Joining The Dark Side?? *Pics*
So I have always been a hunter girl. I started off showing in the hunters for many years. I had one experience in the jumper ring near the start with my second horse. We actually won the first class because it was Match the Clock and just so happened to work perfectly with a hunter course canter. The next round I had time faults and the next round I went off course, haha.
Me and my horses have done fairly well through out the years as hunters. One year we were reserve champion for the whole year, but we haven't ever been the ones that won champions every time or anything.
Lately with my new horse (have had him 2 yrs) we have won a couple reserve champions (3' and 3'3 hunters) and come within a point or 2 nearly every time to winning reserve. Last year we did our first 3'6 hunters and did well, but there are so few entries into the 3'6 hunter (one show only had 3 people) so when you win or place near the top it doesn't really feel good. It's like 'yay I beat one person by getting this 3rd place' or something.
There are also virtually no shows around for hunters over 3'6.
This last year we have been dappeling in the jumpers (3' and 3'3) and doing decently for our hunter selves. It's been fun but I still wanted to be 70% hunter.
This last weekend me and my horse have been at Spruce Meadows (see "first day at Spruce meadows") for the first time (did hunters there over 8 yrs ago once but that doesn't really count)
Not only was it spruce for the first time (courses are quite technical compared to most shows) but it was also my first real show at 1.10m (3'6) jumpers. And on top of all that it's the first decent sized show of the year.
Well we have done fabulously. Especially in the mini prix where the jumps where deffinately built to the max (width and height with triple combination and such) And it's ignited a wanting to do more.
So do I dare switch over nearly completely to jumpers?
Then what is to become of my horse? He has done fabulously for me at this show but with time faults (though the time is very tight with well over half the class getting time faults). Now we could change that as we have done so much training for hunter pace that even when I think we are carrying some speed we aren't going all that fast but what if he can't go that speed? He does have a big stride which helps...
Lately (with help from a few dressage lessons) Veggie is going much rounder and jumping better (so big and round he is jumping out of the tack) and I have jumped him 4 foot with lots of room to spare so I think that he could atleast do the 4 foots...
This is just truely a new way of thinking for me. I have always been the hunter girl. I have been at barns where I am the only hunter there.
I still love the hunters for the elegance of it but I have pretty much reached the peak of what I can do in them.
Sorry for the rambling but this is a huge decision for me. Well I have one more week of Spruce, we will see how it goes and how my mind feels afterwards.
NO CRITIQUES PLEASE
Pic taken about 1.5 yrs ago
Taken this weekend
Do it. The way I see it there's a progression to english riding. It's like you start with flat work, simple hunter under saddle classes, then as you master that, you move into jumping and dressage. Now either one of those alone can take you to the highest of high level competition in the equine industry, but if you really like them both, there's always eventing.
I don't really ride english too much (or I didn't anyways) but that's what I've gathered from observing other english riders.
I don't think you should switch entirely, but I'm completely biased. I've been showing hunters for years and before that I did dressage. I never really liked jumpers, though I've shown in it occasionally for my horses sake.
Thanks. I wouldn't mind keeping my foot in hunters if they had 3'9 classes but I think to really be competitive in the big jumpers it would be too much on my horse to do both at the same time. I don't like showing too many classes a day and most of the time that's the way the show would work out.
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