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Going from Hunter/Jumper to AQHA

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  • Going from Hunter/Jumper to AQHA

    Hello,
    I was wondering if anyone has any tips about what is different from the typical Hunter/Jumper/Medal world to the Hunter world in the AQHA.
    I am quite experianced/accomplished in the Hunter/Jumper world as a Jr. Hunter/Medal rider but I am showing a few quarter horses this year as a favor for a friend. I will be showing in the Novice Youth Hunter Under Saddle and Hunt Seat Equitation and possibly the hunter hack later in the year.
    I know that attire is different (harnesslesss hunt caps instead of my classic Charles Owen or GPA and a different saddle pad) and I was just wondering if there are any other major differences that I should take note of before I step into a new circuit.
    If anyone knows anything it would be greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    Welcome to the breed world, it really is different but so much fun. Best advice is to try to go watch a show beforehand. Don't worry about your helmet, while the trend is just a huntcap, you will be fine at the smaller shows in your CO for HUS, anything goes in the over fences classes. Navy coat is always proper. Every show I have been to the horses have been braided- so know how to braid or have a braider lined up. Trends seem to be following the H/J world to some degree, look at pics from the World Show or Congress to see the top fashions. And have fun!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks so much!
      I'm not too worried about the turnout.. I've got loads of experiance with Hunters in the terms of Warmbloods and such and I've watched a ton of youtube videos from the Worlds in all the hunter classes and I'm confident that the only thing that differs even slightly from my norms would be the helmet or saddle pad! and its quite comforting to know that my CO won't be looked at like its an alien object!

      Is there anything about ring ettiquette or equitation that anyone knows differs substantially?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by thesefivewords View Post
        Is there anything about ring ettiquette or equitation that anyone knows differs substantially?
        DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT circle in a flat class like HUS. Cut the corner if you need to but no circling or cutting through the middle. That was the thing that shocked me the most! Oh, and at most of the shows around here you will find horses being lunged in the middle of the warm-up arena too. As far as Eq, sit up and deeper.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ride like a "wenglish" rider if you want to win. Don't want to be mean, but I spent several years showing my quarter horses in over fences and the occasional flat class at local AQHA shows. I always placed last or very close to last in the flat classes. Yeah, my horses wern't the best movers, but my pokey appendix was lapping all the other "cantering" horses. They all jerk their horses in the mouth to get them "in a frame". And I mean JERK. Total see-sawing on their mouthes as hard as they could pull. A normal u/s class looks like this IME.

          That being said, I LOVED showing the breed circuit! The people were so, so nice and friendly. There were so few of us doing over fences we all became good friends. The over fences classes were judged pretty normally except that some judges favored the scuttle canter. Usually there will be 2 jugdes at a time, so you pay an entry fee per judge (the total is still way less than at h/j shows!) and get twice the number of points per class.

          And I agree, don't circle at all. And also, the judges hate, hate, hate lead swapping before a jump. Hope this helps.

          Please remember all of this is IME in the AQHA world. I'm not trying to bash or whine about how I didn't get a ribbon, just share the facts.
          No jumps, no glory...
          Know jumps, know glory!
          "One person's wrong lead is another person's counter canter."
          -Unknown

          Comment


          • #6
            In my experience (coming from boarding at a barn where it was half western, half hunter jumper... weird, I know) HUS is western pleasure all dressed up. Maybe a little bit faster.

            I don't know if this holds true everywhere, this was just my experience with the riders at my barn, who were competitive locally.

            I'd watch a lot of videos and go to the shows if you're going to try to replicate that way of going.

            That being said, the group of girls were definitely some of the nicest people I've hung out with.
            Faibel Farms Custom Fly Bonnets
            Like us on Facebook!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by thesefivewords View Post
              Hello,
              I was wondering if anyone has any tips about what is different from the typical Hunter/Jumper/Medal world to the Hunter world in the AQHA.
              I am quite experianced/accomplished in the Hunter/Jumper world as a Jr. Hunter/Medal rider but I am showing a few quarter horses this year as a favor for a friend. I will be showing in the Novice Youth Hunter Under Saddle and Hunt Seat Equitation and possibly the hunter hack later in the year.
              I know that attire is different (harnesslesss hunt caps instead of my classic Charles Owen or GPA and a different saddle pad) and I was just wondering if there are any other major differences that I should take note of before I step into a new circuit.
              If anyone knows anything it would be greatly appreciated!
              Novice youth can show leased horses, so make sure that you have the paperwork done correctly and ahead of time when you enter an AQHA show. For regular youth classes, your horse must be owned by you or a member of your family. As a youth, you can show a leased horse in the open division, however that will probably impact your eligibility as an amateur when you leave the youth ranks. Everything else that mypaintwattie mentioned is about the only difference you will find.

