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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
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    Concord, NH
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    4,935

    Default Eventing TO hunters

    I have been an eventer for wayyy to many years to post the actual number but find myself with a beloved horse who just does not enjoy cross country - too careful and spooky. I see lots of posts on the event board about "I'm going to try eventing but I'm a hunter person, what do I do now!?" but I don't see a lot of the reverse.

    I've had one lesson with a hunter person, which I realize makes me no expert, but the mare really seemed to get into the slower pace, the less energy, the quiet ride. I can see the challenge of 8 perfect fences, and damn if the "short distance to the long spot" doesn't make her jump me right out of the tack! I can't complain about that part.

    I know I've got to work on 'doing less' up there - and I am petrfied of the braiding! (I can do 15 nice fat sewn-in English braids on her, and they look lovely, but um 40?? I don't know)

    Any advice as we venture into your realm?

    I'm used to having a ride time, and being able to jump whatever fence I feel like in the warm up and in general being very independent from a trainer while competing.



    Thank you!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    12,607

    Default

    Go for it! There was a recent thread from someone here who is an eventer that just turned hunter. She looked great, and was successful at her first hunter show.

    Hire a braider for the first show, and watch them do hunter braids. After the show, practice, and then do your own if you feel confident they'll look good.

    Look through some of the threads for hunter show advice...like fitted pads, conventional nosebands, standing martingale, D ring bits, no boots on horse (no martingale in flat classes). Understated and neat is always appropriate. Learn how to do "hunter hair".

    Your trainer should go over rules like courtesy circles, whether to do your classes back to back, etc.

    Lead changes are important in hunters unlike in eventing.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    958

    Default

    I would go to at least one show with a trainer that really knows hunters. they can help you with the etiquette (and safety!) in the warm-up, how to start and end your round properly, the correct hunter frame, and how to plan the strides etc just from the course diagram.

    the good riders make it look so easy! ha. not so much, at least at first. its a great challenge, and when your horse loves the job, pretty big fun.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2008
    Posts
    116

    Default

    I do both.

    You may end up being one of the few that doesn't mind the long gallop to the single oxer

    Don't sit to adjust strides if needed. Got to be able to stay in a light seat and still adjust.

    Be prepared to get ready, then wait, and wait, and wait... thats the one thing I wish they could have- ride times!

    You may want to have some one stand by a warm up jump and look trainer/groom like... some don't like to share fences if they've "claimed" it. Most are great- but there have been a few special cases (have seen a novice rider/trainer yell at a BNR/T that the one fence was HERS, and that he had to ASK for permission to use it). So try to find someone who will share!

    Find someone to go over all the little detail stuff- knowing where the sign up at each arena is handy, the nuances between each class and how to ride (Eq, medal, HOF, HUS)

    Just like eventing- read the rule book. Good example for me when I started- I didn't realize you couldn't use rubber reins- luckly read the book so I could swap out to leather. Little things like that.

    I would use a trainer the first times out, just like eventing there are lots of little things that you don't know til you're there and its nice to have someone helping show the ropes.

    Braiding isnt bad, just will need to be taught/practice. It does take longer! I can do button braids in 15-20, hunter 45-50min. I'm a touch slow at it and im horrible at forelocks... how they to the french braid and under is beyond me!

    Its fun, a different challenge. Brings out my neurotic side- but it is a nice feeling to get a great round in.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,831

    Default

    Yeah horses have a way of telling us what they "prefer" to do - however; one of my boys seems to be quite clear that he just wants to hang out in his stall, eat, poop and take meds....

    My thoughts on the Hunter world are - ride quiet, soft, firm, keep your mind relaxed and your reactions smooth and unnoticeable (but you are doing things to keep the horse in front of your leg and balanced).

    I did some eventing as a kid and "loved" that bold forward horse that would jump anything - I was reved up and so was my horse.... doesn't work in the hunter world whatsoever... 20 some years later I am learning quite quickly that I just need to chill out!

