope and halt and back-up. Intermediate fences riders compete over a set pattern of 2'-2'3" verticals, which includes work at the walk, trot, canter and halt. Intermediate Western riders compete in a pattern which includes work at the walk, jog, extended jog, lope and halt. Intermediate riders have had more than 36 weeks of riding instruction and are capable of performing the rising trot, lengthened trot and canter. Intermediate riders have not shown in a mounted competition over fences higher than 2'6". Intermediate Western riders are not nationally ranked in a class at AQHA, APHA or NSBA recognized organizations.

Open: Open riders compete in both directions of the ring at the walk, rising and sitting trot, canter, halt, and hand-gallop. Intermediate Western riders compete in both directions of the ring at the walk, jog, extended jog, lope and extended lope and halt and back-up. Open fences riders compete over a set pattern of 2'3"-2'6" fences, which includes work at the walk, trot, canter and halt. Open Western riders compete in a pattern which includes work at the walk, jog, extended jog, lope and halt. Open riders have had more than 36 weeks of riding instruction and are capable of performing the rising trot, lengthened trot, canter and hand gallop. Open riders may have shown in a mounted competition over fences higher than 2'6". Open Western riders may be nationally ranked in a class at AQHA, APHA or NSBA recognized organizations.

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