Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
North American Equitation
I posted this on the thread titled "Jumping Pictures" - but got no response, so I thought I'd make a thread of it's own:
I find it funny, how form aka Equitation changes per country.
Here in North America - that includes the U.S.A and Canada - Equitation is very strict. Very precise and "classical" - I find that most cannot comprehend how to do it accurately and end up perching moreso than being functional.
Now you go to Europe, Equitation is not highly stressed, but remaining functional and out of your horses way is taught.
I have to say, after talking to a friend from New Zealand who is a PHENOMINAL eventer - she showed me how remaining out of your horses way, and remaining functional is far more important than looking pretty.
Since I grew up riding in Pony Club and equitation was stressed over and over and over "must be over horses center of gravity, legs solid, seat centered, proper release" I grew up believing that you being balanced keeps your horse balanced - but after seeing how riders ride in Great Britain and New Zealand, how their form is out the window, but their functionallity is spot on.......I've come to realize that there has to be a happy medium.
So where's the fine line - from being supportive, aiding, and functional - from bring "pretty" and perching to the point of abandoning your horse to do the fence, while you do what you can to look pretty while doing it?
I for one, would far wrather be functional - I highly admire those top level New Zealand Eventers, and Great Britain Riders, man they don't look pretty, but they sure do get the job done, and done well!
I was drilled and made to believe that if you are out, so is your horse and how important it is for you to be solid for your horse to be - but after having long discussions with my friends in New Zealand about this - I don't know anymore.
What are your thoughts?