Quick backstory-- I showed hunters as a junior (more than ten years ago), but have pretty much been doing dressage for the last decade. Two years ago I retired my old schoolmaster and took some time off to have a baby. This year I decided to get back to riding, so a few months ago purchased a green Perch/TB gelding. I had intended to eventually event him, but the more I work with him (and myself), I see us heading toward hunters. He is a lovely mover, and pretty obviously not a dressage type. He's not super drafty, only about 16hh, but LOTS of bone. Very well proportioned. We will start out in local unrated shows, but since I recently moved to BC from a pretty remote area of the States, I find myself secretly hoping to do some rated shows, now that they are available to me! Can I get some thoughts/opinions from others who are more familiar with hunters than I am, on how a draft cross would be taken in hunters?
If anyone has or knows of any pics of hunter drafties, please share!
One of my old trainers had a draft cross that did VERY well in the jumper ring and fairly decent in the hunter ring. She ended up selling for big $$$$$. I loved her. She had the smoothest ride I've ever sat on and if I could find one like her when I'm looking I would buy it in a heartbeat
Our little (well, not little, he was 17 hands) Irish Draught gelding did a couple of the hunter classes before making his event debut. He did well in the over fences classes because he was really steady and super cute in the air. He didn't do so well in the flat classes though where his draught really stood out next to some of the prettier horses. Alone, he looked great, like a giant pony, and was well in proportion. But when you stuck him next to a TB or a lighter WB, it was obvious that he was heavier and not as fancy.
To go rated he really needs to look and move like a big WB not a draft. If he has alot of knee he's not going to do well in the hunter ring. Without seeing him its hard to say but some can do it, its just very few and far between.
Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole
I'm a big fan of appropriately-bodied and presented Draft Crosses in the Hunters! I've owned one myself, shown an additional, and now other people at our barn are buying them up too! Some pictures... okay, a lot of pictures.. LoL
Thanks, all! I have no intention of being a hunter superstar (can't afford it) just want to have fun and not stand out TOO much (except maybe in a good way, lol!) Rabicon, he doesn't have much knee action at all, in fact someone remarked recently that he moves like he thinks he's an AQHA HUS horse, lol. And to some people he screams "draft" but others don't even realize he's part draft... it's all in the eye of the beholder I guess.
I think he's just gorgeous, and a lot of others seem to agree-- I've actually had people pull over on the side of the road to watch me ride (our outdoor arena is right near the road). And trust me, it wasn't because of MY embarrassing riding!!
TwoDreamRides, thanks for sharing the pics, they're great inspiration!
I have a fantastic draft X. She is 5 this year. She is a good mover (lot of impulsion but not as flat as you would want in a hunter) & really cute jumper.
I did baby green hunters last year. She looks like an overgrown pony.
She may not beat the big fancy warmbloods, but she is quiet and easy, and I have a blast riding her!
My half TB/half percheron would fit right into any hunter class. I call him my trailer-trash warmblood! Honestly, he looks like a beefy TB or like your basic WB. It's all about movement and jumping style, not just breeding. I'd say go for it and have a blast.
R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.
Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.
my mare is 7/8 TB 1/8 Clyde. Only 15.2 and on a good day is mistaken for a WB (poor woman's WB?). We do unrated divisions (ie Mod Adult) at big (and med) rated shows. My mare has a nice jump, decent canter, is very cute, and loves her job. If I ride well, we tend to get a ribbon. I dont bother with under saddle. She does not have a huntery trot at all, plus we both think its boring
I showed my now-retired Belgian/TB cross mare in hunters for years. No "A" shows, but a bunch of schooling, open, and unrated stuff. She had beautiful form over fences, she snapped her knees to her chin. We always pinned over fences. On the flat, however, her huge stride and heavier build always killed us. We'll be lapping all the smaller, lighter horses in the ring at the canter.
Her size and "draftiness" wasn't distracting when she was the only one in the ring, doing her courses. But next to all the others in the hack, she couldn't compete. That said, at the last show I took her to we didn't place lower than second in the OF classes, got nothing in the hack, and still won the division!
We had a drafty pony with a HUGE head He could jump the moon, moved.. well, like a draft and did fairly well in the children's ponies before we sold him. I think any breed can at least give the hunters a shot!
Hi Two Dream Rides, I have owned 3 horses from Road's End Farm! I still own Sunny, she is Manny's cousin - I had Cher and Bart. Bart was Manny's 1/2 brother.
Anyway, I have had draft crosses for 15 years, LOVE them. Some are more drafty and do well in jumpers, eventing, even dressage over hunters, but my last one - Forrest was 1/4 Perch x TB and he was beautiful - so hunter-y. I just sold him and got 2 more babies, so I'm excited. Here is his photo (I recently sold him) http://www.dreamhorse.com/show_horse.php
I show sunny in little h/j shows, but mostly event derbies. My new guy will be able to do either.