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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up What We Can Learn From Hunters - EN Post

    I was so excited to read this article! As a hunter who migrated to the dark side a couple years ago, I agree wholeheartedly. I also firmly believe that it would benefit youngsters both human and equine to spend a little time in the hunter ring.

    If you go to your local podunk schooling series and check out the hunter ring, you are going to see horses of all shapes and sizes. More often than not, the judge rewards the not-so-fancy horse who puts in eight good spots, gets lead changes, and goes around in a nice rhythmical canter. Sure beats the speedbump jumper division where the pair who makes the crowd gasp gets the blue. Also, in my neck of the woods, the unrated hunter classes are a few bucks cheaper than the jumper classes There's no rule that says you have to do the flat class!


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  2. #2
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    I also migrated from hunters.... In the 1970s! Believe it nor not, I did the eq classes. I wish I could go back to some of those habits. It may be boring to watch, but geeze, it must be hard to have that rhythm and consistency...

    I liked the article and I Gree that we have much to learn from other disciplines.



  3. #3
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    Aug. 24, 2003
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    Thanks for the link Duckz. That was a good article. I recently watched a couple local hunter shows and was mystified by the judging critera. Now I'll have a better idea of what to look for.



  4. #4
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    Haven't read the article closely...just a quick skim while I was waiting for ponies to eat...but....

    I just spent the winter riding with a very good h/j/eq trainer. Holy crap, has my riding improved! I feel much smoother and like I have much more idea of what's going on with me and my horse and what I need to do to be successful on course. And it has helped Toby so much, as well. I think a large part of his "maturity" on xc (the only word to describe the feeling he gave me a couple of weeks ago) comes from what we worked on all winter.

    "Planning and focus is everything." Yes, yes it is, and while the improvement in my focus comes from two places, I HAVE learned how to plan my rides better. I have also learned how to walk my courses better and then how to EXECUTE that plan.

    Don't get me wrong. I do not advocate only riding with a h/j for your jumping (I got to a point a few weeks out from moving back up to prelim where I REALLY felt I need an event rider's eyes on me), but it can be hugely beneficial and we can learn SO MUCH from watching, riding, or lessoning from them occasionally.


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  5. #5
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    I spent over 30 years in the hunters/jumpers. I agree with a majority of the article. However, I disagree with her turnout presumptions. I have spent time in the hunter world today, and sure a horse can be gorgeous, but also be drugged and poorly treated in 1,000 other ways that I consider very poor horsemanship. Pretty is as pretty does.

    Yes, the hunter and jumper ring is a place where you can get hundreds, if not thousands more shots at jumping to refine yourself over eventing. I figured once, over my career, I have jumped in the 400,000 fences range (heck 2 jump lessons a week over my career roughly equates to 250,000 fences).

    Reed


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  6. #6
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    I think I'd agree somewhere around where Reed does -- although I wouldn't say it's hunter specific, more of a "good jump training is good jump training" (if a trainer is not emphasizing planning your ride and thinking ahead and making sure you actually do it, I'd start asking questions!) and h/j shows can be a great place to get mileage.

    I rode hunter eq in college and for me personally, it very much HURT my dressage effectiveness and correct riding because I couldn't stop perching forward. I'd had a great position doing dressage as a kid, but had to work hard to win it back when I started eventing as an adult. I've found the happy medium now of a solid leg and hips over the saddle and NOT laying on my horse's neck and I'd prefer to stay there.

    But the many hunter rounds we did in lessons DID help me become much more confident jumping and more adept at learning courses quickly and making the most of the space in the arena, including the importance of riding straight lines and using your corners.

    And as for sedate, NO THANK YOU! Heehee, I much prefer to pop in a non-traditional color here and there to horrify the fashion nazis; I like to know that I'm giving George Morris nightmares with my blue boot tape.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildlifer View Post

    And as for sedate, NO THANK YOU! Heehee, I much prefer to pop in a non-traditional color here and there to horrify the fashion nazis; I like to know that I'm giving George Morris nightmares with my blue boot tape.
    At my first couple events, I insisted on a white fleece fitted saddle pad. COMPETING in a SQUARE PAD?? The horrors...


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  8. #8
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    Well, in the old days it used to be forward seat, balance seat, independent seat, hunters/jumpers with 80% of the saddle time spent on serious "flat work" (true dressage in the good barns, "yank and spank" or uber sloppy in the not-so-good barns), field hunters (over solid xc fences), "starting" young horses (learning how to make your own, but you were an advanced rider by this time, so you weren't ruining young horses for no good reason), and THEN you were ready to begin Eventing.

