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  1. #21
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    They have a "hunter seat", which may not be real effective, but it gets them ribbons, as it is judged very subjectively.
    Eventmom - for 125673 time, HUNTERS are JUDGED SOLELY on the PERFORMANCE of the HORSE. The rider can look like Phillip Dutton, Roy Rogers, George Morris, Steinkraus, Denny, the Amazzziinnngggg Lutino Brothers or a monkey and it does not factor in the score. The "seat" does nothing to win or lose ribbons, except for the seat's ability to impact the horse's jumping style.

    The riders style in hunters factors into the judging as much as it does on XC.



  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia73 View Post
    Eventmom - for 125673 time, HUNTERS are JUDGED SOLELY on the PERFORMANCE of the HORSE. The rider can look like Phillip Dutton, Roy Rogers, George Morris, Steinkraus, Denny, the Amazzziinnngggg Lutino Brothers or a monkey and it does not factor in the score. The "seat" does nothing to win or lose ribbons, except for the seat's ability to impact the horse's jumping style.

    The riders style in hunters factors into the judging as much as it does on XC.
    What about equitation classes?
    And are you suggesting that hunters is not a "style" of riding?



  3. #23
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    Equitation is equitation. Not hunters. Hunt seat is a style- but hunters are not judged on rider's seat. Yes, equitation is judged partially on seat, but accuracy, getting a good performance (finding distances, changes, pace) is the bigger part of the equation.

    So at a hunter jumper show, you have:

    Hunters- scored subjectively on the horse's performance only. Jumping style, accuracy, pace, movement.
    Equitation- scored subjectively on the horse's performance in terms of accuracy, pace, lead changes etc and riders seat. The horses performance is still the more important- if you had steinkraus vs slumpy mc loose legs, and steinkraus chipped, added and missed a change and slumpy found all her distances, got her changes etc. Slumpy would win in most cases. Equitation is mainly populated by juniors, with some adult classes. pros do not compete in the Eq classes.

    Jumpers- scored objectively- leave the rails up and go quick.



  4. #24
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    The principle of "centered riding" is not so much to be "forward," but to be balanced over the horse's center of balance... which is going to shift forward or back depending on speed and way of going... Watch dressage and you will see a rider sitting much straighter and taller, as the horse is (ha, supposed to be... not in my mare's case) moving more from their back end and lighter on the front. At a good gallop around a cross country course, the horse's center of balance has shifted forward, so the rider will be more forward to stay balanced... With higher jumps, the horse will "rock back" and shift his weight more toward his haunches on the approach to the jump (so he can power himself over- which has to be done with his back legs unless he intends to do a backflip). This is where a rider can become a "lawn dart" if they don't stay balanced with the horse. In cantering around a hunter course, lightness is the key, so the rider will often stay off the horse's back a bit. But their goal is not to be AS forward as on XC (unless they really need to gallop to get the striding right, which is another matter altogether), so you won't see them way up over the horse's shoulders, but in more of a "half seat." On a jumper course (or stadium in eventing), you may see many variations, some riders very forward, some sitting taller and firmly planted in the saddle. Since the horse's "way of going" doesn't matter as much (ie, nobody cares if they have a light, floating canter) the rider will use their seat and balance to influence the horse's speed and balance in whatever way it takes to get the job done. As jumpers are more technical (twisty, turny courses as opposed to the floaty lines and curves of a hunter course), the rider's seat will likely change throughout the course to balance the horse for tight turns, push them forward for lines, etc. One thing you usually won't usually see is a rider actually leaning back (well, on the flat... a drop fence is a different matter), so don't let the term "leaning back" confuse you. Think of it more as sitting taller, stretching upward... (being pulled upward by the string on your helmet, I believe, is how it's described in the centered riding book, which you seem to be familiar with.)

    Whew... that was a long one.

    TheHunterKid- I don't believe anyone would ever actually imply that hunter riders don't know HOW to ride. Just that, in the judge's eye, if the horse is good enough (and a bit of a saint) the rider theoretically COULD be flapping around and it wouldn't affect the score so long as it didn't affect the horse's way of going... because it is the horse being judged and not the rider. Now we all know that ineffective riding will cause the horse to be less effective, but I'm talking in THEORY.

