Extensions and stuff

Hellooooo -


So, here’s another doozy from me. I haven’t attended many shows in the past several years, and my JR. Exhibitor days were spent w/ my mom in tow and a sort of trainer. In turn, I basically learned from asking lots of questions and watching riders/trainers at the shows.

Here’s a question: In the hunter classes I was under the impression that for the extended canter, the rider sits his/her butt into the saddle and kind of leans a bit back. For the Hand Gallop, the rider leans forward in (almost out of) the saddle. I have seen people do the opposite on occasion as well. I assumed my way was the correct way, but then again, I could be making a fool out of myself too. What’s the correct way?

P.S. I hope that question makes sense ;)

12 Responses to Extensions and stuff

  1. colwilrin says:

    Good question, I’m going to be new to huntseat this year so I’d like to add one more.

    When you reverse hunters…into the rail or into the middle?

  2. bella92290 says:

    We have been taught the same for the extended canter and the hand gallop. And for the reverse, either, we have been taught both depending on the skill of the rider and the horse.

  3. Karen says:

    I was always told to reverse to the center if possible, and not to over do the two point at the hand gallop.

  4. wctigger says:

    I agree with Bella about the reverse. You can do it either way depending on how your horse will respond. My junior exhibitor horse would not turn in to the rail. If you did he would immediately begin jigging and you wouldn’t be able to stop it. If you made a nice big half circle with him, then most of the time he would be fine. So do whatever your horse responds best to.

  5. erikarose says:

    I’ve always been taught to sit up and in the saddle during the canter, and during the hand gallop & extended canter you slightly lean forward and pick your butt up out of the saddle, almost into a less exaggerated half seat/two-point position. This is supposed to enhance the more open gaits. Remember just like the extended trot it’s about covering more ground not speeding around the ring, though there needs to be a distinct different between the normal gait and extended gait.

    As for reversing, it’s how your horse needs to reverse. If it needs to turn into the rail to not take off at a trot or start jigging then turn into the rail. If you need to make it into a circle make it into a circle, etc. It’s all about making it look as though you are doing exactly what you want and is a smooth clean reverse.

  6. JK says:

    When I showed Morgans hunt seat, I did exactly what erikarose described.

    However, when I showed collegiate hunters they looked at me like I had 3 heads when I sat the canter! It was a very difficult transition to canter the way they wanted – its hard to explain, it was kind of a two point, but your rear end wouldn’t totally be out of the saddle. They said it was to move with the horse, but I felt like I was always fighting the canter.

  7. colwilrin says:


    Trying to envision my “29″ (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) year old butt hovering over the saddle….praying for the judge to call for the walk already!!

  8. jns767 says:

    H aha, colwilrin – you’re so funny….I know the praying for the judge to call the walk feeling and I am 29. I get that feeling during the extended trot- I huff and puff the whole way through that puppy.

  9. colwilrin says:

    Yep…I am now looking at ellipticals and treadmills so I can keep up with the hunter. I used to wonder why Dawn mentioned her workout boot camp on the Peeper site…now I know EXACTLY why that is so important and why she looks like she has no trouble keeping up with those super athletic horses that she rides!

  10. Chilly One says:

    Stair Master. The best way to keep your “horse legs”.

  11. bks015 says:

    The college hunter people call it a “modified two-point” :)

  12. KayITM says:

    I was taught for the canter to sit up straight. Then for the extended canter and the hand gallop to push back in your saddle and lean a bit forward.

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