What I've never understood in Hunters...
...is why you are not allowed to use open front boots/support boots. I understand why they are allowed to use standing martingales and not runnings. It effects the horses way of going, and I complete get that as thats what a hunter is all about. What I don't understand is why they can't support their horses legs with some form of splint boot. You can still easily see a horses way of jumping with splint boots and it doesn't effect the way the horse jumps either. It just kind of bothers me when there are 4' hunters doing 4' fences with no support for their legs. Just wondering if there was some reasoning to it.
I'm sure there's a reason. Look it up, maybe? 'Hunter/jumper differences', perhaps?
I can't find anything other than people just saying its "not allowed", no reasons why.
Because everything in the Hunter Ring has to be natural and traditional. It is primarily about the horse, that is why the sport was started - about the horse. So when a horse has boots on and big square pads and anything along those lines, it takes away from the horse.
The judge has to beable to see the horses legs, the horses back, ribs, butt, neck and the list goes on - to see how the horse moves to beable to make a fair judgement.
Hunters in the arena, derived from Fox Hunting and Field Hunters - but now, Hunters that we see in the ring, has become a world of its' own. I stay clear from that world.
I can't stand the position of the hunter rider. Horse? Ok. But the rider always looks sloppy, IMO.
Well, you cannot say "hunter' riders are sloppy because that is not true. Now, there are many riders - regardless if they are hunters, jumpers, eventers - who are put over fences before they should be, where coaches focus more on letting their students jump before they have any strong basics and fundamentals on the ground first....
So - it isn't Hunter Riders - - -
It is Uneducated Coaches turning out Uneducated Riders.
Ahah! Let's thank George Morris! He created the crest release.
it also helps the judge asses whether a horse is clean legged, so that a horse that comes into the jog isn't suddenly noticed to have major conformation flaws due to injury. With boots you can cover an old bow or scars, something for which a horse is severly penalized, if a horse with those faults ends up in the jog it is eliminated so rather than suffering the embarresment it is judged when the horse is going around.
Every hunter class is a test to see how suitable that horse would be out in the hunt field and everything that judge critiques is based on that. For example, the judge wants to see a horse that has a lot of bascule (arc to his jump), doesn't hang his knees, is even with both of his knees, doesn't trail his hind out behind him, etc because over a solid fence out in the field a horse that is sloppy over fences is a horse that is dangerous. A horse that hangs his knees is one that can catch it on a fence and flip. You want a horse that is completely sound and will hopefully continue to be sound in the future. (that's actually a major purpose of the undersaddle class. Ever wonder why it's always after the jumping ones? To test a horse's soundness after all that jumping) Boots can affect a horse's soundness. Simple as that, it can alter their performance.
Sunny- That's funny that you think hunter riders look sloppy! Most people say that opposite, they're too focused on being pretty. 1) have you ever been taught why a hunter rider is in the position they're in? 2) have you ever seen a really GOOD hunter rider go around?
Sunny - the Hunter Form over fences has turned into something far from what GM and others before him intended it to be. GM gripes about it often in his critique columns and at clinics.
The "pretty" form you see now, is called perching and posing - and even GM says it has turned very unfunctional in the show ring. Read my thread Form Over Fences and you will see what I mean.
The Crest Relase was brought about by GM to aid green riders to support themselves over fences to not interfear with their horses mouth.
A rider who cannot support their upper body with functional strong lower legs and heels - needs to use the crest release to be supported over the fence. That way they don't catch their horse in the mouth.
That is why the Crest Release was brought about. GM says it is highly over done and has become quite a crutch for riders, who clearly should not be doing the release. The show ring has become about pinning, nothing more - nothing less - so riders will "perch" and "pose" over a fence, beacuse it is what wins.
If it were GM who were juding, he would highly mark against it.
The Automatic Release is an old, time traditional relase - that should be saught after by more experienced riders, who clearly can support their upper bodies with their functional, strong, lower legs and heels. A rider who can remain over their horse and with their horse without interfearing and not catching their horse in the mouth, should be doing the automatic.
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