Differences between hunters and jumpers? - Page 6

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Differences between hunters and jumpers?

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  • How can you tell the difference between a good hunter jumper horse and a bad one?

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    11-23-2012, 09:30 PM
Head tossing would still be penalized as a resistance. What is not penalized under the derby format is horses showing some personality and expression, and a more forward pace. In the very competitive big hunter divisions, the horses all have such big strides in looks like they're crawling down the lines semi-comatose, the derbies were supposed an antidote to that.

There's a lot of misinformation and half truths in this thread and I don't have time to address them all.

In most US hunter classes, a rail down, or a tick or a rub, will be penalized as a *form* fault - if the horse hits the fence, it is presumed to not have jumped in good form. It is not penalized by a set number of faults as in jumpers, but it is penalized - if you look at the judge's card, you will see a notation and a lowered score for that fence.

My "problem" with the hunters, and the reason I moved into other disciplines, is that it is way too difficult and expensive to be competitive in the As and for a mid level rider with an extremely limited budget, it stopped being fun. Eventing and schooling jumpers were much more rewarding for a rider with my resources, but that doesn't change the fact that my hunter background and skills were critical to my success in those new disciplines.

There's a *lot* more to hunters than dressing up and looking pretty; if you're in a hunter barn that stresses that aspect of it, you need to find a different barn.

Finn, no, you can not wear bell boots in the hunter ring. Back shoes but no fronts is an unusual shoeing arrangement, barefoot or fronts only is much more common. Most overreaching problems can be solved or improved by working with your farrier, that's the route I'd suggest you go.
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    11-23-2012, 11:04 PM
Maura. Oh ok thank you. Do you know if you can use a half pad with those cut to the saddle saddle pads? (Sorry not sure what they are called. I think Numnah?) Thanx!
    11-23-2012, 11:51 PM
So how can I tell if my horse rides/jumps/walks/trots/canter/whatever....ect....more like a hunter or jumper. What are some signs to be able to tell? I mean FullFord's response was perfect but are there any really specific ways to tell? Thanx everyone for putting up with my millions of questions!!:)
    11-24-2012, 12:13 AM
This is where our UK members need to weigh in, what I *thought* was a numnah is a heavy felt pad, like this -

But I saw a lot of full sized, more modern pads called numnahs?

Anyway, to answer your question - a half pad between your fleece pad and the saddle is acceptable, but it's best if it's also white and ideally fleece covered.

What you're looking for is that 1" margin of clean white fleece all the way around your saddle - as long as the half pad doesn't interfere with that, it should be fine.

Hunter movement is flat kneed, swinging and ground covering, without the contained energy and impulsion of a dressage horse. Knee action is penalized, excess motion is penalized, a horse that is hollow or inverted is penalized, as is a horse that is tense or fussy. It should look as if the horse is capable of covering a lot of ground without a lot of effort in a relaxed, forward frame.

Here's a video of a winning trip at a hunter derby, I will try to find you some videos of hunters on the flat to give better examples.

    11-24-2012, 12:22 AM
This gives you a pretty good idea of what a hunter on the flat should look like -

Pay attention to the girl wearing the jacket on the dark horse.

This is a crowded warm up arena, and you'll see people warming up jumpers as well.
    11-24-2012, 01:02 AM
I loved the second video. Very informative. So for warming up lots of direction changes and transitions. Thank you. Hopefully when I get my horse trained well enough I can work on this. Right now I'm doing a lot of groundwork so it will be a while till I actually start showing in hunters. But it's good to know things early before starting hunters and jumpers and not have a clue what I'm doing, so I'm glad I'm getting prepared early. Thanks again!
    11-24-2012, 01:07 AM
Great posts, Maura. I hope that I wasn't one that you were calling out as to misinformation - haha!

Continuing from my last post --

Jumpers need to be bold, agile, and quick (in the air and on the ground) - keeping in mind that a horse doesn't have to be fast, per se, but ground covering and not hang in the air. Form doesn't matter for points, and there have been some pretty unconventional yet successful unconventional jumpers - BUT generally speaking, a horse with good form will be more likely to get over fences correctly. They need to be careful and responsive.
    11-24-2012, 03:29 AM
As far as I have ever been aware, a numnah:

It's a saddle cloth that's shaped to the saddle, it's what we use in show classes where you're trying to show off the horse, where saddlecloths aren't really allowed, instead of putting the saddle on a bare back. They don't have to have sheepskin on like this one does, but those are pretty fashionable at the moment... plain black or brown depending on your tack is more proper for a show ring.
    11-24-2012, 04:40 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by AlexS    
You can absolutely wear the classy look while doing jumpers, you just don't have to.

The primary difference is that in the hunter classes you are judge on form, in jumpers you are judged on performance.

In hunters, you can ride a beautiful round with auto lead changes, correct striding between jumps etc. and still do pretty well having a fence down.

