Another hunter question - Page 3

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Another hunter question

This is a discussion on Another hunter question within the Horse Shows forums, part of the Showing Horses category

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        09-02-2009, 10:42 PM
    Green Broke
    Thanks irishrider...

    And cougar, that's awesome!! And I literally laughed out loud when I read it too!
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        09-15-2009, 09:12 PM
    Green Broke
    Thanks for all the advice seems like no one else really agrees with what this particular trainer said (at least, not on here in the replies so far), so I'm not sure that I'll ever know what she meant by "she just wasn't bred to be a hunter"...but I'd still like to know what everyone thinks about that comment as far as where they believe it might have come from? Is it something in particular about the way Sandie looks, her color, etc?? The only reason I'm really curious is because if it's something we could change then I'd love to know. And if it's not, then I'd love to know why so I can just accept it...I just need a more specific answer I guess!

    I know this trainer didn't mean the comment in a malicious way, she just doesn't seem like that kind of person to me...really the only reason I wanted to post this is to get an idea of what she may have meant in particular, since when I asked her the answer I got was just a little vague.

    She actually approached me the other day to tell me she gathered up some information for me about showing a large pony in hunters as an adult (since Sandie is 14.1hh) so it was really nice of her to look into that for me! I don't want anyone on here to get the wrong idea about the hunter world altogether...I know everyone has an opinion and to be honest, I did too at one point...but so far all the hunters I've met are pretty nice and I really appreciated the fact that this trainer went out of her way to look some info up for me, esp. When I'm not even one of her students
        09-15-2009, 09:18 PM
    Honestly she wasn't "bred" for it. But that doesn't mean anything, very few of the hunter's I've seen have been.

    A horse bred for hunter jumper is just like a horse bred for dressage, WP, cow work or any other discipline. The parents, and probably their parents (and their parents) had the looks, movement and temperment for hunter and were bred to produce a foal with the looks, movement and temperment for hunters.
        09-15-2009, 09:21 PM
    Green Broke
    Thanks...but can somebody explain to me what exactly the "looks, movement, and temperament for hunters" is? I honestly don't know, which is why I started the thread in the first place...I want to learn
        09-15-2009, 09:33 PM
    Looks- You want a horse with an alert expression, shiny mane and tail. You want an athletic looking horse with a refined head, good strong hindquarters and a solid build. Conformation is pretty universal, but down hill is not the best. Any colors can show, but grey, bay, and chesnut are the most "accepted"

    Movement- flat kneed, big, floaty movement with horse reaching under itself and a good "flick" to the toes. The horse should be steady and even, not changing pace or lazy/fast. The neck should be carried at or slight above the withers with loose reins and the horse stretching down into the bit. The nose should be poking out, not vertical. The horse should look relaxed and happy, not bored or pissed off. The horse should get correct leads and move smoothly into both upward and downward transitions.

    Jump- Tight even knees, relaxed and steady rythm. The horse should do smooth flying changes or land on the correct lead. The horse should use itself weel over the jump and not knock or clip rails (big no no). Using the corners and keeping straight lines is important

    Temperment- alert, but relaxed and easy looking. You want the judge to say "I want to ride that horse". If people say your horse looks push button, easy and smooth, you and the horse are dping your job. Nothing should look rushed, but neither should it be slow, lazy, or have no impulsion

    I know this isn't perfect, but I hope it helped a bit!
        09-16-2009, 12:52 AM
    Knowing now that you are an adult and your horse is 14.1 in my opinion I would feel that the comment was derived from her being a pony. You can't compete in pony only classes, you have to compete in open divisions, and some of them have height restrictions so I can see where that would be a problem at a higher rating show. Also striding could be an issue in the Hunters, pony normally equals small stride (not always but most cases), if you can't make the stride you won't get the ribbon at a higher rated show. Which for most people who go to high rating shows expect/want to get a ribbon (not saying that is everyone's MO but it usually is). And even though I own a decent size horse, he has a ridiculously small stride and some open lines are issues for us period.

