When I first started going to model horse shows, I was confused by all the huntseat equitation entries with patterns, judge dolls and cones.
Then, I went to a Quarter Horse show.
Lo and behold, Quarter Horse huntseat equitation is, in fact, a pattern class! Each entrant performed individually.
Then they all came back for a very abbreviated rail class.
That's not how it works at a hunter show.
A typical huntseat equitation on the flat class is a rail class. The entrants perform as a group, usually in a ring filled with jumps.
Riders are asked to walk,trot (posting and sitting)...
and canter in both directions.
Additionally, they may be required to halt...
and perform other tasks, such as lengthen stride at the canter.At the end of the class, the entrants are called to the center of the ring before receiving their ribbons.
Currently, pelhams are the bit of choice in the equitation ring.
Boots, both front...
and hind, are also common equipment choices.
Since I am a hunter girl at heart, I will always consider this format to be the "real" one.
This is not the first time I've written about huntseat equitation. My older posts can be found here, here, here and here.