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View Full Version : Pleasure vs hunters in a schooling show?



cnvh
Apr. 1, 2011, 10:50 AM
I am a complete newbie when it comes to hunters; Horse and I usually stick to just-for-fun stuff like trail riding, weenie eventing, etc.

Anyway, I might be tagging along to a local schooling show later this month; this particular schooling show is usually all hunter and eq classes, but this year they have a "pleasure" division, with 3 flat classes and a 2' O/F class.

In general terms, I know eq is about the rider and hunters is about the horse... Can someone explain how pleasure fits in? In the (limited) description in the prizelist, it looks like pleasure is basically the same as hunters, but obviously it's different somehow or it wouldn't be its own division.

Translation please, for those of you who do this sort of thing on a regular basis... Thanks!

findeight
Apr. 1, 2011, 10:55 AM
Sounds like an oddball local deal as "pleasure" usually refers to flat classes while Hunters jump. When you see "Hunter pleasure" or "Hunter under saddle" it is a flat class for Hunter type horses.

You need to check with whoever is putting on the show for your local definitions.

ShaSamour
Apr. 1, 2011, 10:58 AM
In Pleasure, the emphasis is on manners and suitability to purpose. If your horse appears to be a safe, sane, pleasant horse to hack out on, that's it. The judges are looking for a light contact, prompt transitions, and a nice attitude. Being a nice mover helps, but isn't essential. You may be asked to extend the trot, hand gallop, halt, halt and drop reins, back, dismount/mount from the ground, trot over ground poles, back between ground poles. Obedience is key, but with minimal input from the rider.

At least that was my experience, in something over 250 pleasure classes in the original Sha Samour's show career. And we won most of them.

cnvh
Apr. 1, 2011, 11:07 AM
In Pleasure, the emphasis is on manners and suitability to purpose. If your horse appears to be a safe, sane, pleasant horse to hack out on, that's it. The judges are looking for a light contact, prompt transitions, and a nice attitude. Being a nice mover helps, but isn't essential. You may be asked to extend the trot, hand gallop, halt, halt and drop reins, back, dismount/mount from the ground, trot over ground poles, back between ground poles. Obedience is key, but with minimal input from the rider.

At least that was my experience, in something over 250 pleasure classes in the original Sha Samour's show career. And we won most of them.

Makes sense. My one concern is that I do always ride my guy with boots (he toes out in front and sometimes knocks himself), which I know is a no-no in hunters. I wonder if I'll get the stink-eye with boots in a pleasure class? (This is a schooling show, mind you. We don't do A-rated anything; that's out of my league/pocketbook!)

Ajierene
Apr. 1, 2011, 11:22 AM
footwear and legwear in pleasure classes is usually a non-issue. Also, generally at schooling shows, such items are a non-issue. We have never had a footwear/legwear problem in any of the pleasure classes I have been in or witnessed.

Judges really do just look for how 'dead broke' your horse is. and the greater number of deadbroke horses, the more likelihood you will be asked for more (hand gallop, halt, dismount, etc.).

Usually, also at schooling shows, if you have a legitimate issue and cannot mount from the ground, they usually let you use something like a mounting block - the important thing is that your horse stands to be mounted.

ShaSamour
Apr. 1, 2011, 12:45 PM
Makes sense. My one concern is that I do always ride my guy with boots (he toes out in front and sometimes knocks himself), which I know is a no-no in hunters. I wonder if I'll get the stink-eye with boots in a pleasure class? (This is a schooling show, mind you. We don't do A-rated anything; that's out of my league/pocketbook!)

Since it's a schooling show, I'd ask the question of the gate person, or ask at the secretary's desk if the boots would be permissable. At a rated show, the boots would be a no-no (as they would be in a hunter class).

Also -- no martingales.

Trixie
Apr. 1, 2011, 01:01 PM
Makes sense. My one concern is that I do always ride my guy with boots (he toes out in front and sometimes knocks himself), which I know is a no-no in hunters. I wonder if I'll get the stink-eye with boots in a pleasure class? (This is a schooling show, mind you. We don't do A-rated anything; that's out of my league/pocketbook!)

I'm going to go with no boots, even for pleasure at a schooling show. I'm sure you can ask, but generally they're wondering what they're hiding. While they're looking at manners and way of going, suitability counts, and a horse that's going in boots might be appear to be unsuitable.

ponysize
Apr. 1, 2011, 01:07 PM
If it is a schooling show, ask management. Boots are no-no in any flat class unless management ok's it.

findeight
Apr. 1, 2011, 03:45 PM
Admit I am completely in the dark as to the difference between pleasure over fences and Hunter over fences if both are 2' and have 3 o/f and a flat class.

Hunters are, really, Pleasure horses over fences. if somebody can enlighten me, please have at it.

