Okay, so I have a question.  My daughter rode a 4 year old in hunt pleasure and they did very well in OKC.  I have been told that many 16 year olds would not be able to ride her horse because of his age, his action, and etc.  When I asked my daughter about equitation she said , “I can’t win because I cannot follow equitation and ride him well”.  Her explanation is #1, she has to move her hands to stear him, #2, she can’t concentrate on her posture because she has to concetrate on him and etc.  This doesn’t include the fact that he’s too young to do patterns.  What is the point to equitation if a trainer or any other rider cannot use it to train a horse?  Shouldn’t there be some merit to being able to jump on a green horse, ride him, get the right leads, keep him from spooking, keep his head in position and etc.?  Are we judging a rider’s ability to do patterns in equitation or their ability to ride?


5 Responses to Equitation

  1. anonymous says:

    Her horse’s equitation will come with time! Often young horses cannot do patterns becuase they are still learning the basics of collection, leads, smoothness, etc. In a couple years, I’m sure they will be pattern pros!
    While eq is mainly judged on the rider, you also of course need the right horse. Some horses are not cut out for eq; while they may be pretty they may not have the midset or calmness for eq patterns. Other horses may be less pretty or well conformed, but be very easy going, and good for patterns.
    Of course, if your horse is only 4, he has a ton of time to learn patterns, and, working with your trainer, you can be confident they should be able to do eq soon.
    And of course there is merit! The merit is in the fact that your daughter, a jr exhib, rode a junior horse and suceeded! That is definitely proof that your D is a great rider, and I think most, if not all people, realize that!

  2. I agree completely. There is a reason the large majority of eq horses are older seasoned campaigners. It is a very tough job, and in many cases, years of training to get it done well. What your daughter has accomplished already is impressive!! To show a 4 year old horse at that level at her age…. she is already ahead of the curve, and it would seem she has already learned many of the benefits of good riding, whether it be in the format of formal equitation training or not.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely there is merit to jumping on a green horse and getting the job done! Merit doesn’t only come in the form of a blue ribbon:)Self satisfaction, respect from others, etc are also rewards and ones to be taken with great pride!As for her comments, the goal is for the form taught in equitation to become second nature…as in *not* needing to concentrate on posture. Correct equitation form is such because it is supposed to be the most practical position to get the job done. Your daughter can certainly equitate on her horse…it may not result in a blue every time, but it will make her a better rider!

  4. cnovoto says:

    Can I jump in here even if I am not a trainer or judge? I am a past equitation rider, who always rode horses younger than 6 in my equitation classes however, so I understand where your daughter is coming from.

    You are CORRECT, ideally we should be judged on our ABILITY to ride. But often times this is not the case because there are those fantastic horses out there that are just plain easier to equitate and “look pretty” on.

    But, where we learn the most is in the equitation ring. I am a firm believer in this, and by your daughter skipping out on equitation I think she could possibly be hindering her own development as a rider. Actually I have watched her, and I say get her in that eq ring! She is only going to learn. If she doesn’t come out of the ring with a blue, who care?!

    Moving of the hands, etc is little petty things that she will learn to deal with only when she is pressured to learn to deal with it. Does that make sense? I just noticed I am posting late…

    Equitation is probably the single most fulfilling division for a young rider and your daughter should definitely experience it before her time is up. This is just my humble opinion. Best of luck this show season!


  5. jdenzel says:

    Thank you Caitlin! I will share this with my daughter. She will be in the eq ring this year!

Leave a Reply