I've been in the A circuit ring in hunters for a while now.... And I know some people do transition over the jumpers after awhile.. I was wondering what people who used to show hunters think of jumpers? As I've been kind of thinking about selling my hunter and buying a young (4-5) jumper prospect.. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love hunters. I love the preparation that goes into the horses, and the fact that the riders have to know how to ride somewhat (Or at least have a good seat) to show in some of the classes..
But anyways, thats besides the point
So, for all you crossovers out there, do you miss it? Or are you happy you switched over?
Sorry for the mistake in the title.. 'For' should be 'From.'
I transitioned simply because I couldn't go anywhere else in the hunters. The highest it goes around here is 3'6, and well, I like jumping big! So once I hit 3'6, I transitioned to jumpers. I love hunters and if they went bigger (and I had the money for a fancy 4ft hunter) I would probably have stayed in the hunters, however I enjoy the jumpers.
I don't win a lot haha, I still tend to ride my courses a bit too huntery (using all my corners haha). I did win quite a bit on my old horse but he had to do 3'3 jumpers due to a suspensory. My current horse I trained up from a 3ft greenie to the 4ft jumpers. Still working on rideability to make him more careful.
I love the jumpers. I like them for different reasons than I liked the hunters. Are there days where I miss doing the hunters? I guess, especially when there's a 1.40m+ solid wall and I'm walking the course wondering why on earth I do this... but there's no adrenaline rush in the hunters (for me) the way there is when I'm jumping around a big track in the jumpers. I love the objectiveness and knowing exactly what I did wrong. As I said before, I love the rush and the accomplishment that I feel when we jump clear over a big course. I don't think I would ever do strictly hunters again, but I don't mind doing them either.
Edited to add: I did everything on the same horse (she was a horse with 1.50m scope masquerading as a junior hunter) and have had a ball on our journey from the junior hunters up through the smaller Grands Prix classes. She's much happier doing the jumpers than she ever was in the hunters. I almost wish that we were doing the courses from 20 years ago or so; she loves a course with a lot of galloping in it, but she's pretty game for anything.
Are you planning on using the same horse or get a new one?
I took my horse from hunters to eq to jumpers and he won in all divisions. The transition to eq helped as got him used to turning out of lines, etc. He could really turn and jump but was never the fastest across the ground so we won on great turns keeping out tempo, etc. After a few years in the jumpers he was ready to go back to hunters and eq.
Have fun, you will love the jumpers as it takes planning to figure out the course, turns and where you can make up time, etc.
I am taking the opposing view. I really dislike jumpers. I've always done hunters and bought Jet, wanting to continue doing hunters. But he gets bored with hunter corses and wants to play in the corners, and tends to be a little quick off the ground. He doesn't have the mindset for hunters, so I switched to jumpers. And I hate it. I am older and a blonde, and can't remember the courses worth a darn. Heck, I've even gone off course in a hunter round, so putting me in a jumper class with 12-14 fences, and a jumpoff course, and expecting me to not only try to remember how to ride and plan for turns, but then remember a twisty course that makes no sense, is just asking for trouble.
I just bought a green mare with the mindset to do hunters, and can't wait to get her into the ring, and go back to being quiet, and doing inside/outside/inside/outside or something similar!
I catch ride in all three rings but hunters will always be my love, I like Hunters because I think they are the hardest by far, it really depends on the person though, so just play with them all because they're all a blast!
also it REALLY depends on the horse
I moved over to jumpers simply because it was the horse my coach was bringing on at that time and gosh! never ever going back! I love that jumpers don't really have a ceiling you get too. I also love that the winner is quantifiable so you never leave the ring annoyed that judge X didn't like neddy. I did go in wondering if the best riders would be rewarded or if someone would just go nuts and win, like is sometimes seen in pony jumpers. It didn't, at least once we got into the slightly bigger jumps. I think I also loved it a lot because this horse was in his element in jumpers. He'd go into the jumper ring the happiest kid alive, take him into a hunter ring (especially a hunter flat) and he gets depressed and refuses to move off the leg, its ridiculous.
