What's the difference between hunters and jumpers. I mean, I know jumpers are about speed, and hunters are about style, but... I want more info.
I want to ride Annie in hunters... like in 18" cross rail classes, as our first jump class at a show. I also want to just... do more hunters, because.. I'm not too big on the idea of galloping over jumps with MY dingbat of a horse, lol.
What are things I need to start teaching Annie [and myself!] to be successful in the hunter ring?
Also.. when I'm at a hunter/jumper schooling show, or even a rated show, and I'm just doing a w/t/c flat class.. for the canter, do I raise into half seat automatically, or should I wait for judges instruction to do so. Also, in a flat Eq class [and I guess in hunter hack eq classes too] is it rare for the judge to ask for no stirrups? Or is this done all the time..
For hunters, you want the pace to be like a metronome, perfectly steady all the time, the horse shouldn't speed up or slow down at all. Make sure you know all your distances and have your horse at a stride length that's going to allow you to make all your distances perfectly. Get your horse used to jumps she can't see through, like brush (tree branches) or foam "brick" walls. She should look easy to ride and you should look like you're having fun! A bonus is having lead changes, but if you have to trot to change then don't try to force her into the changes if they aren't going to be smooth.
There is a debate as to what seat you should be in, and the definition of a "half seat". In hunters today a half seat means having your butt not in the saddle and wagging it around with the sun shining out of it. Traditionally and in classical training methods the half seat is just the closing of your hips to allow the horse's back to move more freely. Your butt might come out of the saddle a titch if you are doing a hand gallop but other wise, the seat follows the horse's movement like it would in the full seat. But by closing your hips a little you are giving up some control which is what shows the judge that your horse is easy to ride. So yes, go into a PROPER half seat, not two point.
For eq. classes you want to keep your ear-shoulder-hip-heel line so you are going to be in a full seat. And it is not rare for a judge to ask you to drop your stirrups. I haven't been in an eq. class without the judge asking for dropped stirrups and sitting trot.
ugh i hate hunters. im a jumper person. but ive done a couple hunter classes. just warning you now, their super picky. i got griped at for not having the right saddle pad, my horses mane wasnt done right, my reins were too long and his feet werent clean enough(umm hello it was muddy). but anyway just giving you a heads up. you have to pay attention to the details if you want to do hunters.
haha i love both but hunters do have to have a brain jumpers just need to know how to go fast over a jump like a barrel people in my opinion you have to have a barrel how that can jump i mean not all are like that just a lot that i have seen are not saying anything is wrong with barrels or jumpers but i like to have a balance i love doing jumping and barrels when it is appropriate but i dont think that is all a horse should do.
but with your horse doing hunter over fences you should work on her going over the jumps with balance and with proper form doesnt have to be perfect but just have your trainer help yoiu and work on her not rushing OMG MY MARE had such a hard time with that i mean she just wanted to run and run and run and she is 17! so i figured we had to fix that b4 we both got killed lol. but yeah and NOT refusing my mare had the issue with flying over them but i hear some people have problems going over the jumps lol but just make sure she will jump over what ever you put in front of her and what i did was put to barrels on the growned and made my horse stand over them and then side pass off it helps make it so they do not rush when the jump becuase they dont know if you are going to want to stop and make them side pass off it worked for my mare and then if they have a rushing problem still make your jumps small about 18 inches (i jump 3"3' to 3"6) but if you need to o smaller first that is fine and then stop about 5 feet b4 the jump or less when ever your horse starts to rush then back up and make you horse finish the jump also worked with my mare.
Learned a lot in this thread!! Thanks for sharing!!
I do hunters, it's fun! :) Of all the shows I've been to, I haven't really found them to be that picky...but then again, it DOES depend what show you go to. Some judges are more picky than others. ;)
A lot has already been said. In the hunters a judge is looking for a horse with a steady even stride where every fence as a part of his natural canter stride (not leaving to close or too far from the jump). It should be as smooth as possible. He should be on the correct lead when heading to the jump and should switch leads when you change directions. Actually, a trot change (in all divisions except for ones that allow it) docks your points quite a bit (because it breaks the rhythm and smoothness of the course). It's better to do a balanced counter canter then it is a trot change. It's actually best to try and land on the correct lead each time if you can! (again, it's the smoothest appearance!) There is a specific number of strides set in between the jumps that you should aim for (generally set on a 12 foot stride, plus 6 ft for take off and 6 ft for landing). You'll get counted off if you take too many strides or leave out strides or if you go too fast or too slow. Your lines should be straight and your corners should be deep and balanced. Your horse should look happy, relaxed with a nice long low movement with nice form over the fences. Appearance is important as well. Make sure your horse is properly groomed and that your tack is clean and well fitted.
I would disagree with what someone said above about hunters taking more brains then jumpers! Yes, it's about speed and not knocking rails, but my personal pet peeve is people who just run like crazy and throw their horses at the fences. Those people don't make it once the fences get higher unless they learn to actually ride the course. It's actually very technical because the courses are made to make you think. You really have to pay attention to what kind of fence you're jumping, how you're approaching it, and what stride your horse will be in when you get to it, etc. You need to learn to land and immediately balance and get ready for something. And you and your horse need to be brave and jump things that look scary! I'm a hunter at heart, but I learn A LOT by doing the jumpers!
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