Here's the thing about equitation: It only really matters in equitation classes.
Of course it's always better to ride with good form, but if a hunter moves and jumps well enough...
he can still win a hunter class...
with his rider leaning way up on his neck.
The same is true in the jumper ring.
The horse with the fastest clean round is going to win, provided his rider stays on board.
No one has ever lost a jumper class because their toes were pointed at the ground.It just doesn't work that way.
There aren't a lot of equitation classes at model horse shows, so how important is doll equitation?
My thoughts are this: Equitation matters. Dolls should be able to ride their horses in a manner appropriate to the level and style of the entry being depicted. Furthermore, they should appear to be working with their mounts to produce a winning performance. Form faults severe enough to hinder the horse should and will be penalized. However, it's unrealistic to expect or demand perfect doll equitation in classes where equitation is not judged.
In other words, your doll doesn't need to be an equitation super star. S/he does need to be a capable, competent rider who's taken more than a few riding lessons.
Classes begin in the next installment of this series.