Showing / Equitation

In some countries, both showing and equitation are big sports.

Showing involves displaying your horse to his best advantage.  There are different types of class depending on the type of horse you are riding.  Some include jumping; some are based largely on performance and manners on the flat, all on types and conformation (how the horse is put together).

In most showing classes, the rider has a few minutes to perform a show to impress the judges.  This should be simple but performed seamlessly, in a good way of going.  One of the most common shows involves using a figure 8, but it is up to the rider in most cases.  If your show lacks lustre, or just doesn’t seem to fit, it will mark you down in the ring.

Equitation is a different type of discipline.  In this competition, the rider performs set movements on the flat (e.g., trot a circle to the right, rising trot, 2nd circle to the left, sitting trot, 3rd circle to the right in canter).  Once they have completed this, they jump a gymnastic exercise (e.g., placing pole to a cross, bounce to a vertical, one stride to an oxer).  The next stage is to jump a course of fences, where they are judges on style, smoothness, rhythm and balance.

In both of these competitions, riders can come across problems with certain exercises.  If riders are struggling with any elements, or an idea of what the judges are looking for, this can be the focus of the lesson.