Hunters/Equitation

Hunters/Equitation

Modern hunter classes were designed to test the qualities and attributes of a successful hunt horse negotiating natural obstacles (fences, hedges, stone walls). These classes are subjectively judged based on the horse’s performance over fences as well as its quality of movement under saddle on the flat.

Equitation classes are judged on the rider’s ability, form and skill to allow the horse to perform at its best, but the horse itself is not judged at all. The judging is subjectively based on the rider’s position, style, proficiency, accuracy, use of the aids, as well as an overall impression of complete and quiet control. Search for your favorite coach or by training topic.

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Hunters/Equitation
  • Geoff Teall – 3’ Level – Warm-up on the Flat – Part 2

    Geoff Teall talks about the importance of a straight line from the clinic riders’ hands to the horses’ mouths. The purpose of this is to establish a nice contact with the horse’s mouth. This can also help improve the horse’s suppleness. While the position change may be minimal, the result is sign...

  • Geoff Teall – 3’ Level – Warm-up on the Flat – Part 1

    Geoff Teall has the clinic horses start in a posting trot, which he says is a good gait to get a read on how the horses feel that day. The horses have to be willing to carry the riders in a relaxed, forward manner. Both horses and riders need to be comfortable working at the pace needed to jump s...

  • Geoff Teall – 2’6” to 2’9” – Ground Rails and Jumps

    With the clinic horses settled, Geoff Teall keeps the ground rails, but adds a few jumps to see how the horses react. The rails with the jumps helps the horses to balance better, slow down and collect to add a stride in a line.

  • Geoff Teall – 2’6” to 2’9” – Working with Ground Rails

    Because the clinic horses were getting too strong, Geoff Teall changed his original plan and had the riders work their horses over ground rails. Walking and trotting over poles helps settle the horses and make it easier to bring them back quietly.

  • Geoff Teall – 2’6” to 2’9” – Jumping a Short Course

    Geoff Teall sets a course for the clinic riders and wants them to make the decisions of where and when they need to stop in order to bring their horses back. The pace should stay about the same and the lines should stay straight, but the choice as to what to do next will come after the jump.

  • Geoff Teall – 2’6” to 2’9” – Warm-up on the Flat – Part 2

    Riders in the Geoff Teall clinic continue in a slow hand-gallop and work toward establishing the canter needed to jump. The riders need to be in a half-seat with balance in the legs while the hands are steady and even. They fine-tune their positions on the flat so they are better prepared to star...

  • Geoff Teall – 2’6” to 2’9” – Warm-up on the Flat – Part 1

    Geoff Teall has the horses start in a posting trot, which he says is a good gait to get a read on how the horses feel that day. The horses have to be willing to carry the riders in a relaxed, forward manner. Both horses and riders should be comfortable working at the pace needed to jump.

  • Geoff Teall – 2’ to 2’3” – Jumping a Short Course – Part 2

    The clinic riders repeat the course adding small details, such as a quicker pace or shorter reins, to make the rounds even smoother. At the end of the session, Geoff Teall has the riders talk about what they learned over the three days.

  • Geoff Teall – 2’ to 2’3” – Jumping a Short Course – Part 1

    Geoff Teall sets a course for the clinic riders and wants them to make the decision of where and when they need to stop in order to bring their horses back. The pace should stay about the same and the lines should stay straight, but the choice as to what to do will come after the jump.

  • Geoff Teall – 2’ to 2’3” – Settling a Horse that Rushes

    Geoff Teall has clinic riders canter a fence, stop straight, back up a couple of steps, turn to the outside, circle and then canter the same jump in the opposite direction. This exercise is excellent for horses that tend to rush. He’s looking for a slow, steady rhythm from the horses and a light ...

  • Geoff Teall – 2’ to 2’3” – Warm-Up Flat to Jumping – Part 3

    To finish the flat warm-up, Geoff Teall talks about not allowing the horses to rush the riders by cutting in on the lines. He wants them to keep the horses working further out. The riders must balance the horses and keep them out with opening outside rein and inside leg.

