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I have GOT to understand this or I will bust! Eventers vs Hunters

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  • #41
    Originally posted by RunForIt View Post
    I mean they are laying down! - over a fence. Now, THAT'S something I don't get.
    We get very tired out there, and need to nap occasionally.

    Mostly it is a bad habit but one with little in the way of consequences for the hunter rider (well groomed footing, related distances that are set up to show off the horse, very inviting ground lines and level groomed surfaces). It's a bad habit in the way that event riders who tend to employ their xc country position in stadium don't pay a physical penalty, but certainly run the risk of adding rails to their score when cups are flat or combinations are technical. But in both cases it is more technically difficult to hold that perfect position at the top of the fence thatn the respective discipline's "default position". The challenge with a hunter rider is to create that position and not unfold too quickly and compromise the horse's style on the backside of the jump and with event riders the challenge is to not jump up the neck too early and compromise the riders health.

    Doing it "perfectly" takes a lot of commitment, time and practice for everyone regardless of discipline, and certainly there are riders in both disciplines that achieve it (and plenty more that don't), it's just we forget those pictures. Those pics do exactly as they are supposed to - make the rider look eminently forgettable as we focus on the awesomeness of the jumping horse.

    But bottom line is hunter riders do end up with a horse with a to die for front end over fences and they are mostly SMRT enough not to try that over solid obstacles and uncertain terrrain. And we get some quality nap time in as well, so it's all good.
    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


    • #42
      As someone who has and does participate in both the hunter ring and the event world, I say that the differences in form between good hunter riders and good event riders are practically nill. I am not a good one, so my position is no judge I'd rather have Trixie's leg position at any time over any jump.

      As for riders who do the praying mantis look, most of them are either a) legimately getting jumped out of the tack and onto the horses neck or b)want it to look like the horse is jumping them out of the tack. Mostly b. And they don't do it on the greenies, because they want to live, just like event riders over drops. However, in the 4' Working Hunters, where they all jump with even knees and all being piloted by pros who never miss, you gotta make an impression somehow


      • #43
        Originally posted by crittertwitter View Post
        I stick to my position in the hunter ring, though. It was not the place for me and I was always taught that your position was important. But at the same time I was taught that your effect was more important, whether it earned you a win or not.
        To quote something biblical (not somethign I do a lot!)... When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child.

        Meaning if hunters are something you don't like or want to do, and you like what you are doing, I say goodonya and more power to you! That's a great thing. But as an adult to judge something solely through your child's eye is probably a disservice to whatever you judge, whether you had fond or unpleasant memories.

        As to politics, probably not nearly as much as people think. It still is a subjective sport though, and that isn't for everyone, and that is fair enough.
        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


        • #44

          I think if all eventers had experience with Jr. Hunter & equitation, we'd have much better riders.
          The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. Oscar Wilde


          • #45
            Originally posted by Ajierene View Post
            All classes are done within one day, for one division. Each division has three or four classes in it, one or two flat classes and one or two jumping classes. Sometimes there is a hack class that has flat and then a pattern, which includes one or two jumps. In a hack class, everyone stands to one side of the arena while one competitor completes the pattern - it is usually trot at this point, canter on this lead at this point, do a circle, jump this jump, stop back up - or something similar. During the jumping classes in a division, the only rider in the ring is the one going over the jumps.

            The classes in each division are run right after the other.
            Um, no.

            A division is usually split between two days. There are between 4-5 classes: one flat (otherwise known as a 'hack') and 3 or four over fences classes.

            In the hack classes all horses are in the ring at the same time. Everyone tracks the same direction and walks, trots, canters together per the judge's instruction. There is no jumping in a hack class UNLESS it is a Hunter Hack (this is a class name, and not a generalized term like 'hack'. The offical class name of a 'hack' is Hunter Under Saddle. Also the Hunter Hack is not really seen at rated shows) in which there is a 'hack' portion first and then each rider jumps a line per the judge's instruction.

            The hack classes are judged on quality of movement (forward, ground covering, relaxed walk; daisy cutter trot with minimal knee action; long, slow canter with little knee action), manners, way of going. The horse should do these things on light rein contact and with little rider input. Riders tend to two-point the canter in a hack class to free the horse's back for a long, swinging, relaxed stride. Etc.
            Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
            Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


            • #46
              RugBug, I would assume, has more experience at the A levels where things are split up, and Ajierene at the Bs or lower levels, where things do tend to be run consecutively. Either way, doesn't make a huge difference on this topic, I'd suppose.