    Have fun - a day spent with your horse is always a good one!
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2006
    Location
    on and off the bit
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    4,011

    Default

    And there I was, wondering what in the world a "TO hunter" was!
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,831

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wellspotted View Post
    And there I was, wondering what in the world a "TO hunter" was!
    me too... My first response was A "Take Out"... hunter.. I must be hungry!
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2009
    Location
    Readington, NJ
    Posts
    178

    Default

    I recently did a local 3' Hunter Derby and one of the horses was an eventer. She had a really nice round, and she was the only one of us who really went for it in the handy for her hand gallop!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
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    Default

    No rubber reins! Well that's worth all the other tips! I guess I need to go get some reins. Not even rubber lined on one side??

    DIh, the rule book- I always read the eventer one! It's the USEF, right? (that's where the eventer one is).

    Thank you all -I think this is going to be a fun adventure for us.

    The learning to just chill out is going to be good for me in general!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
    Posts
    6,050

    Default

    The seat was the biggest thing for me as far as hunters. And really, kind of why I'm not doing it now... I just prefer sitting deeper unless I'm galloping!

    The reins are a good tip, too. Want a nice pair of brown leather braided reins? They're too long for the horse I'll be eventing and I've learned I like rubber... and the bridle I bought them for is destroyed. I just don't need brown leather! I'll totally pay to ship them to you as a donation to the "do the right thing for a horse who didn't like its old job" fund.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2006
    Posts
    199

    Default

    I made the move about a decade ago and haven't looked back. Some helpful hints:

    -As independent as you may be, a trainer's help is invaluable in the warmup. They will claim a fence and set up whatever you might need to get your horse jumping well, including oxers, one-strides, rolling out groundlines, placing poles, etc.

    -Until you learn how to do perfect hunter braids and tails, pay a pro. It is usually very obvious who tried to cut corners and do their own braiding. I have one friend who is a whiz with tails but not good with manes, so she has the mane braided professionally and does her own tails.

    -No stock pin on the ratcatcher. Monogram or nothing, or get the new kind that snap on the side.

    -You can absolutely put your butt in the saddle, contrary to above statements. You ride your horse however you need to in order to get the best performance out of them. There are some very good pros and a lot of ammies who need or like their butt in the tack to find or get to their distance, and they win. Louise Serio comes to mind, one of the best hunter riders ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbTovxq6sTg



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2000
    Location
    Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
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    Default

    I recognize that seat (not because I'm in Louise's class of rider ) but because that's my preferred seat, the modified 3 point. Your butt is in the saddle, but (butt?) just barely. Let's just say you won't wear out a french leather seat anytime soon and it's nothing like an eq/jumper/driving seat. So it may look a bit like those seats but it really is a much closer cousin to the 2 point!

    Just one bit of advice I would give to an eventer coming over to hunter is when you think your body should come back to the tack on the backside of the fence, wait a bit and maybe a bit more. There's a reason we stay up there longer and it isn't because we don't know any better.
    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. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 22, 2000
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    14,977

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by westcoasteventer View Post
    Louise Serio comes to mind, one of the best hunter riders ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbTovxq6sTg
    Louise is a great one to watch if you want to see it done really well!

    Notice how everything she does is soft and smooth. If she sits down a little in the turn, or rides up to a forward distance, or balances for a quiet distance- it always looks like she does it softly.

    Pretty much anybody who shows hunters would love to ride like Louise. I know I would!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2008
    Posts
    116

    Default

    On the rein thing- I am Canadian, so not sure if thats just one of our rules or not. You may be able to get away with the rubber backed ones though. As for the seat, I should clarify... I was taught to be in galloping 2pt til 6 or strides before a fence then to settle in. If I get into a spot I know isn't going to be right in hunters I tend to want to drop in right away instead of quietly adjusting maintaining consistant position. Its not necessarily wrong, but often unneeded- and when you are as tall as I am... very noticable! My upper body hides nothing.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 3, 2007
    Posts
    323

    Default

    Hilary - From Fitty's venture in to Hunter-land, I have the bridle and reins (braided I was told are best) you can borrow. Not sure if someone else stated it, but only contour saddle pads. And a big silver D ring bit.

    You have the breeches, saddle type, etc. No sheepskin whatsoever (saddle pad, girth, cover).