I love jumpers! My horse was simply not a hunter, but man was he ever a jumper! Went double clear almost every time out. If he didn't then it was totally my fault and he couldn't bail me out.
I did/do miss the hunter some, but jumpers is just way more entertaining for me. The whole inside line outside line inside line outside line is super boring to me. I would love love love to do hunter derby(s) in the future! Now that looks like fun! We will see where I end up. My next horse I plan to buy when I get out of vet school will be a baby aka weanling/yearling that I can mold from the beginning. I will do whatever discipline the baby would excel at. I am not one that trying to make a round peg fit in the square hole.
I tried out jumpers for a while before college with my ex Childrens Hunter and it was the best decision I made! Had to sell the horse but we had a blast.
Now many years later I am stuck catch riding in hunter land because I can't buy right now. I really hate paying for the judge's opinion in Hunters. I can find 8 perfect fences or flat my horse very well but just may be another horse the judge prefers that day. I like how black and white the jumpers are. If you are fast enough and careful enough, you win. Or place
I love jumper-land, it is generally more laid back in my opinion. I also love the clock as my judge, because sometimes myself and my trainers had different opinions then the hunter judge! Judges are the biggest "bug" of mine in Hunters, because I spent my time in the judges box at a horse show, and this judge watched the horses walk in and already had a winner.. He said he didn't even need to see them move and he didn't care, it was getting first. The judgding & 'paying for opinions' always bugged me about hunters, also coming from a fox hunting background and seeing hunters today.. but I still will catch-ride a couple hunters! I just love jumper-land. The speed, the heights, and so much more are enough for me!
I switched about 3 years ago and have never looked back. It was mainly due to my horse, age, personality, and financial standpoint.
My horse is amazing. He is scopey, beautiful, tall, and athletic. Unfortunately he is a plain blood bay and moves like a jumper. My eventing and dressage friends love his movement. He uses himself, is athletic and is very straight and forward. Hunter movement? Definitely not. He is also very smart and loves his job. He likes being challenged on a daily basis and being WORKED. He can be hot and he is a SLIGHTLY more sensitive ride. Which makes him more suitable as a jumper, obviously. He does have a very lovely jumper and will be a suitable crossover horse or equitation mount when he is older, calmer, and I am done with him.
As for myself. I am a young adult. This means I either have to lay down some major $$$ for a fancy AO horse (Argue all you want but it's just how it is.) or I can pay a moderate to good amount of $$ for something athletic and willing to put up with a few amateur mistakes. I am confident enough in my riding and the training support I have that I could put down low to mid five figures (and a lot of hard work!) and be able build up to win some Low AO classes at your typical A/AA shows. And not make myself look like a fool at the big big shows . Of course your already AO horses and your WEF AO winners are going to be expensive, but I am saying it is more feasible to be competitive on a tighter budget in the jumpers.
I greatly enjoy challenging myself and having VARIETY to my horses training and fitness schedule. Jumpers must include A LOT of flat work, conditioning, and technical jumping schools. I feel there is a larger jar for the course designers to draw questions out of in the jumpers. I like having to be prepared for every last one of those possibilities. And having to do trot and gallop sets in the field and up and down hills is good for both me and my horse. Physically and mentally.
I did hunters for a long time. And by no means am I saying it isn't challenging. I would still face challenges if I walked into the hunter ring tomorrow (although riding jumpers has actually improved me as a hunter rider). But for me, it was time for a change. And I think I made a change for the better. I enjoy the mentally stimulating aspect of the jumpers. You have to PLAN and THINK. And think QUICKER! They are different disciplines for a reason and not everyone likes the same cup of tea!
It CAN get frustrating in the jumpers. Especially at 1.10m and below. The best riders don't always win, just like in the hunters. But that is a fact of life. The best aren't going to win every time. There will be pony jumpers or "crazy people" tearing around the course that their horses some how get their legs out of the way and they beat you. At the end of the day it's about you and your horse. How you did and your improvement.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
inside of a man.
