Beginner: Is "fresh" in the saddle, has little experience (for example, has had at least 3 months regular riding lessons).
Novice Rider: Is familiar with at all basic aids. Does not shy away from being on a well-trained horse in walk, trot and easy canter on short routes on the trail. Rides primarily in the paddock.
Intermediate Rider: Safe on a well-trained horse at all paces - including a long rising trot and canter. Equestrian experience also in open country. Fitness and experience make several hours in the saddle possible.
Experienced Rider: Confident and relaxed on horseback, rides regularly and is fit. Has a good seat and soft hands and is capable of handling a spirited horse at canter in open country. May own/share a horse or have previously owned/shared a horse and will be happy with long gallops. Can lead a horse even in difficult terrain.