New to show jumping, need some help!

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New to show jumping, need some help!

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    11-29-2012, 10:21 PM
Exclamation New to show jumping, need some help!

Okay, so I am not new to horses I have trained horses, western style only though. But I'm new to english riding. I am starting jumping with one of my horses. I wanted to enter her in a local show, it's a a few month away because she and I still need some work, but I don't understand some things. I want to enter her in the jumping part, but the category it's under is Hunter - fences 18in, fences 24in, fences 24in straight. What does that mean? Is hunter jumping different then just jumping? What are they looking for when they judge for that category? I'm just so confused! Pease help explain it! Thanks!!:)
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    11-29-2012, 10:34 PM
Yes, hunters is a style of riding, if you will. There are three basic types that you will likely see at a show.
Sometimes hunter equitation is offered. Hunter judges look for a horse that is suitable for a hunt, hypothetically. Really, they're looking for a collected, rhythmic round with good distances, lead changes, nice form of the horse over the fence, willingness and obedience in the horse, basically, a pretty round. It is not timed and you are judged subjectively. Rails down will count against you but aren't assigned a penalty value. Hunter courses are generally very simple. Most little girls in the US start in hunters. Turnout is generally conservative but is usually fairly relaxed at local or schooling shows. You'll see more colorful show shirts and sometimes hunter green or grey jackets instead of just navy and black. A standing martingale is allowed for over fences classes but prohibited on the flat.
Equitation is judged on the riders position and handling of the horse. These courses are not timed but are generally more complicated and can include roll back turns, trot fences, hand gallop fences, narrow fences, combinations, etc. A rail down does not necessarily mean you're out of the ribbons unless the judge decides the rail was the fault of the rider and not the horse. The biggest equitation class in the US that most people have heard of is the MaClay finals at the national horse show. Turnout is important and very conservative. Braided horses, navy coat, white shirt, etc. No flashy colors, no bedazzled brow bands, nothing that makes you pop out. Your excellent riding should attract the judges attention.
Jumpers classes are based purely on speed and accuracy. It doesn't matter what you look like (although you should still dress nicely out of respect for the sport and the judge) or your position as long as you go fast and clean. Clean means no rails down and no refusals. Each jumping fault adds four penalties. Many jumper riders wear a nice polo tucked in with breeches and tall boots. Some wear a jacket too but it's not necessary until you are at the upper levels. You can also leave your hair out of your helmet. This is the type of jumping you see at the Olympics.

Hunters and Equitation are usually offered as a division meaning there are some over fences classes and some under saddle classes. There are different requirements for each, such as the standing martingale for hunters. Check your prize list for details. In higher level shows different types of hunters will be offered such as performance, handy, and show hunters.
    11-29-2012, 10:48 PM
So the only jumping for this show is under hunter, I'm guessing its hunter jumping then. So what should I know about it? What are the jumps like, what should I wear exactly, what should my horse 'wear', how is it judged, cause I'm still confused. :) If you guys had a video of hunter jumping that would be helpful.....
    11-29-2012, 10:52 PM
I just need a little less words! Lol
    11-29-2012, 10:57 PM
Differences between hunters and jumpers?
    11-29-2012, 11:08 PM
The jumps will be conservative and "natural looking". There will probably be flower boxes and maybe some brush piled at the bottom of the jump. No bright colors or crazy 3-D shapes or anything.
You should wear a show shirt and jacket, colors that coordinate nicely. Beige breeches, preferably side zip, with a belt. Shirt tucked in, black gloves. Tuck your hair in your helmet, use a hairnet. DO NOT WEAR A SHOW BOW! Shine your boots, clean your tack. Braiding is optional at schooling shows but if you're good at it and you want to give it a shot, go for it. You should use a white fitted saddle pad, not a square pad and not the kind where the number slides in a slot. The horse cannot wear boots of any type. He can wear a standing martingale for O/F classes but not flat classes. He should wear a plain snaffle bridle, no flash or drop noseband and no crazy bits. A D ring is the most "hunter-y" type bit but any simple snaffle will do.

This video is a good example of a schooling level hunter show. The long stirrup refers to the age division of the rider. You'll notice the rider attempts a flying change but the horse cross canters instead, she fixes it in the next stride or two. Simple changes are probably acceptable at a schooling show but flying changes look much much better.
    11-30-2012, 12:32 AM
That was really helpful, thanks. I don't really want to do that, my horse is more about the speed and that doesn't really sound fun. So maybe I will wait for a jumping show instead that's not hunter. Thanks again for the info.
    11-30-2012, 12:50 AM
Honestly, I recommend riders start out in the hunters if you're going to be competing jumpers eventually... yes it's boring, but it can help teach discipline, striding, control, etc.
    11-30-2012, 05:29 PM
Originally Posted by alexischristina    
Honestly, I recommend riders start out in the hunters if you're going to be competing jumpers eventually... yes it's boring, but it can help teach discipline, striding, control, etc.
I agree with this. I want to do jumpers with my horse eventually, but right now we're just doing hunters to focus on striding, relaxing, listening to aids, etc. Jumper courses are generally a lot more technical since they're timed... it's good for a horse to have a little foundation in the show ring.

I would definitely enter the hunter over fences class! It will be good experience for both you and your horse.

Good luck!
    12-01-2012, 01:31 PM
I agree with the above.
I rode hunter's my first year of jumping and showing.
It's not my thing. I like jumpers and EQ, but it taught me a lot the first year and was easier to get the hang of learning course's and such. It's normally a pretty straight forward course. Opening circle/outside line/diagonal line/out side line/ diagonlan line/ closing circle. Jumpers is a lot more technical and timed. Yes most people can do a jumper class and fly around by the seat of their pants and look horrid and dangerous but it's a much nicer ride to go in a turn tighter and make up time that way and its safer and much more fun IMO.

Just my two cents.

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