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Equine Info Exchange - Saddle Seat

Saddle Seat riding is an English riding discipline that is designed to show off the high action of certain horse breeds. The style developed into its modern form in the United States, and is also seen in Canada and South Africa. To a much lesser extent, it is ridden with American horse breeds in Europe and Australia.

The goal of the saddle seat riding style is to show off the horse's extravagant gaits, particularly the trot. It is not to be confused with the various hunt seat disciplines.

The most common horses used in Saddle Seat riding are:

  • American Saddlebreds
  • Morgan horses
  • Arabians
  • Tennessee Walking Horses
  • Standardbreds

These breeds are all known for their smooth, high-stepping gaits and their willingness to perform.

Saddle Seat riding is divided into several different classes, including:

  • Pleasure
  • Equitation
  • Hunter Pleasure
  • Hack
  • Park
  • Exhibition

Pleasure classes are the most popular type of Saddle Seat competition. They are judged on the horse's gaits, manners, and appearance. Equitation classes are judged on the rider's form and technique. Hunter Pleasure classes are similar to Pleasure classes, but the horses are also evaluated on their ability to jump small fences. Hack classes are judged on the horse's way of going and the rider's ability to control the horse in traffic. Park classes are judged on the horse's gaits, manners, and appearance in a park setting. Exhibition classes are the most creative type of Saddle Seat competition. Riders are given a theme and they must create a routine that showcases their horse's talents.

Saddle Seat riding is a beautiful and elegant equestrian discipline. It is a great way to show off the natural talents of certain horse breeds and to challenge riders to develop their skills.

Saddle Seat - Training - United States

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