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Have questions? See below for common questions and answers.

What is Hunt Seat?

Hunt Seat is terminology used in the United States and Canada to refer to a style of forward seat riding commonly found at American horse shows.  Along with Dressage, it is one of the two classic forms of English riding.  The Hunt seat is based on the tradition of fox hunting.  Hunt seat competition in North America includes both flat and over fences for show hunters, which judge the horse's movement and form, and equitation classes, which judge the rider's ability both on the flat and over fences.  Hunt seat is also the generic term used to describe any form of forward seat riding, including that seen in show jumping and eventing.  Click here to read more about Hunt Seat.

What is Eventing?

Eventing is an equestrian event which comprises dressage, cross-country and show jumping, also called stadium jumping.  This event has its roots in a comprehensive cavalry test requiring mastery of several types of riding.  It has three main formats: the horse trials or one day event, two day event and the three day event which runs four days at some competitions.  Click here to learn more about eventing.

What is Western Pleasure?

Western Pleasure is a western style competition at horse shows that evaluates horses on manners and suitability of the horse for a relaxed but collected gait cadence and relatively slow speed of gait, along with calm and responsive disposition.  The horse is to appear to be a "pleasure" to ride and very comfortable, while being very smooth.  Horse conformation and temperament play a role in this event, and hence animals that are calm, quiet, have collected, soft gaits and the strong muscling required to sustain slow, controlled movement are the most competitive.  Click here to read more about Western Pleasure.

What is Dressage?

Dressage is a path and destination of competitive horse training, with competitions held at all levels from amateur to the Olympics.  Its fundamental purpose is to develop, through standardized progressive training methods a horse's natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, thereby maximizing its potential as a riding horse.  Dressage is occasionally referred to as "Horse Ballet".  Click here to read more about Dressage.

What is Horse Showmanship?

Showmanship is an event found at many horse shows.  It involves a person on the ground leading a horse, wearing a halter or bridle, through a series of maneuvers called a pattern.  The horse itself is not judged on its conformation.  Rather, the exhibitor is judged on how well he or she exhibits the animal to its best advantage, with additional scoring for the grooming and presentation of both horse and handler.  Showmanship began as a component of 4-H competition for young people, to teach them how to present a horse in hand.  Over time, it expanded into most breed competition at regular horse shows as well and has become a highly competitive event with exacting standards at the highest level.  Both English and Western handlers may appear in the same class. Click here to read more about Showmanship.

What is Stadium Jumping or Show Jumping?

Show jumping, also known as "stadium jumping," "open jumping," or "jumpers," is a member of a family of English riding equestrian events that also includes dressage, eventing, hunters, and equitation. Jumping classes commonly are seen at horse shows throughout the world, including the Olympics. Sometimes shows are limited exclusively to jumpers, sometimes jumper classes are offered in conjunction with other English-style events, and sometimes show jumping is but one division of very large, all-breed competitions that include a very wide variety of disciplines. Jumping classes may be governed by various national horse show sanctioning organizations, such as the United States Equestrian Federation in the USA.

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