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Horse played in a hunter round

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  • Horse played in a hunter round

    This past weekend my AO hunter placed well despite "playing" in one round. He made an exceptional effort and was thinking he was all that so he put his head down a little and did a little round mini buck. I was surprised he placed way up. Is this sort of thing a little more forgiveable in the 3'6 and above? He did jump well and the rest of his round and his other rounds were very good. Does that out weigh a play after a fence? Would you drop an otherwise good round out of the ribbons for playing or would you consider that a good round that is better than the others can accept a little playfulness?

  • #2
    I would think that answer will vary from judge to judge.

    If the judge really loved your horse or your horse is that more fancy than the others or your round was that much better than the others, they may have over looked it.

    Or perhaps the judge was looking down writing & missed it?

    I have had judges really penalize a little play whereas others seem to not mind as much (depending how much "play" it is). But this wasn't in the 3'6" hunters--more like the 3'.
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"

    Comment


    • #3
      Judicial discretion: It's good to be the judge - they get to decide.

      A little head shake or a bit of a leap into a lead change after a big pretty jump -- especially in the 3'6" to 4' divisions -- might not be penalized, or the judge may not see it.

      Perhaps the judge DID penalize it, but the rest of the ride was fine and the horse has a good jump, which even with the penalty scored higher than other horses. It's a total score for the round that the judge is assessing.

      I think a hard play will be more heavily penalized in the 3' divisions where suitability for a childrens or adult rider has more emphasis.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Giddy-up View Post
        If the judge really loved your horse or your horse is that more fancy than the others or your round was that much better than the others, they may have over looked it.

        Or perhaps the judge was looking down writing & missed it?
        Either of these is quite possible.

        I also think there's a difference between a "proud" play and a "naughty" play, if you know what I mean.

        Comment


        • #5
          And, sometimes the judge will "blink." As in, oh, that was such a nice round, too bad my eyes were shut when the horse played and I didn't see it.

          This is great when you are the person it happens to, not so much when it happens to a competitor. At one point or another we all find ourselves in both positions. Smile gracefully, collect the blue ribbon, and then when you're on the other end of the deal at another show, remember a judge's temporary blindness has worked in your favor as well.
          Trinity Farm LLC
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          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Justice View Post
            And, sometimes the judge will "blink." As in, oh, that was such a nice round, too bad my eyes were shut when the horse played and I didn't see it.

            This is great when you are the person it happens to, not so much when it happens to a competitor. At one point or another we all find ourselves in both positions. Smile gracefully, collect the blue ribbon, and then when you're on the other end of the deal at another show, remember a judge's temporary blindness has worked in your favor as well.
            very well said Justice!! I think people need to think this way more often, especially after that string of judges rants we had a while back.
            Experience is the worst teacher; it gives the test before presenting the lesson.

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            • #7
              I remember showing in the mud for 3 days and my horse was super careful each and every day. Got reasonable ribbons. On the 4th day in the A/O hunters on my closing circle he gave a little buck and played a bit. On the trot in the judge (Victor) told me he liked a horse that enjoyed his job - we placed I think 3rd in that class. Sometimes it works for you and sometimes against you. Just remember every judge is different and every class is different and enjoy your horse!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Ahhhhhhh .... I must remember the "blink factor".

                Yes a little play in the spirit of "I'm so happy to be here jumping these " does suggest a horse likes his/her job and is expressive and proud of him/herself. A good jump does open the spine much like a buck does so perhaps it should not be a huge fault. I noticed Rumba in the Derby finals played some of the time and he was top horse at the end of it.

                Years ago I remember alot of talk about forgiving some level of play, especially in the pre green, so as to discourage the use of substances to get that dead quiet round. Personally I think it is an expression of liking its job and play is very different from a mean spirited buck.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What did the other horses in the class do?

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Our group of AO are combined with the juniors to give us a decent class. The group is small but most of the horses can be relied on to pull good rounds. Almost all of the horses are big movers with great jumps and ridability. Recently someone said it is our toughest and stongest division in terms of good rounds. So at this show the rounds were good but there was one oxer spread really wide so a big effort was required.....this is where we had the play on landing. I think most handled it well and the rest of the round was good. They are all good horses.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The higher then fences go, the more accomplished a rider is assumed to be and the more forgiving the judging is and little displays of "exhuberance" are tolerated. Manners are important but much less so then at 2'6" or even 3', once you hit the 3'6" quality and movement start to becaome more important then minor misbehavior.

                      And, you know, you said you placed well? Did not win it? So maybe you did get dinged a little. Just not so much as in the lower classes.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I was really interested to hear the commentary on the Hunter Derby finals round, where the hunter judge who was narrating frequently noted that she really didn't mind the horse playing a little after a jump, particularly when in the Derby round the rider chose the 4' option. Granted, when my horse was a little greener, he'd sometimes land and throw a huge buck. That of course is beyond a little head shake or a little extra play through a lead change. But still, it was interesting to hear that some judges didn't mind seeing a horse show a little "personality" in the ends of the ring.
                        Tucker the Wunderkind

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Interesting....have watched the rounds but with the sound down because I am at work....so did not hear the commentary. Will have to do that at home but it is an interesting situation. I know bigger efforts make horses pretty darned pleased with themselves and mine does have personality and does like others to know what he is thinking. You are right...I didn't win the class, missed by a wisker, so perhaps I did get dinged a little but I had assumed I would be way down. As someone else said, I need to remember this one on a day I am down and think I should be up. Guess it all balances out. Personally I like the idea of forgiving some play...I don't like to see brain dead robot type rounds....it is nice to see a horse that is interested in and likes their job. Naughty bucking is another thing but I think most of us can see the difference.I just hope this situation didn't upset too many people.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Treasmare2 View Post
                            I just hope this situation didn't upset too many people.
                            Well, at the show, the other 3'6"ers would have had that happen to them a time or two and wouldn't mind. Anybody reading this that actually has real experience with show Hunters at any height over the speed bumps shouldn't get upset at it either.

                            A healthy, happy horse that gets a little full of itself after a big jump shouldn't bother many judges either.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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