    I imagine we'll all be hearing a lot more question liek these as the Olympics approach and viewers start going, "Huh? Didn't I see the medal round for this same thing YESTERDAY?"
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  5. #25
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    To the OP, I think magnolia is doing a good job explaining hunters (and in a way, jumpers are pretty simple -- they get the job done, no style points whatsoever).
    I can't give you a sense of how hunter or jumper shows run since I am an eventer.
    But, couple of things: hunters tend to ride in a more forward seat/2 point -- they emphasize consistency and smoothness and I think they do not want to look like they are moving around a lot -- making big moves -- as that detracts from the elegant picture they are trying to make.
    Jumpers and eventers use a variety of styles in the show jumping ring -- you can watch videos of European jumpers sitting QUITE upright at times. There are MORE different styles used in jumping and eventing since "style" or look is not judged at all.

    Eventers always compete in 3 separate phases:
    1. Dressage -- in a square arena, you ride a precise pattern (same for everyone), dressed in a dark hunt coat, light britches (traditional look). You are being judged subjectively on how well the horse performs the movements . Your effectiveness also is judged. Horse is judged on gaits, on balance, on relaxation, all sorts of fun stuff.

    2. Show jumping or "Stadium" -- this is the one that looks like hunters/jumpers -- we probably look more like jumpers than hunters, as we are often not quiet and smooth (in part because we are not judged on it, and in part because our horses, to be good at cross country, are often not so into being "quiet" and "perfect" anyway). We usually wear the same outfit as for dressage, although many one day events now allow you to wear your cross country gear. THe fences are colorful but not as big and colorful as jumpers. WE are timed, and judged on knockdowns/refusals. It is NOT a speed contest -- there is one round, and a specific time limit. As long as you are under the limit you are good.

    3. Cross country. Here we wear protective vests, colorful stuff. NO style points. You need to be much more flexible in your position -- you may be jumping downhill, into water, etc. So you will see people sitting right down into the tack, in 2 point, and everything in between. Slipping the reins, making big corrections, etc. We are judged, again, on making it under a time limit and going over everything without refusals, falls, or runouts.

    Is that helpful?
    The big man -- no longer an only child

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  6. #26
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    I like to describe it this way. Hunters is more about a "Style" of riding. They pose over jumps and such. They have a "hunter seat", which may not be real effective, but it gets them ribbons, as it is judged very subjectively.
    Eventing is about being balanced and effective.
    Once again... hunters is judged on the horse, the horse's way of going and style of jumping, their ability to smoothly and consistently navigate 8 fences. It has absolutely nothing to do with the RIDER or a rider "posing over jumps and such." Hunters, just like eventers, need to be balanced and effective in order to get the best performance out of their animals.

    As for equitation, I suggest you get yourself to some bigger shows and watch a Maclay class. There is absolutely no way for a rider to perform those tests without being effective and almost no way to do it from a "perch" while "posing" over jumps.

    Dressage is the only part of eventing that could be considered subjective, but it is supposed to be judged mainly on the horse, and they are looking for specific movements.
    How is dressage being judged MAINLY ON THE HORSE any different than hunters being judged MAINLY ON THE HORSE? How effective the rider is at getting that horse to a perfect score is not judged. In fact, the goal is for it to look absolutely effortless.

    I realize that you don't have a lot of exposure to how things are done in the hunter world. However, I implore upon you to learn that a good rider is a good rider NO MATTER WHAT the discipline, a good round is a good round NO MATTER WHAT the discipline, and that judging an entire sport by the small amount that you've seen is tantamount to me as a hunter rider judging eventing by it's recent publicity and what I've seen on schooling days at FPP. In other words, not exactly a balanced opinion.

    Once again, I suggest you call up a quality hunter trainer in the area and ask if you and your girls can observe some lessons.



  7. #27
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    It seems since the show hunters are shown in the ring on groomed flat ground and limited type of fence their position is more consistent. Eventers may be in the "hunter" type seat at one point but the types of fences we jump necessitates changing that position. My niece, a beginning hunter rider, went to xc schooling with us and asked why my daughter was sitting up more etc at one point. I instructed her to look at the upcoming obstacle a drop over a log into the water. The seat she used was one to help the horse negotiate the obstacle and keep from being that lawn dart. So with more variety of terrain and obstacles the eventer needs to utilize a wider variety of seats. Does that make sense?



  8. #28
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    Equitation riders are generally the cream of the crop as hunt seat style goes. Think of doing a dressage test over fences and the rider being judged as part of the equation. It takes tons of hard work to ride that well, no matter what discipline.

    Here we have Addison Phillips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAjev...eature=related and Jennifer Waxman in 2007 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n310SZ4E0pY&NR=1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJQdl...eature=related This is the CPHA Junior finals Top 10
    "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."