              But hey, while the eventing board is discussing eq (who'd a thunk it?) I have to say that I am a new event rider who has previous experience in hunters, jumpers, eq and (a bit of) dressage... and after not having jumped much the last few years then beginning event work with my (sometimes overzealous, sometimes beligerent) mare, I have paid VERY little attention to my own eq lately. As Mare tends to vary between racing jumps, stopping, and bucking with glee (hey, we're getting over it!), I've become a defensive rider. I think so much about the approach and the landing, just getting her around the course, that my mind skims right over the actual jump. This and a few other threads (as well as the constant "Your leg was not under you" from my trainer ) got me thinking about reforming my hard-headed ways. I got on Mare today determined to play around a bit with my eq... Well I'll be danged... When I actually THOUGHT "heels down, butt back, auto release (yes- auto release!)" instead of letting my mind black out for a moment, Mare surprisingly never raced, never bucked... just cantered around and jumped the jumps like the sweet little mare that I KNOW she has inside her, because I was more relaxed and not interfering. I might mention, this wasn't in an arena with stadium jumps, these were solid jumps out in the pasture... So the moral of my little experiement is (A) I'm an idiot for not paying more attention most of the time (maybe *I* am the learning-disabled monkey??) and (B) effective riding is effective riding no matter what discipline you're working on.

              Now you may all point and laugh at me.


              • #47
                Originally posted by archieflies View Post
                RugBug, I would assume, has more experience at the A levels where things are split up, and Ajierene at the Bs or lower levels, where things do tend to be run consecutively. Either way, doesn't make a huge difference on this topic, I'd suppose.
                You're right, it doesn't make a ton of difference....and I did misread a sentence that led me to believe she thought ALL hack classes involved a 'pattern' (the wording of which makes me suspect breed show knowledge...not USEF hunters). I re-read...but still stand by my post.

                Originally posted by archieflies View Post
                effective riding is effective riding no matter what discipline you're working on.

                To add to this: eventing has helped this hunter rider to go forward, gallop and stop worrying too much about distances....
                Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                • #48
                  One comment about dressage...for the most part it is judged on the effectiveness, accuracy and grace of the horse, but there is a "collective" mark specifically for the rider. This is different from the hunters.


                  • Original Poster

                    Wow! I have bookmarked this thread for future reference! Thank you EVERYONE who contributed so far! Even those who disagreed with other posters, which is not necessarily bad. It rather provides a more in-depth picture of the two disciplines, hunter and eventer.


                    • #50
                      I for one am glad we can disagree with me and correct misread material and misperceptions without me even having to step in and clarify....I am just THAT good!

                      And yea, I did a few B levels, mostly C's when I was in high school. I have seen A rated shows, including Devon, but did not notice the difference in classes.

                      One class I loved was team hunters? I forget exactly what it was called- three horses and jump course supposed to be done specifically - sometimes they jumped right after each other, some were three jumps abreast, some were three jumps staggered that they jumped at the same time.

                      The winners that year were three grays, beautifully in sync - they even patted their horses in unison when they were done!


                      • #51
                        This may have already been said, but not only are hunter classes starting to look an AWFUL lot like cross country (seen any hunter derbies lately?) but we eventers would do well to go compete in a 3'6" hunter class once in a while, strictly for the sake of our own humility. Laying down a good, smooth, flawless hunter trip is both BLOODY HARD and enormously gratifying. You think your eventer is obedient and well schooled in dressage and jumping? Go watch a big Eq. class.
                        Click here before you buy.


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                          This may have already been said, but not only are hunter classes starting to look an AWFUL lot like cross country (seen any hunter derbies lately?) but we eventers would do well to go compete in a 3'6" hunter class once in a while, strictly for the sake of our own humility. Laying down a good, smooth, flawless hunter trip is both BLOODY HARD and enormously gratifying. You think your eventer is obedient and well schooled in dressage and jumping? Go watch a big Eq. class.

                          Yeah I was thinking the same about the hunters from what I've read so far. It must be a very difficult job to do given the requirements they are given and have to adhere to in order to be successful.