              Comment


              • #8
                My advice, read the rule book. There are subtle things that will get you in trouble if ignored. For instance you can't ride a jumper class without your shirt collar. Little things like that which could cause you to be disqualified.
                Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm about to do my first ever APHA breed show this summer. Here is some advice I got from a friend:

                  Stock horse shows are a very different world - essentially they want the English horse to go in a hunter frame but with no contact. It is the most bizarre way of riding I have ever experienced. It's a hodge-podge of hunt seat, dressage, and western training...you're in a dressage position, with absolutely no contact, and the horse is supposed to stop and start on a dime. There is no connection with the bridle as we think from a dressage perspective. However, to understand what the standards are in the "stock horse" world, I would encourage you to check for online footage of some of the stock horse shows, perhaps someone has posted their classes from QH Congress, or the Paint and/or Appaloosa National shows. That will give you an understanding of what those particular judges are seeking.

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                  • #10
                    Couple of thoughts....sometimes it's a little different kind of a braid then what you typically see in a USEF Open. Hire a braider familiar with the AQHA trends.

                    There is a subtle difference in the way the horse is turned out. Longer bridle path and thinner forelock for one thing...and, although we turn out pretty spiffy in Open, the AQHA turnout is spectacular with no detail unpolished and shined up on that horse's body right down to a little vaseline on the muzzle...and hoof POLISH. It's not like it used to be and if you got white socks? See what the trend is now about using clear on the white and black on the solid...or clear all the way around. I have no idea as it's been awhile and can also vary by region.

                    Far as ring etiquette...er...pick a spot on the rail and follow the one in front of you. They do not favor the expansive good mover like we do in Open, slower, lower and it IS mistake and out-one bobble takes you out, one late transition dooms you. Head comes up a little bzzzzt.

                    Horsemanship usually involves a pattern...you better find out what they do in your area. I recall having to back out of a line up in the center then canter thru the standing line to the rail and halt, 1/4 turn on the haunch and canter on the rail. true that was Western but I recall the Hunt Seat was similarly challenging.

                    That was then, no idea what they do now but you need a "cowboy" broke horse-which is a compliment. On the aids and 100% responsive to you.

                    READ THE RULE BOOK CAREFULLY on each section that pertains to the classes you will be doing as well as general show conduct. Going to answer more questions then we can-and probably better then we can.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                    • #11
                      Just curious after having looked at several HUS videos, but how do they get the horses to go like they do? Even looked at a 2-year-old class and they all were going at the same slow pace, with their heads down and without any contact. Is the way that the horses carry themselves due to conformation or training methods or (I guess more likely) a combination of the two?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by EAY View Post
                        Just curious after having looked at several HUS videos, but how do they get the horses to go like they do? Even looked at a 2-year-old class and they all were going at the same slow pace, with their heads down and without any contact. Is the way that the horses carry themselves due to conformation or training methods or (I guess more likely) a combination of the two?
                        Both. If you look at the way they're put together, their necks come out of their shoulders muuuuch lower than your average WB. That + training to keep a level line from poll to withers = what you see in the show ring.
                        Originally posted by barka.lounger
                        u get big old crop and bust that nags ass the next time it even slow down.

                        we see u in gp ring in no time.

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                        • #13
                          Good observation...they are, basically, bred for a shorter stride so they can go slooooow and that long and low topline.

                          Good training enhances what nature gave them. Bad training can produce it as well but the wheels come off down the road.

                          Remember that AQHA really does not feature a horse that jumps a couple of rounds then comes back under saddle to demonstrate good movement and manners like Open shows do. At Open shows (rated ones anyway) you don't get horses that just flat off the very beginning levels.
                          At AQHA you get the HUS specialist that does not jump. At all. Then you get the over fences horse that does not go under saddle. At all.

                          The kind of movement many prefer in the HUS does not translate to enough step down the lines or even a particularly attractive jump. The kind of movement that creates those strides and shape over the jump does not translate to what the majority of judges want to see in a HUS.

                          There are, of course, exceptions.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            it will put you out of your mind

                            I'm not trying to be a jerk to AQHA and I know I'll get beaten up. But this is my opinion.

                            I had a lovely QH that and tried to go from h/J to AQHA. Lovely well bred horse. Lovely over fences and on the flat too, but not what AQHA was looking for. once you get a horse going like a nice h/j and then try to go to the AQHA ring against horses that have been doing wenglish..well, it is not as easy as it sounds.

                            We did well, but my horse was not happy about it and I think it confused him since he was trained to go forward so nicely US but then had to slow way down and drop his head...now, I tried this in the mid 90's and am not sure if AQHA has changed since then.

                            Also, to be competitive, you really need to spend alot of time campainging to get noticed and to even try to make it to congress if that is your goal. You need a AQHA trainer to get you down to speed. You need to go to shows, watch the fads/trends ....sweating necks, fake tails, how they braid and clip, clothing....it put me out of my mind..but as I said, that's my opinion.

                            I competed for a couple years, then discovered dressage and eventing with the same horse and went to that route. (he was awesome, I loved my QH)

                            SO, it's up to you, but If you have a nice QH, I wouldn't waste the time at AQHA.
                            I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Not being a jerk at all here, that is another good observation.

                              The Open shows require a different style of going then the AQHA shows. Most are going to be better at one style or the other and should stay where they are most suited. Trying to switch them up can confuse them and you cannot always then go switch them back...much of the difference is related to conformation anyway.

                              Of course, we are talking HUS here. When you go over fences in the Hunters at either, same horse can do well at both.

