I've had this discussion with quite a few people, so I thought I'd ask you folk what you think. What experience/riding level do you think someone should have/be before they are able to school a green horse well?
I think that's a really hard question to answer because there are so many variables and I'm not 100% that I've grasped the question but I'll give it a go!
If someone was advertising themselves as being about to school/produce horses I'd expect them:
To have proven experience, possibly with an established professional, producing horses
To have evidence of having produced the horses ie not just their word for it
To improve a horse every time they rode/worked with it
To have proof that they have experience producing horses to (or beyond) the level that you want horse schooled up to
Blimey, that's a difficult one, some great riders who are very capable may not be able to put a definite gauge on their riding level due to lack of funds, horsepower, etc etc , other people that have ridden to a decent level so sound the part have got there on mega money horses so its a hard one.
There are a few 'high level' trainers my way who I wouldn't let anywhere near a horse I owned yet there are a few girls at the riding school I teach at that would be able to do an amazing job.
I don't think there is an answer to this, just someone with previous knowledge of having trained lots of different horses, would have to have a good seat, confidence and positivity in their riding and quiet hands for me to consider them to be capable.
I agree with both of the above replies.
I have met a lot of people who consider themselves capable of "schooling" who I wouldn't let loose on any horse without instruction, let alone one that needed to learn stuff It's amazing how many "experienced" riders you see without an independent seat and/or terrible, terrible hands. There are other riders who may have had less saddle time, less instruction, be less technically-skilled who have great feel and instinct and can do a considerably better job!
I think it also depends on the nature of the schooling required.
I know a lady who has no traditional competition type experience who I would have absolutely no qualms about having her to school a green horse. she's a quiet sympathetic rider with very good horse sense and I know she'd do a good job of installing some basics but not overdo anything.
If I wanted someone to start dressage work then that would be a bit unproductive so I'd want someone who had produced horses working well to the levels I was aiming at or thereabouts.
For jumping I'd want someone with form for producing young horses who were happy and confident over fences.
I guess that the rider should already be doing beautifully what you hope the horse will do, on a variety of horses of different types and temperaments. That added to a personable nature to communicate with the owner and a calm but determined demeanour as bringing on babies has lows as well as highs.
I would add to that, even if you wan the horse to just be a happy hacker than I would not choose a happy hacker to produce a happy hacker unless the rider was also able to influence the horse to change balance and soften aids to positively influence the horse's way of going. Many happy hackers do happily hack with awful balance and dead mouth/sides, but IMO would do the job better and with longevity if they also work well with their bodies. Besides which, a horse with a strong foundation on the school and popping coloured and natural fences, as well as hacking, is given the best chance of finding a new home if that is ever necessary.