Hunter Seat Equitation

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Hunter Seat Equitation is a division that is judged on the ability and the style of the rider. The riders can be judged both over fences and on the flat. In over fences classes the riders are judged not only on their ability to negotiate a course of jumps on their horses, but also on their style and position while they do it.

Hunter Seat Equitation. Courtesy Nancy Jaffer

The riders should demonstrate that they have a good understanding not only of what the questions of the course are, but how best to answer them. They try to execute a smooth and consistent round, using invisible aids, and to make their round seem completely effortless. Their position should remain both accurate and stylish throughout the round.

On the flat, riders are tested at the walk, trot and canter at the lower levels, and at more difficult gaits, such as strong or collected walk, trot, and canter, or counter canter and hand gallop, in higher level classes. They must demonstrate proper riding of the horse at all these gaits, as well as accurate and stylish position. Hunter seat equitation riders can be tested in both flat and over fences classes. These tests are outlined in the USEF Rule Book and include such things as halting, backing, trot jumps, riding without stirrups, etc.

Information provided by the United States Equestrian Federation