QH Working Hunter questions - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-04-2010, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Question QH Working Hunter questions

Hey all, I am brand new to the forum because I have a few questions.

I have ridden and trained horses my entire life, mostly jumpers, some open hunters (not breed shows). I was thrown off and injured two years ago, got a desk job, and stopped riding. I recently put an ad up for free horse schooling so I could get some saddle time and get back in proper form. Everything is going well, I'm riding about 10 horses a week, and so far everyone is happy with my seat/hands/etc.

Today I visited a new guy for the first time. He has a QH working hunter place (they do breed shows only) and he put me on a 12 yo gelding to "see how I ride." Well, I totally failed!!

The guy basically told me "Our QHs drop their heads because they're collected back on their hindquarters, so don't worry about their headset, they'll round up into it." I thought, cool, that's something I know about. So I rode the way I always ride, and this horse was slow, so I was using a lot of seat and light contact to try to get him to reach under himself properly before I worried too much about collection. The horse went round okay but did hollow out for every transition. When he did so the guy would yell at me to "pull him into his frame" which is the opposite of what he told me at the beginning.

He was nearly impossible to keep moving. I asked for canter in every way I knew how and he never gave it to me. The owner suggested I trot to the fence, turn round on the hindquarters, back the horse up, and then ask for canter, which I guess was his attempt to get the horse to shift its weight back--that didn't work either.

His wife came out later and said she always rides him with spurs and "rakes" (her word, not mine) the spurs up his side WITH EVERY STRIDE at trot and canter.

Is this normal for QH hunters? I feel like this owner talked a good game about collection but he seems to think collection = head down, which is only a nice byproduct of proper collection, which requires impulsion, in my mind. Or am I doing something totally wrong? The owner seemed disappointed in me, but I'm used to TBs and his advice seemed completely foreign.

Thanks for listening to my long rant and I appreciate any insight!!
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-04-2010, 11:52 PM
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Run, don't walk, from that place! Rake him at every stride! I'll rake you!

Ok, I think they have the horses trained incorrectly and are dulling them into lame dog zombies. Poor guys.
Take your talents elsewhere!
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-04-2010, 11:54 PM
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I know a very similar barn.

Low head = collected horse in their mind. Run away fast
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-05-2010, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. It was one of those situations where the owner sounded so confident that I wondered if ALL breed show people train like this! I found it so bizarre!

I wish I could find a regular, USEF/FEI-style English riding place, but it's Texas and they are few and far between. Almost everything is stock horses out here.
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post #5 of 5 Old 11-06-2010, 11:34 PM
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huh? Where I'm at in TX I can't find a breed show hunter rider to ride with, for either HUS, over fences. There are a couple of all-around trainers for breed shows around me, but they primarily work with novices. All the trainers are at least 3hrs away from me in good traffic. I'm riding with a fantastic USEF trainer S. Of Austin who is working with my QH. Maybe it's different where you are at, but there are quite a few USEF trainers up and down the I-35 corridor. (s/p?) Also, no, not all breed trainers are like that. One of the top breed hunter trainers and judges encouraged me to seak out a good USEF trainer as he felt there were few to minimal differences between a good over fence horse in the USEF and breed divisions, especially since the distance was more convenient to me with work and life.
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