  • Geoff Teall – 2’ to 2’3” – Warm-Up Flat to Jumping – Part 2

    The clinic riders use the gallop to establish a steady contact. If, with that contact, the horses start to get heavy, the riders’ strength is in their bodies and not their hands. As the horses start to balance back, Geoff Teall reminds riders to relax their reins but not drop their feel.

  • Geoff Teall – 2’ to 2’3” – Warm-Up Flat to Jumping – Part 1

    Geoff Teall says the most important thing for flatwork is getting comfortable going up to pace. The idea of the warm-up is to get the horses going forward, straight and light in that order. Second, he thinks the clinic riders need to be a little uncomfortable with the pace. He wants riders to pus...

  • Geoff Teall – 3’ Level – Riding a 4-Stride Line – Part 1

    Geoff Teall has the clinic riders in the 3' group practice an exercise focusing on a four-stride line. He explains that the riders need to establish a pace that makes the four-stride line work in a relaxed, forward four-strides.

  • Geoff-Teall – 3’ Level – Riding a 4-Stride Line – Part 2

    The clinic riders continue the four-stride line exercise, focusing on correct pace. Geoff Teall also says the riders need to work more by feel so that they know what adjustments to make. Additionally, the more the riders can allow the horses forward, the easier it will be to keep them straight an...

  • Get to Know Geoff Teall

    Get to know hunter trainer and judge Geoff Teall, including his teaching philosophy with flatwork and jumping, his teaching style, and all of the wonderful people he has met throughout his career.

  • Geoff Teall – 3’ Level – Jumping a Small Course – Part 1

    On the first day of the clinic, Geoff Teall wants the horses in the 3-foot group to stay up and out and maintain a steady pace without the riders pushing or holding. He leaves it up to the riders to determine if they need to stop and back the horse between the jumps. The rider’s job is to get the...

  • Geoff Teall – 3’ Group – Jumping a Small Course – Part 2

    All the riders in the Geoff Teall clinic repeat the course and exercise that they did in Part 1. Geoff talks about how all of this training is a slow progression, and that they keep preparing the horse for the next day of training. The horses and riders both show improvement as they all better un...

  • 2’ to 2’3” Level – Rein Length and Hand Position

    Geoff Teall has the group of riders start with a rising trot to warm up. He then has a discussion about the correct rein length and hand position that is the most effective contact for cantering and jumping a course. Often riders have reins that are too long and hands that are too wide and low. T...

  • 2’ to 2’3” Level – Leg Position

    Geoff says that “The most important part of your position has to start with legs.” He goes to each rider and adjusts their leg position to the way he feels is most secure for cantering and jumping. He stresses that the toes should be turned out slightly so that the ankles and knees can relaxed. T...

  • 2’ to 2’3” Level – Body Angles and Position

    The next area Geoff discusses is the rider’s upper body position. He goes over the four different body angles – at the ankles, knee, hip and elbow. He discusses how to correctly close the hip angle and not lean forward by bending at the waist. Then the riders practice how to bend at the hip and b...

  • 2’ to 2’3” Level – Understanding Pace

    Geoff goes over the different gaits and how the rider’s body should be positioned in the canter to be balanced and to go with their horses. He wants the horses to keep the same speed so that everything looks smooth and even.

  • 2’ to 2’3” Level – Introducing a Jump

    Geoff starts the horses over “half” a crossrail with one pole at an angle. This allows the rider to do what’s best for the horse by choosing what part of the jump to ride towards. He says the horse should trot in a steady rhythm on a straight line and then stop after the jump, which teaches the h...

  • 2’ to 2’3” Level – Control Over Fences – Part 1

    The group does multiple fences with circles and stops in between to help the horses come back and then keep a steady rhythm. Geoff wants the riders to set a slow speed, maintain that speed and then bring the horse back after the jump. He stresses thinking ahead so that the riders are able to plan...