Hunt Seat is a style of English riding that has its origins in the sport of fox hunting. Many English riders start their riding education by riding hunt seat and then progress to a more complicated or specialized discipline. Hunt seat is the basis for all jumping disciplines, and new riders have to master basic hunt seat equitation before they can graduate to more complicated events. Hunt seat is also known as hunters or hunter seat equitation.
Jumping is the English riding discipline most easily recognized. Riders jump horses over obstacles of varying height, either in an arena or on a course, from 18 inches high to taller than 6 feet. Both cross-country jumping and show jumping are Olympic events. Jumping requires a high level of skill and control from the rider. Accidents are inevitable; jumping is not an English discipline for the weak of heart.
Dressage is an English riding discipline that takes place completely on the flat. Dressage has its own saddle, which encourages the rider to maintain a longer leg and deeper seat. Dressage saddles are never used in jumping. Dressage focuses on getting horses to travel as effectively as possible under saddle.