What is saddleseat?

darlene on michele

Saddleseat is an English style of riding originating in the United States.  Riders post and the gaits are quick and smart.  Horses perform "on the flat" meaning there is no jumping involved.  The goal of the saddleseat rider is to showcase the athleticism, presence, and high stepping action of their horses while maintaining their poise and correct position.

Saddleseat is traditionally performed on American Saddlebreds, Morgans, Arabians, and gaited horses.  A flat saddle is used along with a double bridle adding the extra challenge of two bits and two sets of reigns. 

Riders wear a smart three piece suit with a long jacket, jodphurs with extended heels, short jod boots, and a soft derby hat.

Riders may compete in park, pleasure, and equitation.  Park and pleasure classes are judged on the horse's performance whereas the rider is critiqued in equitation classes.

Saddleseat is extremely challenging yet thrilling and exhilirating.