  9. #29
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    First, I admit I have *such* bad memories of doing hunters. I didn't do badly, but when I didn't win, I really didn't understand why. That's another difference, albeit psychological, between hunters and eventers. I think you've had a good event when you finish all 3 phases and feel good about them. I just never had that sense of accomplishment in the Hunter ring. Maybe it was because I was a tot, but the only thing that validated my round in Hunters was a blue, red, or yellow ribbon. It was a happy day for my brain chemistry when I discovered jumpers!

    Doing hunters, I learned that riding style was important in both a hunter class and an equitation class. Agreed, the tight position I maintained wouldn't have been very effective going XC. I got to open up a lot more doing jumpers, too, and focus on effective, rather than invisible, riding. I don't buy it that position doesn't play into judging in Hunters. Rodney Jenkins, as effective as he was, couldn't have placed well in the Hunter ring!



  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by crittertwitter View Post
    First, I admit I have *such* bad memories of doing hunters. I didn't do badly, but when I didn't win, I really didn't understand why. That's another difference, albeit psychological, between hunters and eventers. I think you've had a good event when you finish all 3 phases and feel good about them. I just never had that sense of accomplishment in the Hunter ring. Maybe it was because I was a tot, but the only thing that validated my round in Hunters was a blue, red, or yellow ribbon. It was a happy day for my brain chemistry when I discovered jumpers!
    Maybe it was who you're riding with or just plain your outlook and attitude. As a hunter rider, I'm constantly striving to do better and judging my trips against my trips from the previous show and trying to improve. When I do better than the last time, that to me is a sense of accomplishment.


    Rodney Jenkins, as effective as he was, couldn't have placed well in the Hunter ring!
    Er, WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?! Well, if that doesn't just about beat all...

    http://www.showjumpinghalloffame.net..._jenkins.shtml

    "Jenkins was also a master in the hunter ring, especially in the 1960s."

    http://www.virginiasportsman.com/Rodney.pdf

    "Rodney began his career in the
    hunter ring, and he was truly awesome." (That one has PHOTOS)

    http://www.centennialfarms.com/peopleview.asp?Action=15

    He was even inducted into the Show Hunters Hall of Fame:

    http://nationalshowhunterhalloffame.com/gallery.htm
    Last edited by Trixie; Jul. 23, 2008 at 11:09 AM.



  11. #31
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    Way too many people seem to look at local shows and lower level competitions and paint an entire discipline with a broad brush based on what is truly beginner rider or green horse stuff.

    There's a big difference between the level of skill at a t-ball tournament and the Little League World Series.

    Good riding (in any discipline) takes talent, hard work and the blessed patience of skilled instructors, be they human or equine.

    I've also noticed that, a few months or years into a person's equestrian experience, there is a stage of "know it all" superiority that a sensible person works through when they realize just how much more there is to learn. A good rider is constantly seeking to correct flaws and to improve. Being able to see a bad round and realize that is what it is, not "every hunter rider does that" is a good start.
    "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."



  12. #32
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    You actually cannot believe the restraint Trixie is practicing, although you might have given her the laugh of a lifetime. Saying Rodney wasn't effective in the hunter ring is a bit like saying Jack Le Goff might not have been effective in eventing, or that Klimke fellow wouldn't have cut it in dressage.

    Not only were they "effective" they are the patriarchs of the sport!
    Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.



  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHunterKid90 View Post
    yea...not really.
    We do know how to ride. heh.
    Agreed, but a good hunter rider uses a very different style to show off the horse. I have done a considerable about of time in the hunters. It is harder than it looks If you watch some of the best (Peter Pletcher comes to mind), their equitation is far from perfect but you can't argue with how their horses go.

    To the OP: The 2 point that a hunter rider uses is a little more forward and they are softer with their body to allow the horse to show off their movement and jump. That same softness will get a person in trouble if they are jumping on some different terrain. If you stay too far forward after a jumping effort that all of a sudden goes down hill or requires you to balance your horse, you will not be stable and you will throw your horse on the forehand. Hence becoming a lawn dart

    Hunters do not have a time factor at all. They can take their time but they must stay in the canter and make the strides for each line. Each line is a related distance with a set number of strides. At the lower levels (non rated) the strides are not as important as the overall flow of the course. At the A show level, the horse must make the strides to hope to get a ribbon and must make the strides look easy. Each stride is 12 ft but they can be set longer when the jumps get bigger.

    Also, Equitation is a completely seperate division. It is judged soley on the rider's position and effectiveness.