In jumpers, no one cares if you are on the wrong lead as long as you clear the fence. If the fence stays up and you have put some bizarro striding in there and it was a miracle the fence stayed up - fine. The fence is up and that's all that matters.
However, to do well, all of the things that apply to hunters, should be used in jumpers. You are not going to be terribly successful if a rider is hanging on for dear life and barely making it around the course.

Hunters is also judged on turnout, it's important for riders to to present their horse in an expected way, and attire tends to be fashionable.

Jumpers is not like that as you are only judged on performance. There's no need to braid, and you can wear half chaps if you want to - however I believe that any horse showing at any level should be well turned out.

From what I have personally witnessed, it's not always clear why someone places over another person in the hunter classes.

For me, personally, I have no desire to compete in hunter classes. I really don't give a hoot if my toe is turned out slightly or anything else. I'd much rather be judged on my results.

ETA - Hunters is pretty much an American thing, so I am still learning about it myself. So I might be off on some points, but it's my general understanding of it.
I felt the need to correct a few details off this response, I think the one Maura was talking about.

First of all, at schooling shows and sometime times smaller rated shows jumpers do wear polos. But there are a lot of rated shows were most of the jumpers wear shirts and coats too. I was at a show where the judge insisted that people were not allowed to wear their show shirt collars hanging open! He insisted that if you had a show shirt it must be buttoned. I think it's a bit of a misconception that jumpers are always so relaxed. Although you rarely hear of a hunter rider enter the rated ring without a coat so I suppose In comparison it is. What's important in hunter dress is not what's fashionable, it's what's traditional. Think very understated dark coat, beige pants, black helmet. Yes what's in style is important because you don't want to stand out. I'm not naive and I have what's in style. But the focus is to highlight the horse, so clothes are very subtle so you don't detract from that.

Also hunters are NOT judged on the riders positions. Heck a lot of hunter pros have terrible positions simply bc they aren't being judged on it themselves and they focus just on how the horse is going. The round is judged purely on how the horse's performance. Form and movement is very important, unlike a jumper, but the performance is what is being judged and perfection is what is being sought after. You can have the most beautiful round of your life and a chipped distance on the last jump or a simple swap in a line can cost you a ribbon. Knocking a rail down is penalized quite heavily. Your score in a hunter round is out of 100 points. A knocked rail drops you to at least a 50. And that's if everything else goes well. A hard rub is up to the judges discretion of how much is counted off but can be heavily penalized as well.

Hunter judging is not willy nilly whatever the judge likes. There is a scoring system out of 100 and once you know what is being judged its not terribly difficult to know who's going to pin where. It's not as cut and dry as a jumper round bc a few things are left to a judges discretion. But usually it's a question of, one horse had a late change. One horse had a long distance. Which fault is worse? Different judges will have different opinions. But everyone agrees a bad distance is bad. Not swapping a lead is bad. There is a rule book and countless books and judges clinics should you ever decide to understand what judges are looking for.
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    11-24-2012, 04:53 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Iseul    
I believe the higher level hunters have bigger jumps, but nothing like the 6ft puissance or the such.
I show western, so I'm not positive..but I'd imagine if the horse can gallop to a high jump and clear it without hesitation (flashy, remember) that they could probably do jumpers. If the horse just can't jump with good form over high jumps or likes to refuse that they'd be better suited to hunters.
But, colour has a lot to do with placing..the best pinto hunter in a class will probably place under (or not at all) half decent, plain horses with little White (say a sorrel or bay with only a little White). As opposed to Jumpers where it doesn't matter how you (or your horse) looks. You could probably hang off the side of your horse the whole jumper round and will still win if you have the lowest time without penalties.
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Sorry, gotta respond to this too. Hate me if you will but like I said, I'm a hunter princess at heart and my insomnia is raging tonight!

The regular working hunters is 4". At some shows I've seen a 4"3 or even 4"6 performance hunters but iseul is right, there is no 6" hunters. There is no Olympic hunter level. So I don't think it's necessarily true to say that hunters are lower jumpers then jumpers. It just doesn't go as high. At our schooling shows the jumpers only go to 3". Same as hunters.

Color does NOT have anything to do with placing. This is a com mon misconception that so needs to be corrected. Some of the top winning horses are pintos right now. I showed one a few years back and did quite well. Heck a trainer I know just sold a roan warmblood for $150,000. I've been beaten by a palomino. And rhumba, the horse in the video who won the first international derby is grey.

How do you know if your horse is a hunter or jumper? How well does he move? That could be your answer right there. If he moves like a carthorse? Is he quick? Does he like the challenge of a technical course? The jumpers may be in your future! Does he have nice moment and a round jump? Does his brain get fried if you go too fast or make too tight of a turn? Might be a hunter! Honestly I don't think it matters. THAT much on a local level at the beginning levels. Lots of horses switch rings and are fine. Do what you think is fun and what fits your. Horses personality.
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