Monoflap saddles in the hunter ring? Improving bascule? Proper way to sit canter...
I ride a 7yo OTTB with a great hunter-y movement who is very willing and has lots of talent. (Brag: She oversteps in the trot by a full 2", and if I really ask I can get 3" out of it- I've measured :P)
Monoflaps I ride in a monoflap saddle(brown), as it is the best all-around saddle I can find and the only one non-custom/in my price range that will fit me(See freakishly long femur). I've shown local, small-scale stuff in a old saddle and we've done decently, but that saddle puts me in a chair seat and is too wide for her. My question is this:Is it acceptable to enter a hunter/equitation/derby/etc class riding in a monoflap saddle?
Bascule My lovely mare loves to jump. The only problem is she refuses to use herself to any degree over anything under 3'. THis would be fine, but we aren't ready to show that and I feel like she needs to learn to use herself more efficiently. How can I help her learn to use her muscles to produce a pleasing jump, even over baby fences?
Canter In the hunter ring(specifically flat classes) the pattern is normally walk-trot-walk-canter. My horse is great at walk-canter transitions, but I'm never sure how to sit/ride the canter in a hunter class. I've seen some riders get in half-seat, some sit and are perfectly still, and others sit and rock back and forth a bit. Which of these is most appropriate for a Hunter Equitation Class?
PS: I'm sorry for the random/silly questions, but I'm a Jumper/Eventer in most of my life and am looking to get into hunters to improve my horse's discipline and way of going. And yes, I know I over-think things. It's what I do.
Canter- I've always been taught to sit in an equitation class and halfseat in the hack, the theory being halfseating allows the horse to use its back better. However, you can do either in a hunter class and no one will look at you oddly. It's always most appropriate to sit the canter in an equitation class on the flat.
Bascule- Most horses don't put much effort into their jump until the jumps get past 3' unless the horse has a fairly limited scope, so that's not something I would be very concerned about. You can do gymnastics to help improve her form, and remember to give a release big enough to allow her to use herself the best she can, but again, I wouldn't lose sleep over it.
Saddle- that depends on the level you're showing at. I've personally never seen a monoflap in the hunters or equitation but I don't believe they're unconventional (someone correct me if I'm wrong!).
As far as the monoflap goes, you should be fine. Like caughtintheact said, gymnastics may help with your mare learning to use herself. I've only ridden a few horses that have had perfect form over fences under 3'. And in an EQ class, definitely sit the canter! If it were a hunter class, it's whatever you feel makes your horse look better.