Oh, any boots on the horse are usually verbooten in any flat class, breed or open and not allowed in the Hunters over fences. Because if he hits himself? That is a fault, isn't it? That is what they are judged on. Not tripping or hitting themselves. Why advertise it if they do with protective boots?

jay0087
Apr. 1, 2011, 03:51 PM
The three schooling shows I attend, boots are not aloud. In fact this last weekend, The judge called down to me in the second flat class and told me to tell the rider that she didn't pin because of her bell boots. She didn't see them in the first class because the boots blinded in pretty good and she was judging from upstairs (not as close as the judges stand)

ShaSamour
Apr. 1, 2011, 05:00 PM
Usually if there is an O/F in the Pleasure division, it's over crossrails, and (in theory) the judge should not penalize trotting the fences, adds on the lines, simple changes, etc. All that is supposed to matter is the horse gets over the obstacles safely and willingly. As in, if there was a log across the trail, would your horse get you to the other side easily and safely. If the prize list says 2', my guess is that it will be smaller, esp. if there are small ponies in the class. Of course, the smoothest trip will win. Just based on what I encountered.

snapper
Apr. 1, 2011, 05:32 PM
In Pleasure, the emphasis is on manners and suitability to purpose. If your horse appears to be a safe, sane, pleasant horse to hack out on, that's it. The judges are looking for a light contact, prompt transitions, and a nice attitude. Being a nice mover helps, but isn't essential. You may be asked to extend the trot, hand gallop, halt, halt and drop reins, back, dismount/mount from the ground, trot over ground poles, back between ground poles. Obedience is key, but with minimal input from the rider.

At least that was my experience, in something over 250 pleasure classes in the original Sha Samour's show career. And we won most of them.

You really need to ask show management. In my experience when there is an over fences class as part of the pleasure division they look like the hunter classes, except in pleasure no martingales allowed and no deductions for adding strides in the lines if it is smooth. I've never ridden in any pleasure division where boots were allowed on the horses. Or where you had to extend the trot, hand gallop, halt, halt and drop reins, back, dismount/mount from the ground, trot over ground poles, back between ground poles.

Although I do agree with this: " The judges are looking for a light contact, prompt transitions, and a nice attitude."

VCT
Apr. 1, 2011, 05:56 PM
I do the pleasures with a horse of mine because he just isn't a hunter type mover on the flat and we aren't polished enough yet to do well in the o/f hunters (we need lead changes, and we often add in lines because I am still working on being able to keep him well balanced while allowing/encouraging him to step bigger - he can be hard to balance etc). I do the hunter stuff for experience/mileage/schooling.... but it's fun to do something we are good at, too.

No boots, no martingale, no flash.
I use a fitted pad.

Like other said it's about how mannerly your horse is how pleasant and easy to ride they seem to be.

I've never had to extend trot, hand gallop etc. We have had to halt and back up. Never had to dismount/mount.

ShaSamour
Apr. 1, 2011, 08:02 PM
When it comes to the fun stuff -- extend the trot, hand gallop, halt and drop reins, etc., it really depends entirely on the judge. Some judges will judge pretty much like hunter under saddle and not really ask for anything more than a halt, or maybe back. Others will test the daylights out of you. Kennis Fairfax was one who really put us through our paces, including individual tests. I was actually tested harder at schooling shows than at most rated shows.

I had a blast doing Pleasure. The original Sha Samour was as politically incorrect as you get on the H/J circuit -- 7/8 Arab - 1/8 Tennessee Walker. Go figure. He looked like a little, fine quarter horse, until he started to move, and the tail gave him away (EEK! Arab!). But we cleaned up in Pleasure, because he was the genuine article. I used to look forward to being tested, because Sam did have a distinct extended trot, and a true gallop, and he made it all look easy.

Just relax, and have fun!

danceronice
Apr. 1, 2011, 08:42 PM
Admit I am completely in the dark as to the difference between pleasure over fences and Hunter over fences if both are 2' and have 3 o/f and a flat class.

Hunters are, really, Pleasure horses over fences. if somebody can enlighten me, please have at it.


Like some have said, and my guess would be, hunters is about the perfect PICTURE-ideal form, legs tucked exactly right, hitting the exact number of strides, etc. It might actually be taking a huge effort for the rider to push the necessary buttons. Pleasure is a pleasurable ride--the rider doesn't need extras (martingales), the horse goes willingly, if not necessarily stylishly, doing the perfect number of strides is not as important as maintaining a comfortable pace and the horse doing what the rider asks without any fuss, speeds up/slows down without making an issue of it--basically, a visible pleasure to ride, with a cooperative horse who might not be the most stylish mover.

cnvh
Apr. 1, 2011, 09:07 PM
Interesting, thanks all for the insights. Fortunately Horse and I have been schooling trail obstacles a lot lately-- opening/closing gates, reinback, turn on the haunches/forehand, sidepass over poles, etc.-- and he's getting to be a pro at all that stuff. About the only thing I'm certain we'd fail would be the ground mount-- he's 16.2, I'm 5'3" with hobbit legs; I ALWAYS mount from a mounting block, trailer, tree stump, etc. (He DOES stand for mounting though!)

One of the flat classes in this division is a Stakes class (albeit with a tiny payout), so I'm wondering if that means lots of tests... if so, yay! Horse is fine O/F, doesn't have a stop in him, but I'd love to show off all our hard work on the flat this winter.

I'd be OK leaving the boots off for a flat class or two, but I really wouldn't want to jump him without them. Guess I'll call the venue next week and ask...

fourmares
Apr. 1, 2011, 11:53 PM
I've never seen a pleasure class over fences. In the flat classes you might see saddle seat horses depending on where you are in the country and you will likely have some wenglish horses (QH and paints doing the breed version of english) as well as regular hunter types.