What is "hunter movement"? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-25-2020, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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What is "hunter movement"?

When I bought Pony, he was being used on trail rides, but the lady who sold him to me said he had "hunter movement," which is part of why I brought him to a hunter / jumper barn. Recently the barn owner made the same comment.

Can someone tell me what "hunter movement" means? I guess it must be something natural to the animal in question, since I don't ride him any differently from the others. It is definitely not something I am able to discern from riding him.

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Last edited by ACinATX; 02-25-2020 at 08:47 AM.
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-25-2020, 08:46 AM
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Long, low and smooth. Some will say slow, too. Seems to float rather than be explosive in manner of movement.


Jumpers are all about power and speed. Coiled spring. Both need to be clear but a hunter needs to be clean as well (pretty).
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-25-2020, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
Long, low and smooth. Some will say slow, too. Seems to float rather than be explosive in manner of movement.
Thanks, that's helpful. Pony is definitely smooth (except when cantering on his left lead, which we're going to work on) and also slow. What does long and low mean? Is it the same thing people mean when they tell you to let your horse go long and low and relax down? Like, it refers to his head and neck carriage?
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-25-2020, 09:09 AM
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To me it means they move in a manner that looks collected and relaxed so not just feeling smooth but looking all put together and smooth. They move from one jump to another in a seamless manner that would be comparable to a Slow Waltz rather than a Salsa....
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-25-2020, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm, so is it sort of like a western pleasure type movement, but with jumps?

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post #6 of 23 Old 02-25-2020, 09:25 AM
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More umph than that, that is, I would say really sloooooow mo, but yes, that general idea. The heads will not be laid flat out.
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post #7 of 23 Old 02-25-2020, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
Hmm, so is it sort of like a western pleasure type movement, but with jumps?
Should be a lot more sweeping, and cover a lot more ground. They should be ridden in contact, too, with the head technically no lower than the withers (though a lot of judges seem to, incorrectly, reward loose reins, slow movement, and too-low head carriage).

To watch some of the AQHA hunters, you'd think it was the same class as WP...
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-25-2020, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SteadyOn View Post
Should be a lot more sweeping, and cover a lot more ground. They should be ridden in contact, too, with the head technically no lower than the withers (though a lot of judges seem to, incorrectly, reward loose reins, slow movement, and too-low head carriage).

To watch some of the AQHA hunters, you'd think it was the same class as WP...
That's interesting. Just in the last couple of months I've realized that Pony does well with a lot of contact. With no contact, his head wants to be on the ground. He moves fine like that, but then I run into trouble with steering, LOL.

It's interesting because I don't feel like he particularly covers a lot of ground, what with his short little pony legs. I mean, Teddy is almost the same size, but has longer legs and has a really big stride for his size. To me, that covers a lot more ground. But no one has ever told me that Teddy has hunter movement.

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post #9 of 23 Old 02-25-2020, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post

Can someone tell me what "hunter movement" means?

It refers to the way in which the horse/pony naturally moves. Yes, Hunters (in general) are going to look like moving is easy to them, smooth, floating, effortless.



Some horses have just got **it**. Some do not.



For a short period, I rode a horse named Romeo. I was getting him tuned up for my aunt so she could sell him. My English trainer actually referred a client who ended up buying him, but my trainer came out and rode him first to test him out. She commented (and I agree) that he had all the different gaits for dressage. He moved gracefully and had the different extensions of gaits that you would need. He just looked PRETTY when he moved. Nothing to do with my training on him, or any prior training; it's just how he naturally moved. I noticed he was also very aware of his feet. From day one when I started taking him over logs and crossrails, he NEVER knicked one with his feet.



And then compare that to my Red. My clunky, short-strided, beefy QH, LOL. I love him to death but NOT graceful!! Often trips over ground poles and logs, LOL. And not aware of his feet like Romeo was.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
It's interesting because I don't feel like he particularly covers a lot of ground, what with his short little pony legs.

Covering ground will be relative to size. So obviously if he is a pony he is not going to cover the ground that a 16.3 hand warmblood will -- but relative to his size!!
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-25-2020, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
I noticed he was also very aware of his feet. From day one when I started taking him over logs and crossrails, he NEVER knicked one with his feet.

And then compare that to my Red. My clunky, short-strided, beefy QH, LOL. I love him to death but NOT graceful!! Often trips over ground poles and logs, LOL. And not aware of his feet like Romeo was.
It's interesting you say that, this is something I HAVE noticed about Pony. He is super aware of where all of his body parts are at all times, particularly his feet. I've always thought of him as a natural athlete even though he looks tubby. I remember we did some pole exercise in a lesson, and he had never done it before, and the instructor was commenting how difficult it was (it was half-raised poles on a really tight turn), and he got it first time (with ME riding him, no less). Whereas the BTDT lesson horse kept hitting them. He's also very coordinated and when I see him moving on the ground he looks nice to me.

Whereas Teddy, bless him, as much training as he's had, and as hard as he tries, he really likes going over poles but he does tend to hit them. All. The. Time.

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