Wandering over from the Eventing forum as I'm thinking of putting Patrick in a local hunter show to see if our new found ability to maintain a consistent pace on course is actually repeatable in a show atmosphere.
I don't particularly care about the ribbons, but when in Rome...
So, I gather I need to ditch the square saddle pad for a shaped fleece one, and swap his figure 8 noseband for a plain one. He already goes in a D-ring snaffle, so we're okay there. No boots, no martingale... anything else you can think of?
You can certainly use a (standing) martingale in the over fences classes - just make sure you remove it for the flat (called a "hack" class.)
You are correct about the fitted white pad and regular noseband.
Hunters are all about showing a smooth, consistent pace and meeting the jumps at a consistent takeoff distance. Use an opening circle - called a courtesy circle - to create the pace you want before heading to the first jump, and do another circle at the end of the course to do a smooth transition back to the trot or walk.
Make sure you do walk in and out of the gate - trotting/cantering is penalized.
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.