What is hunt seat? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-14-2012, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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What is hunt seat?

Today, somebody told my horse would make a good hunt seat horse (I've been told by many that she'd be a cute English horse). I've heard the name before, but do not know what it is, so I'm wondering if anybody can explain what it is? Or does anybody know any good articles explaining? I hope that I'm not in the wrong forum. lol

Thanks :)
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-26-2012, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Blaze View Post
Today, somebody told my horse would make a good hunt seat horse (I've been told by many that she'd be a cute English horse). I've heard the name before, but do not know what it is, so I'm wondering if anybody can explain what it is? Or does anybody know any good articles explaining? I hope that I'm not in the wrong forum. lol

Thanks :)
Hunt seat is refering to the type of 'seat', saddle type, form of riding...there's also dressage and saddle seat. You ride hunt seat when you do hunters under saddle, any kind of jumping...
This is from Wikipedia...
Hunt seat is terminology used in the United States and Canada to refer to a style of forward seat riding commonly found at American horse shows. Along with Dressage, it is one of the two classic forms of English riding. The Hunt seat is based on the tradition of fox hunting. Hunt seat competition in North America includes both flat and over fences for show hunters, which judge the horse's movement and form, and equitation classes, which judge the rider's ability both on the flat and over fences. Hunt seat is also the generic term used to describe any form of forward seat riding, including that seen in show jumping and eventing.
Hunt seat is a popular form of riding in the United States, recognized by the USHJA (United States Hunter/Jumper Association) and the United States Equestrian Federation, and in Canada. While hunt seat showing per se is not an Olympic discipline, many show jumping competitors began by riding in hunter and equitation classes before moving into the jumper divisions.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-27-2012, 07:17 AM
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Yep, hunt seat just refers to something more specific than just "English." There are three major English "seats" (general positions/postures for the rider, and saddles to help and support the rider in the appropriate position for the discipline or seat); Dressage seat, Saddle seat, and Hunt seat.

Hunt seat, as it is understood today, is comparatively new, dating only from the late 1800s/turn of the 20th century when Caprilli's innovations began to replace the old jumping position. Hunt seat style is intended specifically to help the horse to balance over fences or cross country, with the correct rider's position mirroring the horse's movement and allowing him to take the fence comfortably.

As I understand it, "Hunt Seat" as a term for a specific style of equitation or showing division is largely confined to the US. Anyone correct me if I'm wrong on that, but I do believe that, in the UK and Australia, anyway, there are some differences, not in the fundamentals of the equitation involved in jumping horses, but in the organization of horse shows and the cut of saddles for flat classes vs. jumping classes.

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post #4 of 7 Old 06-27-2012, 07:32 AM
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Hmm a good hunt seat horse.. maybe as in a good Hunter (discipline) ?

Where's maura? She really knows Hunter and Hunt Seat Equitation..

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post #5 of 7 Old 07-01-2012, 08:55 AM
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Blaze, by any chance is your horse a Quarter Horse? Or App, Paint, Arab?

Folks who show USEF-style hunters and equitation most often refer to their discipline as "Hunters" and the equitation as "Hunter Eq" Folks who show in breed shows and show their horses in multiple disciplines are much more likely to refer to "hunt seat" or "English" - the same horse wearing different tack and going in a different style competes in a variety of classes.

Breed show hunters are very different from USEF hunters, as the horse is judged to the breed standard and conventions of the breed show first, and a hunter performance standard second.

I suspect you have a horse that folks think has the look, manners and way of going to do well in the English or hunt seat classes at whatever breed association show.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-01-2012, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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maura - she's an Arab/Quarter cross.

I've only even ridden her western but I am taking lessons and soon we'll begin English!
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-10-2012, 05:30 PM
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A hunt seat is one of the many positions when ridding. Your hunt seat is an inbetween seat. You are not in a 3 point seat (also known as dressage seat) because you seat bones, thighs and calves are all in contact with the horse. You have your 2-point position which is where only 2 points of your body are in contact (thighs and calves, used for jumping). Your half seat is where you are slightly out of the saddle but only a half a fists worth away from the seat. This is between your dressage seat and forward seat. Hunt seat is used in hunters, hunter under saddle, equitation, and medals. It is also used in the jumpers as your main position other than two-point. If someone has said your horse is a hunter seat horse, they could be refering to him being a good hunter prospect or that he has a light flowing step to allow you as the rider to hold the hunt seat comfortably. There is no such thing as a hunt seat horse. Hope this helps
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