Classes in which the rider, not the horse, is judged. The rider must demonstrate a good seat and hands, and sufficient required tests, either over fences or on the flat, in a smooth, controlled and accurate manner. Riders are classified according to their age and previous winning in equitation classes. Many of today's top riders were national equitation champions while juniors.
In riding competitions, this indicates that riders are being judged on their ability to control the horse while maintaining the correct riding position. Riders have the added challenge of riding an unfamiliar horse which they draw in a lottery system just prior to their class.
A rider's equitation is her/his ability to ride correctly with a strong, supple position and effective aids. This is judged in equitation classes, or classes at horse shows that mainly judge the rider's performance and control of their horse, as opposed to the performance of the horse. Equitation classes occur in the Hunt seat, Saddle seat, Dressage, and Western disciplines.