    You two are going to be great!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2006
    Posts
    199

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DMK View Post
    I recognize that seat (not because I'm in Louise's class of rider ) but because that's my preferred seat, the modified 3 point. Your butt is in the saddle, but (butt?) just barely. Let's just say you won't wear out a french leather seat anytime soon and it's nothing like an eq/jumper/driving seat. So it may look a bit like those seats but it really is a much closer cousin to the 2 point!

    Just one bit of advice I would give to an eventer coming over to hunter is when you think your body should come back to the tack on the backside of the fence, wait a bit and maybe a bit more. There's a reason we stay up there longer and it isn't because we don't know any better.
    Both excellent points. The 3-point is settling more on the, uh, front parts, rather than the seat bones. I've adopted the much lighter seat, and will settle into the saddle a bit around corners in the handy, but then lighten back out of the tack headed towards the fence. I can't stay sitting unless I'm really concentrating on it. And then I miss the distance.

    And yes, "stay over" with your butt out of the saddle on the descent and landing... and wait at least a full stride or two to get back your preferred position (again, except maybe in the handy where the turns come up faster).



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2000
    Location
    Concord, NH
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    Default

    Why do you stay up out of the saddle longer? Is it because you're trying to encourage the bigger rounder jump and if you sit too quickly it squelches that? Or is just part of the relaxed look/ style part of the round? Although I don't think you should ever sit before the horse has landed when you're jumping on a flat surface.

    And I want to say I totally get that "style" is part of it - my mom does carriage driving and you are judged on the picture so you must have the right cart, harness and outfit to pin, no matter how good you and your horse are at driving - please don't think I'm mocking when I'm asking all these questions. To some extent in the event world if it works, it's ok as long as it's clean and safe and style is really irrelevent so this is a shift for me, but I get it.


    What about gloves? Dark/black? Or none? Please don't say none.....



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2006
    Posts
    199

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilary View Post
    Why do you stay up out of the saddle longer? Is it because you're trying to encourage the bigger rounder jump and if you sit too quickly it squelches that?
    Basically. It lets the horse finish the jump behind unhindered by the rider's influence.

    Gloves, yes, in black.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Posts
    4,343

    Default

    Also, noboots- galloping, polos or bells. No running martingales, flashes, figure=8's. No standings in the hacks (and they aren't required over fences).

    No ride times, so hurry up and wait- but maybe you willhave extra time to braid... or not.

    When the show says we have 5 ponies to show and there are 3 over fences, 2 hacks and 2 medals... and you calculate 2 minutes a trip..... bwahahaa- and come up with like an estimate of 1.5 hours before your class.... well, lets just say with changing the jumps, moving in lines, the 6th small that shows up after they reset the course for the large pony eq....man, those 5 (6!) ponies can end up taking 4 hours and when the #7 medium shows up... ay yi yi.... (I think that may be more of a local show problem).

    But that kind of thing is why you arrive at 10am, figuring you'll do your 4 classes at 1pm, and end up loading the trailer and your ribbons when your day finishes at 9pm.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
    Location
    Finally...back in civilization, more or less
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    11,480

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    My advice is go to watch a show or two before you enter one yourself. If you have a friend that does hunters that you can shadow, even better. Just go as though you were doing the same classes, and see how it all works.

    Just as eventing has norms and unwritten rules, so does the H/J environment. You can learn a TON just by observing, seeing how people get to the ring, what sort of warm up they do, and what the judges are looking for.

    Quiet, conservative, brown tack is a given in the hunter ring. You should have leather reins without the rubber lining (even on one side) if possible. Laced reins are common, braided/plaited ones less so, but still acceptable. Plain noseband (no flash or drop or figure 8.) A fitted white pad is also the most usual choice (can be sheepskin) although you will see half pads once in a while.

    You can never go wrong in a nicely tailored navy coat - which works for all three rings (hunter, jumper, equitation) and tan breeches. (If you are going to buy new ones, you might want to consider the new more sport-friendly fabrics.) Definitely knee patch breeches, no full seats, but the "euro seat" (which has a seam similar to what you'd see on full seats) is very "in." Black gloves, certified helmet, field boots if you have them (otherwise dress boots are OK,) everything gleaming/polished/shining and you should be good to go.

    Have fun!
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



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