In trying to formulate an answer for your question I came to realise how a foreigner might have difficulty in understanding and using the words in equitation which you have a problem with.
Equitation is the word used to describe the subject of horses - you name it, everything.
If you are studying how to ride a horse, train a horse or take care of a horse, then you will be studying ‘equitation’.
Show jumping is merely one ‘equestrian’ (ie horse) sport; dressage is another and hunting is a third and there are lots more horse specialist disciplines.
A ‘hunter’ ( the word ‘horse’ is assumed) is a type of horse used in the sport of fox hunting. That means you can ride out with the Master, the huntsmen, the hounds and the followers (the riders) on their ‘hunters’ knowing that you have a horse competent to last the day’s riding. Typically a ’hunter’ is a strong, sturdy, 16 hands plus, long legged horse, perhaps a Thorobred X Hannoverian or maybe a Thorobred X Irish Draught. The Irish successfully breed horses destined to become the mounts of followers to hounds. They are described as Irish Hunters. Such horses are strong, bold, sure footed and have lots of stamina. They can also jump the hedges and the ditches to be found out in open countryside.
A ‘jumping’ horse ( as against a ‘jumper’ horse) is one that can jump well in the show jumping arena. Any horse of almost any breed can jump but some have a natural ability to jump fences well without knocking them over. A show jumper is a rider whose hobby is show jumping. Show jumpers look for a jumping horse ie the horse which is born with an ability to jump.
‘Conformation’ is a term used to describe the shape of a horse, ie the way in which the bones, the muscles, the length of neck, in other words ‘the whole package‘ goes together. A horse with a good conformation looks to the knowledgeable horseman to be physically appropriate for the purpose in mind. A horse which looks in proportion has a good conformation. A horse with a heavy body and small feet might be said to have a poor conformation, in other words it does not ‘conform’ with perceived good standards
Dear Silverada, One thing there is need for a Greek to understand is that there are slight differences in the terms used by Americans who ride ‘English’ compared with Europeans who ride ’English’. Indeed there are minor differences in the way the English speak and write English as compared with the way Americans speak and write the language. There are even differences between how the English ride ‘English’ as compared with Germans who ride ’English’.
May I suggest you get a book on Xenophon - he is regarded as being the first ’horsemaster’ who devised the first formal method of riding. He was the Greek who is credited with starting the study of equitation. You might enjoy the book, perhaps you can even read it in Greek.
One of the problems for all riders new to the sport is to understand correctly the terminology used in equitation. A man called Jean Fort-Paillard wrote a book called ‘Understanding Equitation’ ISBN 0-273 00059-4 - he uses up a whole book to define some words like ’impulsion’ ‘collection’ ’calmness’ ‘tension’ ‘lightness’ and many other terms. Look for a copy in a second hand bookshop or on the internet. But I warn you - it will be hard work to understand unless you can find a teacher.
Best of luck / BG
PS, When writing, always write ‘I’ (upper case) and not ‘i’ (lower case) as you have done in your post.
Last edited by xxBarry Godden; 01-19-2011 at 06:18 PM.