Originally Posted by wafflestheunicorn
Hi I am a eventer. Let me just put that out there. I am going to be doing some hunter so that I have a better chance at the equestrian team at the college I want to go to. I know not to wear boots of any kind but I have other questions.
I've seen a lot of different variations on hunter tack, but my experience is pretty limited to 4-H and local open shows. I'll give it a whirl, though! -breastplate? I don't use a martingale but I need the breatplate.
I'd say a breastplate should be fine, especially if it's necessary for your saddle to stay in position. Ideally, it should be leather, and match your saddle and bridle. I've never seen a fabric/eventer-style breastplate in the hunter ring. I do see plain leather ones that complement bridles occasionally. -withers pad (black felt) between saddle and conture pad? Is this ok?
Again, should be fine if it fits your saddle and is unobtrusive. A white one would be more ideal in terms of not catching the eye unnecessarily, but the black one shouldn't hurt you. -the tab from where my flash usually is. Is this ok?
Should be fine. So many bridles come standard with flash nosebands... it can be hard to find a plain cavesson bridle sometimes! A judge shouldn't penalize you for a flash loop - just make sure that the noseband sits straight on your horse's face. If it's a little lopsided, that little crooked tab can ruin the whole picture.
Some places sell just nosebands - if you find that the tab does bother you or hinder you, you can probably find a simple cavesson to put on your bridle for hunters without spending too much. -can I braid with knots or should I do hunter braids?
I'd say do whatever you can pull off the neatest and best complements your horse's conformation. You may change your mind when you see what other hunter riders are doing in terms of turnout, but, when in doubt, do what looks best to your eye. -until more hair grows back on my horse's tail, can I use vet wrap to make it neater? Just on the tail bone. Other options?
Sister's gelding gets horribly dry skin around his dock, and itches his tail like mad - breaks all the hairs off, all scraggly looking... A little MTG did wonders for clearing it up, and really helped the hair un-crinkle and neaten up. Leave his tail un-braided until there's enough there to braid and be tidy looking without breaking the hairs into oblivion. You can braid a mane without braiding the tail. A braided tail MUST have a braided mane. -can I use web reins?
I see no reason why not, as long as they match your other tack. Laced leather is the ideal, but I see riders in brown web reins placing, too. -full seat pants or just knee pad?
Knee patch only is what I tend to see. There are a few full-seat hunters in my local area, and they stand out. Too much contrast, draws attention in posting and two point. -does my girth have to be fleece?
Nope! Mine is, because Pony is sensitive and rubs instantly on even soft leather girths, but I see just as much leather padding as fleece.
Hope that was helpful to you! I very much encourage you to go to a couple of hunter shows or classes just to watch and get a feel for the turnout and tack styles are in your area. Also, if you're new to hunters, it's well worth it to take a clinic or a couple of lessons at least with a good instructor or trainer who specializes in hunters. It can be very different from eventing, and solid tips in person can really jump start your success in the hunter ring. If in doubt about any of your equipment, check with your show committee on show day, or in your show association's rule book. They can tell you what is legal in the ring and what is not.
Good luck, and enjoy!