Wednesday, June 15, 2011

English riding - a brief introduction


English riding - a brief introduction

English riding is a word that people all over the world use for a kind of horse riding. Horse riding is popular worldwide. There exist lots of types of English riding, however they all represent a flat English saddle without the deep seat, high cantle or saddle horn seen on a Western saddle nor the knee pads seen on an Australian Stock Saddle. Saddles that are used in different English disciplines are all developped to let the horse move in the most suitable manner for a current task.

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Some examples of such tasks can be horse racing or, for example Classical dressage. English bridles are also different in style which is based on discipline, but most of them represent some sort of cavesson noseband and also closed reins, buckled together at the ends, which prevents them from falling on the ground in case the rider loses control.
The uniform of riders during a contest is traditionally based on common requirements from which this or that type of riding came from, however almost all standards demand, at least, boots; breeches or jodhpurs; a shirt with some kind of tie or stock; a hat, cap, or equestrian helmet; and a jacket.

English riding is an equestrian type of sport with many different styles, however, at the most basic level, many of its kinds require riders to use both of their hands on the reins (which is different to western riding). Riders also tend to "post" or "rise" to the trot (rising and sitting in rhythm with each stride) very often, nevertheless, it often happens that English riders may sit the trot as well.

English riding in action
English riding in process

Types of English Riding in North America

What concerns the New World, there exist two broad areas of English riding:

a) Hunt seat, which is an overall term used in the US to describe forward seat riding, used both on the flat and over fences. This is the style most commonly associated with the term "English" riding.

b) Saddle seat, a discipline created in the US as well, to exhibit dramatic, high-stepping breeds of horses. Saddle seat style riding is seldom seen outside North America, though it has a small following in South Africa. In North America, dressage sometimes is loosely lumped into the "hunt seat" category by Saddle Seat and non-English riders, primarily to differentiate it from the Saddle Seat disciplines.

English riding is becoming more and more popular these days among different groups of people.

English riding - a brief introduction