-Sir Winston Churchill
I'm also a convert. I rode hunters when I was younger and through College. I dabbled in the Jumpers but during college it seemed that my horse at the time was a jack of all trades so I just kind of hopped around a bit. It wasnt until 2009 that my new horse, and current horse, made me completely switch over.
I really did like it in college, but was limited and unfortunately there were only so many classes available to be in and while most of the horses, all but me, were big 16+ hands doing 4ft and up, I was kind of the odd ball with my 2'6-3ft 15h horse along with my fear to go higher.
But with Forrest I have schooled up to 4ft with no fear! So he has really helped me to transition over and love it! I will never go back. I liked the hunters as there wasn't much thought on the where I was going in a course and angles, speed, etc. I find that Jumpers are much more challenging and a bit more fair to ride in. There are no politics and its based on fastest and cleanest time.
I have always done hunters because we were focusing on getting my spazzy OTTB girl to settle down and trying to add speed into the mix was not a good idea. She is now a much more mellow girl. I'm one of the limited financial means folks so I only do schooling shows in which most people ride one horse for both. I did my first jumper class at a show yesterday and LOVED it. I think my horse just perked up and said "weeeeeeee this is fun mom!" I also like the objectivity of jumpers and the more lenient dress code.
This may not be what you're looking for, but I'll put it out there anyway because it was a shock to little old huntery me. My son went to jumpers last year. He totally loves it way better than hunters, well, he's a teenaged boy, likes to go fast and jump high and doesn't care if he looks pretty when he does it. What surprised me was all the new STUFF I had to buy, new bridle, running martingale, boots for the horse etc. Fortunately he kept his same horse but be prepared for the wallet shock. As I say, maybe not the answer you were looking for but something else to consider in the transition if you're on a budget.
I've been lurking on here for quite some time, and decided to finally register so I could reply to this!
I did the switch from hunters to jumpers while in my teens, and then some 8 or so years later switched back to the hunters due one of my horses and I haven't regretted it yet. I personally enjoy how relaxing the hunters are, and the stress of not having to beat the clock. During my teens it was the opposite; I enjoyed the adrenaline rush and the challenge of the jumper ring. Now I enjoy the slower pace.
The horse that made we switch was brought over from Germany (by a certain olympic rider) that I later bought as a winning amateur 1.40 and medal horse, but he was by no means an easy ride. He required a very strong ride to each fence and was extremely spooky. He went in a mikmar, running martingale, shadow roll, etc. It got to the point where I was getting exhausted having to essentially muscle him to every fence and it was becoming more of a chore to ride him than fun. I wasn't enjoying riding him in the ring, but schooling and at home he was such a joy that I couldn't bring myself to sell him. Then the second week of a show, I decided I had had enough and that we needed to do something different. What might of worked for past riders and him, was not working for me. I decided to try something completely different and put him in an AA Hunter class...and he won...every o/f and the hack, and was champion. As soon as he got in the hunter ring, he relaxed and went along like he had been doing it his whole life (despite having always been a jumper), and thankfully he was quite fancy and moved like a hunter so it worked. He ended up being my go to 3'6 hunter, winning or being in the ribbons at literally every show we went to (And this is A circuit i'm talking about) and won some pretty big classics, all while going in a happy mouth snaffle, no martingale, and a loose rein.
Sorry for the long story. My point is that even though when I switched to the jumpers I had no intention of returning to the hunter ring, I ended up switching back thanks to said mentioned horse and ended up being so much happier in the hunter ring (I didn't know I was missing it until I returned). So while your considering switching, keep in mind that nothing is permanent, and if you switch and don't like it in a couple of years, nothing is stopping you from going back. And if your lucky enough, your horse can make the switch with you. Or, if your trainer has some jumpers in the barn, why not see if you could ride, take one of them in some low level jumper classes, or even just take a lesson on one of them?