    Learning about rhythm over solid fences as a starter set is maybe not a very good idea.


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckz View Post
    Sure beats the speedbump jumper division where the pair who makes the crowd gasp gets the blue. Also, in my neck of the woods, the unrated hunter classes are a few bucks cheaper than the jumper classes There's no rule that says you have to do the flat class!
    I am with you on this one ... Often the low jumper classes at the local schooling shows are positively terrifying to watch, with all sorts of kids flying around out of control and horses of all shapes and sizes being taught to rush fences, leave out strides and jump long and flat. And worst of all, "trainers" on the sidelines cheering them on and encouraging them to go faster! There are exceptions, but they are usually in the minority.


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  10. #10
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    riding hunters and eq in college helped my position a lot and I got the chance to ride lots of different horses! Now I can pretty much ride anything and I'm not scared. It's also good for green horses because you can gain mileage for a cheaper price and you can enter a couple jumping classes and not just one



  11. #11
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    I did pony club as a kid, but through my teens and early 20's did the hunters. Recently over the past few years as I have moved around the country I have done some riding with event trainers (they had free horses to ride!) and something I was thinking about the other day is relaxation. I think so many event riders have the more sensitive and hotter ride than most hunters they use movements and work to work the horse down and focus them, but forget to focus strictly on relaxation. Through my hunter career I rode a lot of the hotter more sensitive ones in the barn and relaxation was a huge thing to the success I had with them. I have been riding a hotter Trak/TB event mare for the past year who has always struggled with her rhythm and consistency. She is trained and knows all the movements on the flat but gets tense. I have focused on just getting her to relax and stretch and hold her rhythm in a more open "hunter" type frame and she has relaxed SO much and it has even transferred to her jumping. I have observed many dressage/event people on the flat use dressage movements to help slow down the horse, while it does work they are not teaching their horse to hold their own rhythm and hold themselves. I am sure not everyone is like that and I know not all hunter people even do that, but it is something I see a lot. Riding the hotter horse in a tighter frame and making them work to relax, I prefer to focus on getting the relaxation before collecting and doing movements and I have had a lot of success with the hot and sensitive horses in my riding career (but please do not put me on a push ride I might die!).

    So I think my hunter back ground has greatly helped me with the event horses I have ridden because I am focusing on the rhythm and staying consistent while others are more just riding through it. I am not sure one is more correct than the other just how I prefer to do it and it works for me!


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  12. #12
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    I took a lesson with a hunter trainer last week. To my amusement, I still have my good eq before the fence, but when I'm actually going over it not so much I've decided to send my greenie to them for training.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duckz View Post
    Sure beats the speedbump jumper division where the pair who makes the crowd gasp gets the blue.
    My local show association decided we'd give everyone who got around clean in the jumper classes with no rails and refusals a blue ribbon. So far it seems to be working to keep the kids below mach speeds.


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  13. #13
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    I took remedial jumping lessons with a hunter place. I wanted a nice solid school master, and what really attracted me to the barn was that they took AWESOME care of their school horses. They also do the high school team (IHSA?).

    It was great to ride something that was so good at his job. Really let me work on me, and not worry about the horse doing something silly.
    Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

    Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Topaz View Post

    My local show association decided we'd give everyone who got around clean in the jumper classes with no rails and refusals a blue ribbon. So far it seems to be working to keep the kids below mach speeds.
    We do match the clock jumpers at 2'6" and below. Closest to optimum wins.


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  15. #15
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    Epona, I would love to see that implemented around here. What a great solution.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duckz View Post
    At my first couple events, I insisted on a white fleece fitted saddle pad. COMPETING in a SQUARE PAD?? The horrors...
    HAHAHAHAHAHA, that is great!



  17. #17
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    I just bought fitted pads for competition....what does that say about me?



  18. #18
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    I have a fitted pad too! I used it for stadium when my horse was in shape.


    However I used an old one a few weeks ago, and now that neither of us are in shape, it makes her/we look like a lard *ss!
    Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

    Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010



  19. #19
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    From the title I thought you meant field hunting --- and totally agree - nothing like a season with a hunt for fitting up a horse in the off season, teaching it to handle itself and make it bold.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


    2 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowbritches View Post
    I just bought fitted pads for competition....what does that say about me?
    Hunter Princess in disguise. It's ok. I won't judge you.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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