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What is Equestrian?

Learning Equestrian is easy to do once you understand a few key rules and terms:

SCORING:
Scores are given by a designated judge based on rider position and quality of ride. Each event is scored in a manner which reflects current AQHA and USEF industry standards. Reining, Horsemanship, Equitation on the Flat and Equitation over Fences are the four classes offered at all intercollegiate equestrian competitions. In Varsity competition, the team will earn one point for each rider who defeats her opponent on the same horse.


EVENTS:

EQUITATION ON THE FLAT
Riders will perform a predetermined test composed of nine maneuvers while being judged on their ability to control the horse and maintain a correct riding position. Test is performed in a 20 by 40 meter dressage arena.
EQUITATION OVER FENCES
Athletes will ride a horse over a set course of 8 to 10 jumps. Riders are judged on their ability to position the horse correctly at the jumps while maintaining a correct riding position and producing a smooth, polished performance.
HORSEMANSHIP
A set pattern consisting of 7 to 9 maneuvers is performed by each rider. Scoring is based on the rider maintaining a correct and effective position while guiding the horse, as well as quality of the maneuvers.
REINING
Riders perform a predetermined pattern of maneuvers such as spins, sliding stops, rollbacks, circles and lead changes. Judging is based on accuracy and precision of maneuvers. The reined horse should be willingly guided with little or no apparent resistance.


GLOSSARY OF TERMS:
CROP
A short whip used in hunter seat events to reinforce the leg aid.
DIAGONAL
When a rider rises and sits in sequence with the horse’s legs at the trot. Posting on the correct diagonal helps to keep the horse balanced.
GAITS
Walk- a four beat gait
Trot/Jog- a two beat gait where a horse’s legs step in a diagonal pattern.
Canter/Lope- a three beat gait where a horse’s lead is determined by which foreleg reaches the furthest.
HUNTER SEAT EQUITATION
Discipline that originated from foxhunting and now serves as the foundation of show jumping.
LEADS
At the canter/lope, the foreleg that extends the furthest determines the horse’s lead. Typically a horse should canter/lope leading with their inside front leg in order to maintain balance.
FLYING LEAD CHANGE
A maneuver in which the horse changes which foreleg he is leading with mid-step at the canter/lope.
REFUSAL
When the horse refuses to proceed over a jump.
SLIDING STOP
A smooth stop from the lope in which the horse should balance on his back feet while his front continue to move.
SPUR
A metal aid worn on the rider’s heel to assist in engaging the horse. Spurs can be worn in both western and hunter seat events.
TACK
The equipment worn by the horse.
WESTERN
The discipline that originated from ranching where riders had to spend long hours in the saddle. This is the basis for the style of the equipment. Horses are expected to perform on a neck rein and respond to light pressure and weight transfer.


COMPETITION FORMAT:
VARSITY
Refers to a head-to-head competition with another varsity program. Riders are allowed to warm up horses and will compete head-to-head with a predetermined opponent, both of whom will ride the same horse.

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