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
. 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!