                              Watch out for Hunter Hack though. It's not what you think. It's half on the rail and half over two fences down the centerline-basically a winglish pleasure class with 2 fences stuck in. Usually pins like the HUS.
                              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We show AQHA hunter classes as well as in "C"rated and local hunter circuits, so I am VERY familiar with rules and differences. First you NEED to check the ownership rules, usually for a youth rider the horse must be owned by a member of the youths immediate family or by the youth themselves and MUST be recorded as such with AQHA in their offices and on the registration papers (which MUST be presented at the show office). Also you must be an AQHA member to show, but can join at the show office. As far as the classes go, be prepared to have your horse going "long and low" if you do the under saddle classes. Not so much so in the over fences or even the Hunter hack. Turnout is VERY detailed, always either braid or "band" the mane, tails are not typically braided in QH shows but nearly all horses with have a fake tail in (and must be attached "hair to hair"). Equitation is a pattern class ALWAYS. You will ride a pattern and then work the rail one direction. The pattern can/will have circles, turns on haunches/forehand, backing, lead changes simple and flying, riding without stirrups etc. I suggest 1) getting a rulebook and 2) going and watching the QH shows to see how it all 'works'.
                                www.shawneeacres.net

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  AQHA hunter over fences and AQHA hunter undersaddle are completely different- be prepared! Like many have said the U/S classes are looking for a horse on very little contact, fairly normal working trot and slooooowwww canter. Most of the horses go around with their heads level or almost below the withers. However, the AQHA over fence classes are much more similar to USEF type hunter classes. You will see mostly appendix horses (who are more TB than QH) and they will seem very similar to other non-breed show hunters. You will rarely see horses compete in both u/s and hunter over fences successfully (usually if they are good at one then they won't be good at the other).

                                  Equitation classes on the flat consist of doing a "pattern". You will want to ride "wenglish" (as others have mentioned)- chair seat, wider hands, open hip angle, LONG stirrups. Your horse should be very slow and steady. For these patterns you can expect to do stuff like a turn on the forehand, canter small circle around a cone, halt, back, sitting trot, posting trot, lead change. Make sure you make special note of what side the cone is on when you are riding (auto dq if you go on the wrong side or if you knock it over). Equitation over fences is a bit more like regular h/j shows (a few roll backs or bending lines).

                                  Now the hunter hack is just another hunter undersaddle class in disguise. Don't be fooled into thinking that just because you jump two jumps that they really care about jumping form. They usually pin the class based on the flat part (contrary to the rulebook). You can have a horse literally add a couple extra strides in the line, chip to both fences, lope the hand gallop part and still win.

                                  For all the over fence classes, be prepared for poor course design and poor ring management in general. Jumping is usually foreign territory for the show management and they normally don't give a rip whether things are set up properly (like setting up an oxer backwards, using PVC rails, etc).

                                  I have never done any small QH shows (those don't exist where I come from), only really large QH circuits so maybe at the smaller shows they may be more open to truly english horses/riders. To be honest I stopped showing QH because I hated the way they ran the shows and how they commonly disregard their own rule book. If I were you I would try to go to a show and watch- you can also read the rule book but honestly a lot of the rules they don't follow- at all.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    If you are planning to start out only showing HUS and Eq, you really need to find a local full time QH trainer (western will do) and go take a lesson or two to understand the differences in the frame and presentation expected. This will save you a lot of confusion and time. At the least watch the videos of the world show caliber performances and compare a video of you on these horses doing the same things. As others have said, it is more a vertical dressage-ish seat in EQ and HUS, and very light contact (judges placing NO contact is being actively discouraged). The seat and position in the O/F classes are the same as USEF. Contrary to what others have said, good hunter equitation (vs wenglish) will win with the better judges and they are asking for things like two point and hand gallop in patterns these days - yeah!

                                    In HUS, judges are being encouraged to place a horse looking ahead through the bridle, with nose slightly out, and poll level with withers, driving from behind in the trot and soft and flowing in the canter. If you can achieve this, you should do OK under the better judges - they are now looking to reward horses with this rulebook-correct frame, but cannot do so of no one presents this kind of horse to them. Still,though, a frame more than slightly higher than poll level with withers in the HUS classes will be a schooling class. Work on getting your horses to reach deep underneath themselves with their hind legs - that is a biggie under all judges.

                                    If you are a junior rider and can OWN a 3' QH fence horse, join your state association and AQHA before April 1 and look into qualifying for the Youth World Show in the fence classes. A good USEF medal rider will be well prepared to compete at that larger show in the World Show (in Oklahoma in August) Eq O/F and hunters, and that would be a great experience. You qualify as a member of your state team. Some states have easy qualifying, some are very competative.
                                    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
                                    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

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                                    • #19
                                      Ride with no-contact,hands in lap,hunch forward.

                                      http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/...&id=1460383243

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Tiffany! View Post
                                        Ride with no-contact,hands in lap,hunch forward.

                                        http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/...&id=1460383243
                                        Can't get the image to load — but may I add stand all the way up when you post. Or is that not "in" anymore? ; )
                                        "Go on, Bill — this is no place for a pony."

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