You may be better off competing in regular hunters at local events.
AQHA standards are much different than a regular working hunter. Though regular working hunters want a horse stretching down, they value a forward, balanced trot and canter. AQHA resembles more of a western horse in english tack. They move out the trot a little, but the neck is generally level or below level, and the canter is often a 4 beat.... The rules dictate it's not to be this way, but like all aspects of the equine industry, the popular opinion is difficult to kick out of the winner's circle.
If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question or asked the question wrong
And God took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it and created the horse