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Horsemanship - Equitation Standards

( Originally Published 1962 )



CONTROL OF THE HORSE IS AS IMPORTANT TO THE AVERAGE horseman who rides for recreation as it is to the polo player, steeplechaser, jumper, and haute ecole rider. Control represents the difference between safety and danger, between success and failure, between permanent pleasure and a passing fancy. Control can be achieved only through effective and well-disciplined use of the aids. The fundamental technique is the same, regardless of the type of riding the horseman later adopts. It is only the degree of skill that varies.

In order to establish a definite form—a yardstick by which to measure ability in riding—standard requirements should be adopted for skill in horsemanship. The dressage program of the Olympic Games has already established the standard for the hardest trial ever invented of the rider's ability, the horse's obedience, suppleness, and perfection of gaits. Similar movements along the same lines and based on the same principles can be combined to fit children's classes, beginners as well as more experienced riders.

The following two series of movements, elementary and advanced, can be adjusted according to requirements and will give a fairly clear picture of a rider's skill.

The judging of this class has no bearing on dressage and deals only with the rider's position, seat, handling of the reins, and his knowledge of correct saddling and bridling, and, roughly, of the horse's anatomy.

1. Inspection of saddling and bridling

2. Mounting and dismounting

3. Questions regarding horse's anatomy

4. Movements at a walk

Full parade Small volte Back

Short turn

s. Movements at slow trot

Full parade Small volte Back

6. Movements at free trot

Posting

Half parade to slow trot

Big figure eight, change of diagonal

7. Movements at canter

Obtaining correct lead in passing corner

Big figure eight with half parade to trot and change of lead

FOR ADVANCED

In this class, elementary dressage principles subject to judging cover the rider's position, seat, and handling of the aids; and the horse's obedience, response to the aids, suppleness of action, and the regularity and general development of the gaits. The jumps are judged only by the rider's performance.

1. Inspection of saddling and bridling

2. Mounting and dismounting

3. Movements at walk Small volte

Full parade

Back

Two-track

Pirouette

4. Movements at collected trot Small volte

Full parade

Back

Pirouette

5. Movements at free trot

Full parade

Back

Big figure eight, change of diagonal Half parade to collected trot

6. Movements at collected canter

Small volte

Small volte with reverse and change of lead (not more than three beats of intermediate trot) Full parade

Start of canter from walk, collected trot, and halt

7. Movements at free canter

Big figure eight with half parade to trot and change of lead

8. Three jumps, at the judge's discretion



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