Equitation is the art or practice of horse riding or horsemanship.
More specifically, equitation may refer to a rider’s position while mounted, and encompass a rider’s ability to ride correctly and with effective aids.
In horse show competition, the rider, rather than the horse is evaluated. Such classes go by different names including equitation classes, rider classes, or horsemanship classes.
Judging criteria covers the rider’s performance and control of the horse, use of riding aids, proper attire, correct form, and usually factor in rider poise and the cleanliness and polish of horse, rider and equipment.
The performance of the horse is not judged per se, but a poorly performing horse is considered to reflect the ability of the rider.
A good equitation rider is always in balance with the horse, maintains a correct position in every gait, movement, or over a fence, and possesses a commanding, but relaxed presence, able to direct the horse with nearly invisible aids.
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