He wouldn't even get a glance in "hunter" today.
How timely, I opened my email and there was an AMHA correspondence with the head of the judging committee reminding people of judging standards. First on their list:
A. Hunter Pleasure--The Hunter Pleasure section is growing by leaps and bounds. It is the most participated section at horse shows across the country. We as judges need to be aware and diligent in looking for the correct Hunter Pleasure horse. In recent years the committee has fielded many questions and concerns about how the hunter pleasure section is being judged. Many feel there are inconsistencies between the Standard and the w nners circle. Please remember your job as a Morgan judge is to pick a winner that performs closest to the ideal standard. The current trend is heading away from the original description of a Hunter Pleasure horse.
A Hunter Pleasure horse should demonstrate a sense of purpose - free moving, and a balanced progressive forward movement. Trappy, not tracking square, laboring, winging, or just too much motion, as a result of shoeing, is to be penalized. A Hunter Pleasure horse should give an effortless feeling that he is enjoying his job. If the reins were dropped, his head would not fall below his knees. A good visual is one where the hunter pleasure horse is trotting across the field and he comes across a hazard, he should be able to easily negotiate it because he is looking where he is going.
The Hunter Pleasure horse should appear to be carrying his body in a natural frame with ease of motion and without evidence of undue restraint. His motion starts fr! om the hind end and progresses through his shoulders, which allows him to carry his head in the correct frame with quiet, relaxed collection. He should never appear to have his frame controlled by the bridle, be behind the bit, or appear to be pulling himself around on the forehand. Transitioning from the trot to the extended trot is a ground covering motion--Not go faster or higher! The canter and extended canter should follow the same progressive movement forward. The walk should be free-moving and relaxed, not tense or anticipating. The Hunter Pleasure horse should demonstrate SENSE of PURPOSE!!
I read a memo from a few yrs ago saying the same thing, think it was from H. Sebring. Maybe this is even the same one.
On another subject and not directed at shakeytails: I understand that breeds are built differently and therefore carry themselves and move differently. But if one is going to show hunt seat, then some semblance should be maintained. Gripe here pertains to tails that drag the ground and parking out in lineup. Arghhhh
Hey Amwrider- your pm's are full. And the short answer to your question is you certainly may.
While head carriage in the SS pleasure classes 'might' find this horse acceptable, no one has mentioned that 'hunt seat' as a rule outside of breed venues has many, many riders being trained in the seat.
It may be an advantage to the breed to have a place within the breed shows where riders trained in the seat can enjoy their horses.
And I am laughing at considering a horse ridden in this tack and habit to be a cull; but then I don't consider SS as the only way to present a 'real' Saddlebred, Arab, Morgan, or Friesian.
People can get a tad touchy about being insulted like that.
If they want to spend their money and fill classes and bring spectators and buy horses why should that be discouraged just becaues their boots are tall or their heads helmetted?
Even modern top circuit hunters look little like good field hunters or show hunters from my youth; while I lament that, I am realistic about marketing and the horses really don't care about their riders togs so long as the saddles fit and the ride isn't abusive.
As far as the "cull", if you listen to the video it doesn't use that exact language, but implies it.
Yes, many SS horses can jump and fold there legs up over fences, I'm just confused that why if they are pushed as an alternative to SS, they still look they are going SS.
My opinion on that, why they are in essence still very much a SS horse and not a "hunter", is the breed organization and show organizers. Note my previous comments on AQHA HUS. Nothing "hunter" about those either and the source is the same, the breed organization and to some degree the trainers, wanting to keep the horses within the breed organization's fold, for lack of a better term.
The judges at the shows pin on breed type in both Hunter and Western CP classes because that is what they prefer.
I sometimes feel as if the judge is trying to find a SS prospect hiding under the tack and they do seem to select the closest match.
Can they help themselves for their preferences? I don't think they want to. That is part of what being competitive in breed shows is about to most of the judges.
This, although an Event prospect (age 5) is more what I think of when hunter and Saddlebreds are mentioned in the same sentence.
Just a different perspective or maybe preference from the breed show ideal. Nothing wrong with either of them.
ETA: I have an ex-park harness and a park saddle Morgan who, once I chopped off the tail and ripped off the shoes and giant hoof turned out to be a 3'6" jumper at 14.2hh. So I am aware that these horse can do it, but not in the way they're outfitted for a Morgan hunter pleasure class!
A lot of the breed specific hunter classes really are sad...not even close to what a hunter is.
Here is my Morgan "hunter"...we only show in open shows as she would never be competitive in a regional breed show. She shows with a pelham, short feet with plain shoe and a ground length tail (barely touches the ground while standing).