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Saddle seat

Photo courtesy American Saddlebred Horse Association You may think of the American Saddlebred as a high-stepping show-ring mount—a pretty face born to show off. But after talking to some Saddlebred owners, it’s easy to see that the breed is much...
Q: My experience showing horses has been with hunter/jumpers and eventing, all of which require helmet use. Recently I’ve branched out to try new disciplines, including western pleasure and saddle seat. I have begun to show in these divisions,...
In the American Saddlebred show ring, the ultimate honor is to win the open three-gaited or five-gaited championship. Like the park division, horses in these classes display extreme animation and showcase the pinnacle of saddle seat type. "The three-gaited horse...
The nuances of different saddle seat divisions may seem baffling to an outsider. But if you aspire to compete in this discipline, you need to determine the correct division for your horse. We asked professionals from the Morgan, Arabian...
Note: This is day 26 of my 30-day blogging challenge. What the heck is a 30-day blogging challenge? Read about it here. I rode saddle seat for most of my teenage years and my twenties. I've alluded to this on...
In 2011, United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) then-President David O'Connor announced that the Federation would support and develop a national team for the sport of saddle seat equitation. Although not a widely known sport around the globe, there are...

A Guide to Saddle Seat Divisions

Thinking about competing in saddle seat at your next show, but baffled by the class list? Or maybe you just want to be a more educated spectator the next time you attend a show with saddle seat classes. Here's...
Maintaining a balanced, consistent, and controlled canter on the correct lead presents enough challenges. But what if your horse has trouble holding his canter? If your horse starts off fine but repeatedly breaks to the trot, then you need...
A horse show class can seem like a marathon torture session, especially if you’re aboard a cranky horse or trying to hold your position despite the fact that your body’s going numb. Yet you can’t relax just because the...
If you’ve ridden saddle seat for any length of time, you’re probably used to the regular reminders about proper equitation. "Hands up! Heels down! Roll your thighs in!” The elegant appearance of a skilled saddle seat equitation rider is...
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