View Full Version : judge's opinions appreciated: full seat VS half seat in hunters

Jun. 26, 2009, 02:27 PM
i have done hunters and eq for years, but i have never really thought closely about this until now:

is it necessarily "wrong" to ride in a full seat during a hunter class? is it also considered unorganized/inconsistent to mostly ride full seat during a course but throw in some half seat here and there (think in between a long line) ? the way i see it, it's kind of like bits: while no, it's not as nice-looking to have a pelham in the hunters, i'd rather see a hunter going around NICELY with a pelham instead of unorganized or unhappy in a D ring. i mean, sure, i could get my pony around a course in a half seat: but it would certainly not be as pretty. we can put together a beautiful course when i'm riding in a full seat, and we get much better jumps. this is more important, however i know it's also important to create the right "image" in hunters, you know? the look that my horse is doing everything for me, even though it's not the case.

i ask, because while i always do well at A shows and in large classes (children's hunter) i wonder if this could negatively affect my placing in the future, like when i move up to larger fences and divisions ?

anyone's opinion is appreciated, but i'd especially like to hear from judges :) thank you

Jun. 26, 2009, 02:33 PM
Um...kind of depends on the horse but, basically, you want to show a free moving canter and demonstrate how easy the horse is to control. A full seat is used when you need to sit into them to balance up and/or slow down or you anticipate an issue, like a spook.

It kind of broadcasts you need a little more control.

For that reason, you see most good Pros in a half seat off the back but understand this-they are very good at very slightly increasing the weight in the seat without changing the hip angle. That way it LOOKS like a they are way off the back-but they are not. Matter of degree.

There is nothing that says you cannot show in full seat but, if you are trying to show how light and obedient the horse is and stay the same all the way around? Why would you want to?

Master that half seat and keeping your hip angle closed while keeping weight in your seat. Very hard but a great tool to hide those adjustments everybody needs.