Everyone that comes to me for riding lessons, wants to be a “good rider.” However, I don't think they always understand what a “good rider” is.
It's not the ability to stay on a horse running really fast or jumping really high. It's not the ability to force the horse to do what you want either. Instead, a good rider is a rider that prioritizes their horse's well-being over their own ego.
A beginner rider that has never trotted a horse before can be a good rider just by doing what's right by the horse.
There are many riders that can jump very high and ride very fast but they are not good riders. They do not do what is in the best interest of the horse.
There are also riders that can jump very high, and ride very fast but the well-being of their horse always comes first. These are good riders with great moments.
All riders fight a never-ending war with ego and the desire to be a truly good rider. Every moment of every day that you are with your horse you must make the choice to be a good rider. It is not something that is suddenly achieved, it is an everyday choice.
Here is a list from a very good rider and horsemen that guides me in deciding who is trustworthy enough to work with my horses.
𝐐𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐚 '𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐝' 𝐑𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐫:
𝟏) 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮; 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
𝟐) 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐛𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐞'𝐬 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞
𝟑) 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐞𝐠𝐨
𝟒) 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐨𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐞
𝟓) 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐟𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐬𝐤𝐞𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐨
𝟔) 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐭-𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐡𝐲
and here is her article for additional information on the qualities of a ‘good’ rider.