Western Show Events Explained: HUNT SEAT EQUITATION

Hunt seat equitation is a class for the rider, it is judged on the riders ability to perform various manoeuvres in harmony with the horse. It is a pattern event, the pattern is provided by the judge and can include manoeuvres such as walk, Sit trot, extended trot, posting trot, canter, circles, figure of 8, halt, back, sidepass, simple change, counter canter, canter hand gallop and others.



  • Competitors enter the ring individually and await the judges signal to start the workout.
  • Competitors then complete their pattern, and find a place on the rail of the arena away from the pattern area.
  • Once all competitors have completed their individual workout the rail work will begin.
  • Horses will be shown at a walk, trot and canter at least one direction
  • line up for placing


  • Minor Faults include; break gait at walk or trot up to two strides, over or under turn more or less than 1/8 of a turn.
  • Major Faults include;Break of gait, out of lead, missing lead or diagonal for one-two strides. Not stopping within 10 feet of designated area, incorrect gait or break of gait at a walk or trot, for more than two strides. Obvious looking for lead or diagonal. Over or under turn more than 1/8 of prescribed turn, but not more than 1/4 turn. Head carried too high, head carried too low (such that the poll is below the withers). Over-flexing or straining neck in head carriage so the nose is carried behind the vertical Excessive nosing out .
  • Severe faults include; Loss of stirrup or reins,  break of gait at canter, out of lead or missing lead or diagonal more than two strides. Lack of contact between rider’s hand and bit.  Touching horse, grabbing any part of the saddle, cropping or spurring in front of the shoulder. Kicking at other horses, exhibitors or judge. Severe disobedience or resistance by horse including, but not limited to, rearing, bucking or pawing .


Failure by exhibitor to wear correct number in visible manner, wilful abuse, excessive schooling or training. Fall by horse or rider, illegal use of hands on reins, use of prohibited equipment. Knocking over the cone, going off pattern or working on wrong side of cone. Failure to follow pattern correctly, including failure to ever execute correct lead or gait where called for. Overturning more than 1/4 of prescribed turn.

NOTE This class is a scored event

resources AQHA Handbookcanstockphoto9505575

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