    If she isn't an 8.5-10 mover that would also be an issue in the Hunters at an A, AA show, at least in the jog and U/S.

    Other then that I see no problem with doing Schooling, C and B rated shows. B rated shows are pretty relaxed and awesome (in cali at least I feel they are) my horse is a 7-8 mover and places decently well, also most of the fences are "easy" striding meaning I can open him to make them (with his small stride) and get the distance without feeling like a train without brakes. All 3 of those types of shows are cost effective and fun ways to get into Hunters. I wish you luck and tons of fun.
        09-16-2009, 07:56 AM
    Green Broke
    Thanks for the explanation 1dog, that is EXACTLY what I was looking for when I started this thread!

    And Void, thanks for the further clarification!

    It's so nice to be able to get additional outside opinions from forums like this, and I really appreciate the info everyone has given me I think I understand better now where the "bred for it" comment came from, from 1dog's very detailed post! And it also makes me believe that we could be good at hunters, with some practice...Sandie still has a long way to go to be "push button" because she is still green, but that doesn't mean that she never will be, which is good to know!
        09-16-2009, 08:07 AM
    Probably the combination of her color and her height is what prompted the comment. I'm not at all agreeing with the trainer's comment, but, pretty as Sandie is, a 14.1 hand buckskin isn't exactly the textbook picture of a hunter.

    That being said, I do think that you guys would do very well. I haven't seen video of her moving, but the stills show pretty good conformation, and she has a really nice expression. And, in any discipline, if you can put in a good performance on a smaller or "nontraditional" colored horse, you're more likely to stick in the judge's mind (and the same goes for any mistakes...).

    I eventually switched to riding hunter classes in the small local shows in my area on my first horse, and he was the last possible thing from "bred to be a hunter." About the only thing he shared with that discription from 1dog3cats17rodents was the pretty head and bright chestnut coloring. He was 14.1 hands, 850 pounds of scrappy, sometimes gaited, part Morgan. We held our own, walked away with a few ribbons on days where his Foxtrotter gait stayed buried, but the shows were tiny in the grand scheme of things. The moral of the story is to get out there and have fun with your horse. I know people who think that looking "good" is the end all-be all of horse showing, and they and their horses miss out on a lot of good experiences because they won't go to a show or enter a class where the horse "might look bad" or "won't be competitive." Or, worst yet "the horse might make me look bad" . I don't know about anyone else, but I embarrass myself enough, I don't need help from my horse, ha ha. I sometimes just find it irritating that anyone would either hold themself or their horse back because they don't perfectly fit the mold for what they want to do, or that anything short of the "perfect hunter" should be consigned forever to the land of pasture puffs and trail horses (they also fail to realize that good trail horses are about the best things money can buy...).

    I say go for it. You and Sandie will knock 'em dead, I'm sure. Just smile and have fun!
        09-16-2009, 10:53 AM
    Color really isn't an issue in my opinion. Actually in my opinion if your horse has the movement and the temperament its a bonus! At pony medal finals you'd always see some flashy colored and flashy moving ponies pinning well in the Hunters and Equitation! Actually last year at Medal finals when I was watching the ponies go I think the buckskin won all her pony hunter divisions.
        09-16-2009, 12:00 PM
    Green Broke
    Thanks everyone, good to hear! I'm sure this particular trainer just meant that Sandie's not your stereotypical "hunter looking" horse, I just didn't know what WAS, which is why I wanted to ask on here to try to find out. You guys have all given me some great insight into what may have been meant by her comment to me.

    Again, I know she wasn't saying it to be stuck up or snobby, I think she just didn't really explain "not bred for it" well enough for me to understand what was meant, until I started this thread. So thanks everybody!

    I get it now, and we're going to try our hand at it and have fun doing it!!!

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