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Hunter O/F and On the Flat - Western Judge?

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  • Hunter O/F and On the Flat - Western Judge?

    I was looking for some opinions please....

    I am planning on getting my youngster out to more shows this year, keeping budget in mind for husbands sake, one local circuit I plan to visit is a mix of western and english divisions.
    I have been told that all divisions are judged by a AQHA judge....

    Has anyone shown under a AQHA judge before?

    Do you alter your ride at all?

  • #2
    You may stand out at an open show if the majority of the horses go on a looser rein with heads down. The riders tend to post more upright, and not lean forward. That being said my best advice is to ride your horse how he goes best. My mare is a paint but has been in training at A circuit barns with TBs and WBs, and she goes along more in that way, with her head up and a tighter rein, and I ride more like a typical HJ rider. If you put in a consistant round and show your horse how they go best you should do just fine. If you can try to go watch the show once, or look for videos of the classes or even pictures. That may give you an idea of how the classes look and are judged. Good luck and have fun!


    • #3
      I guess that depends on your objective. If you want to win ribbons, then you may need to change your ride... there is nothing wrong with wanting to win, and horses should be able to go however you ask. them to. If you are going just to school your young horse you might prefer to ride him how you expect him to place best at a rated show.


      • #4
        A stock-type show circuit will generally be VERY different from rated A shows. Steady and even between jumps will likely be considered more important than form over jumps, flat classes will want you sitting more upright and in the saddle, head position will be low with a flat rather than arched neck, and many horses will be on the forehand (though certainly not all, and some breed show horses can rival warmbloods in hunter movement, though without knowing the circuit I don't know if you'll see that at all.) Around here, everyone would be braided and in full show gear for a schooling circuit for stock shows, not in polos and more casual as well.

        I'd recommend if you're doing it for mileage you stick to riding your horse as you want it to go, rather than worrying about the judge, because it can be great inexpensive mileage and the horses tend to be so sane it seems to rub off on each other (again, at least at the shows around here - it varies by location.) If you happen to get a judge who appreciates your horse, all the better! I showed a stock circuit as a teen who LOVED my uphill QH because he was a reining trainer who detested four beating or poor balance, and would likely also appreciate a horse of the A circuit.
        If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


        • #5
          Is your horse a quarter horse? Do you plan to show on the quarter horse circuit in the hunters? I agree they go differently than a USEF A show hunter but how you ride all depends on your plan for your horse. I would ride my A show hunter like an A show hunter regardless of the judge. I don't want to confuse my youngsters and I care about how they go around for the long run not one show. Quarter horse hunters that I've seen do seem to travel on their forehands with a lower than average head carriage. They do seem to sacrifice the quality of the jump to accomplish the frame they want. Many of them cut down over the jumps. Not sure how they would pin a horse jumping more like an A show hunter.
          You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!


          • #6
            It depends on if the division you compete in specifies if it's judged under USEF or AQHA rules. If it's AQHA and you don't have a HUS horse, you probably won't place in anything. If it's USEF, in my experience the QH judges still prefer something a bit more QH-type (but not the poll below the withers headset). Most seem to prefer a loose rein (doesn't need to be as loose as a HUS horse) and the poll a little above or level with the withers, not a more upright equitation-looking frame.

            edit: I'm assuming the type of show you're talking about is an open or schooling show, not an AQHA/APHA/etc. show.


            • Original Poster

              Thank you all for the comments! My mare is a 50/50 dwb x app. While I tend to ride her in a more eq fashion, she is very happy to stretch down and out after our warm up.
              Placing would lovely and a nice touch of course but I was thinking that these classes would instill relaxation since the pressure of winning back show fee's is gone.
              PLUS Keeping it interesting for her is also a priority.

              I do believe it is run on cef/oef rules..and yes it is open.


              • #8
                For a second I thought I knew who you were until I saw your location. A friend of mine had this problem recently on her app (who won some eq championships last year) at a schooling show judged by an AQHA judge. Bear in mind this is a horse who travels in a nice frame with gaits like a metronome and lovely tidy jump. She was told that he has no business there and he needs to be retrained for western pleasure! Some of them get weird about color, which could be a factor if your girl is displaying her app heritage.
                Last edited by Button; May. 2, 2013, 01:43 AM. Reason: Confused gender of OPs horse