Form in Hunter shows versus Eventing? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-23-2009, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Question Form in Hunter shows versus Eventing?

What are the major differences? I already know some...the jumping in eventing is really fastest (well, not TOO fast, but basically it's faster than hunters) through the course and it doesn't really matter what you look like as long as you get over everything with no knock downs, run outs, refusals. And I know that hunters are judged on appearance and form more.

I've been starting in Eventing this summer, and I love it...but there are obviously no eventing shows in snowy Ohio during the winter...there ARE, however, hunter shows at a nearby indoor show arena. I'm interested in doing some low level showing there throughout the winter, but all I've ever been trained in is Dressage, and Stadium/Cross Country jumping. So what are going to be the main differences in form for Hunters versus Dressage/Eventing?

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post #2 of 6 Old 07-23-2009, 01:01 PM
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I think Hunters mostly use the crest release and Eventers use the auto release but I could be wrong on that.. (although that isn't the only reason if it IS right) I don't know very much about Dressage etiquette, sorry.

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post #3 of 6 Old 07-23-2009, 03:47 PM
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Well if you have dressage training then you should be a step ahead of a lot of people. There is two types of classes you might encounter in Hunters:

Equitation: your position will be more sitting up straight, than in the other category which I go over in a sec. As with everything, heels down, head and eyes up, etc. You will be judged on your form/position, whether or not you are on the right diagonal when trotting, getting the right lead when cantering, and possibly your sitting trot as well. You keep your reins short. Your canter is more of a sitting canter.

Hunters: this judges the horse more than you, although you still matter. The judges are looking for how easy a horse goes along. Long flowy strides, etc. You want your reins to be a little longer to encourage your horse to stretch down a bit. For your canter you should be in a more forward position instead of the sitting canter in eq.

When you jump you keep your reins as you would while jumping no matter if you are in a hunters or eq. class so don't worry about having to jump with longer reins, that is stictly for the hunter flat classes. Hope this helps a bit.
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-23-2009, 05:13 PM
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IrishRider gave really good advice. I just wanted to add that everything should be consistent. You want the same tempo/ rhythm throughout the class.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-23-2009, 05:35 PM
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HUnters is all about form and ease. Even if yourt horse is a nutjob (I know yours isn't) you want to make them look smooth, consistent, and easy with tight kness and proper striding. You want the judge to think I'd love to ride that horse.

For the flat class you do a half seat to stay off the horses back and let your horse move underneath you without you interference, plus loose reins. As far as movement, the horse should have flat knees, be floaty and most judges love the ones that kind of "flick" or point their toes. A steady rythym and a good expression on the horse help alot. You want the horse to have a low (but not real low) head and point their nose out a bit. A vertical or horizontal nose is not good though.

For jumping, You need to use your corners, jump the middle of the jump, and have smooth flying lead changes. YOu have to get the correct striding between jumps and try to get the perfect takeoff point. Tight knee, good use of the neck, and a steady rythm (no running down the lines)

I agree the athletic ability of a horse is tested more at eventing/jumpers, but people underestimate the work put into a horse to get the steady, efforrtless look of a hunter. If you think it looks easy, great! The rider is doing their job
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-24-2009, 12:15 PM
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Stepher, thanks. Yes, rhythm is everything. 1dog also had some good points. I forgot to mention the strides (which comes back to correct tempo and rhythm) and the changes and everything.

Have fun!
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