  14. #34
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    While I do agree that Hunters are supposed to be judged on the horse, I have heard several upper-level Hunter people, when asked about the 'praying-mantis position' photos accompanying almost every article about a major hunter rider, defend the pose as being intended to "show the judge how big the bascule is/show the judge how easy and honest the horse is/ride the neck down to exaggerate the bascule". Only the latter has to do with the actual effect on the horse. So, someone must think the judge is watching the rider, too. JUST what I've been told by hunter people.

    Jennifer



  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by crittertwitter View Post
    Rodney Jenkins, as effective as he was, couldn't have placed well in the Hunter ring!

    Please please PLEASE be joking.
    "The grace of God is found between the saddle and the ground" --Irish proverb



  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    Maybe it was who you're riding with or just plain your outlook and attitude. As a hunter rider, I'm constantly striving to do better and judging my trips against my trips from the previous show and trying to improve. When I do better than the last time, that to me is a sense of accomplishment.




    Er, WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?! Well, if that doesn't just about beat all...

    http://www.showjumpinghalloffame.net..._jenkins.shtml

    "Jenkins was also a master in the hunter ring, especially in the 1960s."

    http://www.virginiasportsman.com/Rodney.pdf

    "Rodney began his career in the
    hunter ring, and he was truly awesome." (That one has PHOTOS)

    http://www.centennialfarms.com/peopleview.asp?Action=15

    He was even inducted into the Show Hunters Hall of Fame:

    http://nationalshowhunterhalloffame.com/gallery.htm
    LOL Guess I was wrong there! I'll never say that again. ROFL



  17. #37
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    so much has been discussed here, but I think that one huge difference is rider balance and position over fences - as I watch hunter classes out at the International Horse Park, and look at pictures in COTH, I am so puzzled by the vast numbers of riders who drape themselves across the horse's neck - I mean they are laying down! - over a fence. Now, THAT'S something I don't get.

    Eventers don't do that - at least for long.
    ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan



  18. #38
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    ok, ok. Honestly, I knew some people who foxhunted with him, etc. and always heard stories, but never knew of him as being anything but a jumper with a really sometimes whacky position.

    You've all betrayed my ignorance and I happily agree now that it was an ignormaus thing to say! What else can I say? Thanks for the education, fo' rizzle.

    I stick to my position in the hunter ring, though. It was not the place for me and I was always taught that your position was important. But at the same time I was taught that your effect was more important, whether it earned you a win or not.

    Am I also poorly misperceiving a political roll in Hunters?



  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by eventmom View Post
    I like to describe it this way. Hunters is more about a "Style" of riding. They pose over jumps and such. They have a "hunter seat", which may not be real effective, but it gets them ribbons, as it is judged very subjectively.
    Eventing is about being balanced and effective.
    If you tried to pose over a cross country jump, you might not make it to the other side!
    Dressage is the only part of eventing that could be considered subjective, but it is supposed to be judged mainly on the horse, and they are looking for specific movements.
    Jumpers might be considered the closest thing to an eventing stadium round. However the jumps are different (although not to an untrained eye!). Many an eventer use local jumper shows to get out there and school their horses.
    Eventmom. Go to Youtube and do a search for some working hunter videos. Or better yet, search for Peter Pletcher, Tommy Serio, or John French. Those riders are not "posing" over the fence. They are riding in a way to get the best jump out of the horse. It is unbelievably hard to get 8 perfect distances and make it look like you are doing nothing

    Dressage is not judged mainly on the horse.....accuraccy is very much the rider's responsiblity and is a HUGE part of the score. It is only subjective as far as the quality of the gaits and rider position.



  20. #40
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    so much has been discussed here, but I think that one huge difference is rider balance and position over fences - as I watch hunter classes out at the International Horse Park, and look at pictures in COTH, I am so puzzled by the vast numbers of riders who drape themselves across the horse's neck - I mean they are laying down! - over a fence. Now, THAT'S something I don't get.
    The basics are exactly the same, be it hunters or eventing. Ducking, or "laying on the neck" is JUST as incorrect in hunters as it is in eventing - it's simply less likely to get you killed when the jumps fall down.

    I stick to my position in the hunter ring, though. It was not the place for me and I was always taught that your position was important. But at the same time I was taught that your effect was more important, whether it earned you a win or not.
    Riding correctly is always important If your position is correct, you can be more effective. The more effective you are, the more likely you are to have a good round.

    Am I also poorly misperceiving a political roll in Hunters?
    I'd say so. While there ARE occasional instances of politics, they are NOT the norm. Further, when someone blames "politics" for their losing, they're generally overlooking some other major sin which was in fact the reason for their loss. Heaven forbid one admit to making a mistake or just plain not being good enough, when blaming "politics" is so much easier.



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