The Gray Wonder, Adventures in
Saddle Hunt Seat
Coach Courtney: Why don’t you ride Milton in Academy at Mid-South Spring Premiere?
Me: I can do that?
Apparently, yes. There is nothing in the class description that specifies either Saddlebreds or saddle seat. Other folks have ridden hunt seat in Academy, frequently the Morgan folks, I am told.
No braids. ASB performance horses have one red ribbon braided into the top of their manes. Academy horses do not.
Snaffle bridle. Check
Hunt seat saddle. Check
Technically, Milton should wear a fitted saddlepad, i.e. one in the shape of the saddle. However, Sir Snowflake has an opinionated back. Last time I fiddled with the padding, he tried to buck me off [Two Hops]. Square pad it is.
No jacket. Saddle seat Academy does not wear them, so I won’t either.
Boots. Check. That’s a lotta leather boot to polish after 7 years of cleaning short, shiny, patent leather jod boots.
For dress, I proposed Academy from the waist up & hunt seat from the waist down. The Academy vest & tie look like a coordinated outfit. A hunt seat shirt looks like I forgot to put on my jacket. Plus the purple vest would look great on a gray horse. Alas, our sartorial director sneered at half-and-half. White and boring it is.
The last time I rode hunters seriously was … let’s see … um … North Carolina? That means the early 90s. Previous Horse and I did one Working Hunter division in Alabama. Local jumpers weren’t what they are today, and we had no class to ride in. Clearly we were jumpers just there for the height. That would have been early 2000s.
Milton has shown Hunter Under Saddle in Walk-Trot [Heathermoor et al]. He has cantered in public [FCHP]. He has even cantered in this ring [MSSP 2018], and that was this time last year when we weren’t cantering much of anywhere.
Time for the next step. What does Milton think of a WTC flat class?
Thank you for reading,