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Discuss Saddle Seat vs. Hunt seat? at the Equestrian Events, Shows, Competitions forum - Horse Forums.

I'm an event rider, and know NOTHING about saddle seat/hunt seat or THE DIFFERENCES. I ...
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    Senior Member rachelmolly1's Avatar
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    Saddle Seat vs. Hunt seat?

    I'm an event rider, and know NOTHING about saddle seat/hunt seat or THE DIFFERENCES.
    I used to be a hunter/jumper... But that's the closest thing to "hunt seat" I've ever been. hahah.

    SO, if ya'll don't mind, would you please enlighten me?
    What are ALL the differences?
    What do the horses do differently?
    Do they post?
    Gaited or non-gaited?

    Anything and everything you know, I want to know, too.
    Pictures/videos are VERY welcome!

    Thanks!
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    Senior Member+ Mozarts_Girl's Avatar
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    Hunt seat is your basic english hunt riding.



    If you've been riding hunter jumper- you've been riding hunt seat. That's the style of riding you do in an English (hunter) saddle. Like Western riding- you have reiners and Western Pleasure and gaming but it's all still western (stock seat) riding.
    It's basic equitation on an english horse, shown at the posting and sitting trot, and with extensions of the trot and canter. There are different types and headsets. There is the QH/Paint/Stock type:


    And then Morgans and Arabs and other hot breeds:

    (This is what I personally do)

    Saddleseat is a whole different ball game!

    (Saddlebred)

    Ridden in a cutback saddle on (usually) American Saddlebreds (also Morgans, Arabs, Tennessee walkers and other gaited breeds) it's the horses with weighted shoes and huge flashy movement. The rider (ideally) sits upright, straight backed in the saddle with a 'chair seat', or with the legs more forward. They are placed over the center of the back, off the shoulder, to maximize front end movement. There are classes for gaited and non-gaited horses. They are ridden in double bridles.

    Arabian:


    Morgan:


    Tennessee Walker (Gaited Saddleseat)



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunt_seat

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddle_seat

    H
    unt saddle: (obviously)



    Saddle seat (cutback) saddle:
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    What a great, educational response, MG!

    OP - There is a huge difference in riding "hunt seat", depending on if you are talking about breed circuit (and the style is really different between say morgans, arab, QH, paint, Appy)......and REALLY DIFFERENT if you are talking about open/usef hunters.

    Also, on the Morgan breed circuit - there is a difference between these two "hunt seat" classes: Hunter Pleasure and Hunter Under Saddle, as well as Hunt Seat Equitation. The horses "go" differently for each.
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    In spite of their differences, surprisingly they do have something in common.
    The rider's basic position still requires the classic straight line from shoulder, through hip, to heel:


    Saddleseat Basic position.
    Sit comfortably in the saddle. Find the horseís center of gravity by sitting with a slight bend at the knees without use of the stirrup irons. While in this position, adjust the leathers to fit. Irons should be placed under
    the ball of the foot and the foot should be natural. Your body should follow a vertical straight line from the shoulder through the hip to the heel. (so you can see that even when riding saddleseat the straight line from shoulder to hip to heel must be present!)
    Hands. The distance of the hands from the withers is a matter of how and where the horse carries its head. There should be a straight line from the riderís elbow, hands and reins to the horseís mouth. Hold reins according to the equipment used, but use both hands to hold all reins at the same time. The bite of the reins (excess rein) should be on the right side of the horse.


    Hunt Seat:
    Statement from the 2002 USA Equestrian rulebook:
    Article 2208. Position.

    1. General. Rider should have a workmanlike appearance, seat and hands light and supple, conveying the impression of complete control should any emergency arise. Exhibitors may ride sidesaddle in Adult Equitation classes but not in classes restricted to Juniors.

    2. Hands. Hands should be over and in front of horse's withers, knuckles thirty degrees inside the vertical, hands slightly apart and making a straight line from horse's mouth to rider's elbow. Method of holding reins is optional and bight of reins may fall on either side. However, all reins must be picked up at the same time.

    3. Basic Position. The eyes should be up and shoulders back. Toes should be at an angle best suited to rider's conformation: ankles flexed in, heels down, calf of leg in contact with horse and slightly behind girth. Iron should be on the ball of the foot and must not be tied to the girth.

    4. Position in Motion. At the walk, sitting trot and canter, body should be a couple of degrees in front of the vertical; posting trot, inclined forward; galloping and jumping, same inclination as the posting trot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fancy That View Post
    Also, on the Morgan breed circuit - there is a difference between these two "hunt seat" classes: Hunter Pleasure and Hunter Under Saddle, as well as Hunt Seat Equitation. The horses "go" differently for each.
    Same for on the Arabian breed circuit
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    Quote Originally Posted by windblown View Post
    Same for on the Arabian breed circuit
    that is something new to me- for the arab circuit. When I showed at the dawn of time, it was just hunter pleasure- do tell, what is the difference in arab circuits now between hunter under saddle and hunter pleasure?
    Enquiring minds. LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by kattw8 View Post
    that is something new to me- for the arab circuit. When I showed at the dawn of time, it was just hunter pleasure- do tell, what is the difference in arab circuits now between hunter under saddle and hunter pleasure?
    Enquiring minds. LOL
    We have hunter pleasure for the more "showy" horses, and then working hunter under saddle classes for other hunters. We also have sport horse under saddle classes, which can include hunter type horses. They tend to be much flatter moving and bridle more horizontally than what we see in hunter pleasure.

    In picture form, hunter pleasure (this is one of my horses):


    And from a hunter or sport horse under saddle class (I'm not sure which, but this would be suitable for either), this is the top Arabian working hunter currently, Oration.


    And because I can, this is an Arabian saddleseat (English Pleasure, particularly) horse. I took this picture of Vegaz in 2010.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozarts_Girl View Post

    Tennessee Walker (Gaited Saddleseat)

    Very informative post but I have to stick my nose in here and say this is not a TWH! It is a 5 gaited saddlebred. Tennssee Walking Horses are never shown in double bridles but rather a single "gaited horse" type of bit, most commonly a gag or standard TWH interchangeable shank bit.

    This is my flat-shod TWH (plain keg shoes)


    Close-up of his bridle. TWHs are always shown with ribbons in the mane and forelock in Saddleseat-type of classes.


    There are differences within Saddleseat in regards to the different classes. These are based on the shoes the horse wears and it's movement. Country and Trail Pleasure horses don't have any kind of fancy shoes. Then there are divisions like lite shod, park, plantation, big lick (in the walking horse world, I don't agree with them), and so on. Sorry, I'm at school and can't elaborate a whole lot right now.

    Here's my saddleseat mare showing in Half-Arab Park:
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    Country English Pleasure horses on the Arabian circuit definitely wear big shoes/pads. I think we're the only breed that is that way. It's still the "lowest" of the saddleseat classes, but the horses are still very fancy.
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    Our Classic Pleasure horses are often shod with pads as well. We don't have a country pleasure division, but classic is the closest thing in the Morgans.

    PLEASE NOTE. Being shod with pads does not equal the stacks that Big Lick Walkers wear.
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