Discussion of Hunt seat and forward seat
I hate it as it is so dangerous. Christopher Reeve was taught to stay in the two point and I am sure that is why he had such a nasty accident.
Hunt seat is basically two point all the way through the round - none of them would last more than 2 feet after landing over a fence following hounds!
As for why it is called English riding, probably because at one point England was trying to rule a lot of the world!
Two point and huntseat is what a rider does when they hang over the horse because they're not balanced nor have an independent seat. ;-)
I'm hoping this is sarcasm, and that I'm just unable to determine tone?
"hunt seat" and "forward seat" are interchangable terms, and describe a style of riding suitable for riding a horse cross country at speed over obstacles. That it's often done badly does not mean it's not a legitmate term.
Two point is a balanced position with two points of contact with the saddle, meaning the rider's knees. Correct two point has the rider balanced over their stirrups, crotch over the center of the saddle/center of gravity of the horse, buttocks just barely off of the seat. Done correctly by an intermediate or higher rider, it should be completely independent, with the rider not taking any support from the reins or neck. Used by hunt seat riders, jumpers, eventers or anyone who wants to take weight off the horse's back but remain in balance. Constrasted with three-point where the rider sits even closer, crotch touching the saddle, but folded forward from the hip. Can also be called jump position or galloping position, and has a variation known as half-seat.
Maura, presumably 'two point', is what Vladimir Littauer calls 'forward riding' ??
This style is what is promoted in Wales for trail riding across wales over uneven terrain.
We would also use it for trotting uphill on tarmac and also for trotting downhill over rough terrain.
What really does make the hair on the back of my neck stand up is the way it is generally taught in the US with people being taught to get into two point and staying there throughout a round of jumping.
If it is you in the picture then you know that two point is valid between fences especially CC but unless you are sitting up going into and as the horse lands from a fence, especially CC, then you are very insecure.
Even jump jockeys, riding with a two point seat, will be sitting down going into a fence to drive the horse forward and be in a backward seat but slipping the reins, known as hitting the buckle, when they land.
Vladimir Littauer was born a Russian and served in a classy Russian cavalry regiment loyal to the Czar. He fought the Germans thru WW1 but lost out during the revolution. He escaped to the US and became an AMerican citizen.
To earn a living he taught riding - especially by way of the Italian system developed by Capt Caprilli an Italian cavalry officer. Littauer's forward riding became the system for Americans who rode English.
Eventually Littauer became the trainer of the post WW2 US International riding teams. He was very, very knowledgeable about how to ride a horse. Riding was his life.
He wrote several books on how to ride in the 'Forward' style.
His system works but has lost some ground to the modern pseudo classical style of riding whereby every one sits bolt upright and firmly seated in the saddle - which isn't such a good idea when charging over Welsh bracken covered uneven hillsides pitted with rabbit holes and bogs
There is room in equitation for more than one system of riding a horse.
And in the course of a hack one may use several of them, transitioning seamlessly from one to another.
I have exhausted myself this weekend defending hunters and the American system of forward riding on this board; so I don't have the energy to respond your comments today, but I while respond later.
The freedom required to enable this and change balance quickly if required by taking weight off the back by rising from the saddle by placing weight through the knees and heels is just not what I personally see when folks talk "two point" and "hunt seat" and post photos.
To me there should be a leaning of the upper body forward and maintaining balance over the heels with a good line through the body showing hips pushed back so there's as much weight behind the heels as in front so weight can easily shift forward and back to follow the horse's movement.
Most often though photos show someone lying rigid over the top of the horse with their butt sticking up in the air in a very artificial manner suggesting severe constipation and often when jumping something just 2 feet high from real slow canter!
Oh and yes... I was being sarcastic. I'm English. So of course I was being sarcastic. It's what we do best and right up there with irony.
Double Plus Ungood
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