                          • #53
                            To add to everything- there is a reason why the norm for a lot of people is to put their green jumpers in a few hunter classes for a while. It teaches the horses patience, improves communication, and introduces courses at shows in a less-scary manner than plopping them right into a jumper course.

                            The basic principles are the same in any English riding over fences- you want balance, an appropriate path, and rhythm. The rider's form should complement and help, when necessary, the horse's jump. The showiness of a hunter is something that can be played up by a really good hunter rider but it would be counter-productive to a jumper or eventer ride.

                            Not rocket science, but each discipline has different goals that require variations in style. I can't speak to eventing much but it is obvious that XC is wildly different than showing hunters! When I ride a hunter over fences I will usually go between two-point and a hunter seat (slightly leaning forward in the saddle, but still sitting). This allows me to jump them out of stride with a nice flowing effect. When I ride my jumper I am pretty much always sitting or hovering over him in a more upright position- this allows me to get him to the base and tackle the more difficult questions posed by the course designer. Both of these get the job done in their respective rings.
                            You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by archieflies View Post
                              (B) effective riding is effective riding no matter what discipline you're working on.
                              IMO, the best event riders out there are the ones who remember good equitation is important! It's much, much more dangerous in eventing to forget a release or not keep your heels down - things are typically faster and more intense and you definitely want to make sure your balance is on target so that your horse isn't affected by poor riding.

                              Always good to learn those lessons early on!

                              Also, I there's a little bit of splitting hairs on the hunters vs. eq thing. I think most folks meant "hunters" in a very general way, not splitting out hunter/equitation. A local "hunter series" show might include both hunters under saddle and eq, so it's easy to combine the terminology. Good to point out the difference though.

                              My favorite difference between hunter shows and eventing is that eventing is scored objectively. You know what you got in dressage, along with comments by the judge, and you know exactly how you did in SJ & XC because of times and jump faults/penalties. Hunter shows are more subjective, and you will likely never know why Sally Sue and Pookie beat you.


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by DMK View Post
                                You actually cannot believe the restraint Trixie is practicing, although you might have given her the laugh of a lifetime. Saying Rodney wasn't effective in the hunter ring is a bit like saying Jack Le Goff might not have been effective in eventing, or that Klimke fellow wouldn't have cut it in dressage.

                                Not only were they "effective" they are the patriarchs of the sport!
                                too true!


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by crittertwitter View Post
                                  I don't buy it that position doesn't play into judging in Hunters. Rodney Jenkins, as effective as he was, couldn't have placed well in the Hunter ring!
                                  OK... let's bump it again.

                                  I *did not say* that Rodney was ineffective. Period. I was wrong in saying he didn't place well in hunters. Geez. Feel free to rearrange a statement, but the above quote actually reflects a deep respect for his effectiveness as a rider. He is the gold standard, and an example of effectiveness to aspire to. His riding was amazing, though it often wasn't "pretty." That said, he was highly effective. I don't associate him with Hunters. I've actually been corrected on this before - that Rodney Jenkins did Hunters and did well at them. I wasn't alive then, and never saw his championship hunter rides. That said, things in the hunter ring have changed a lot since the 60s and 70s, so I've heard.


                                  • #57
                                    It has changed, of course, yes. Some. What has NOT changed is that a soft, correct, and beautiful ride is rewarded.

                                    Rodney may not have had the most "orthodox" style but every ride he rode was soft and beautiful, without interfering with the horse.

                                    I can't imagine he wouldn't do just as well now as he did then. His horses performed well because he rode well. Despite some of the changes over the years, a good performance still wins in the hunters.

                                    What was hard for us, as hunter riders, to follow is the consistent assumption that "politics" and "look" and never performance is what counts in the hunter arena, which is obviously patently untrue. Rodney is a perfect example of being able to perform, get the job done, and win, despite the folks thinking his style is unorthodox.
                                    They're small hearts.


                                    • #58
                                      Oh Rodney, Rodney. I hope he knows what a lot of fans he still has.

                                      An interesting commentary article you guys might enjoy: http://www.chronofhorse.com/index.ph...92208070713157

                                      And some Rodney pics...



                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by crittertwitter View Post
                                        That said, things in the hunter ring have changed a lot since the 60s and 70s, so I've heard.
                                        Courses make horses, not the other way around, or so the saying goes. Things (courses) are different now and so are the horses that jump them, but I too have every confidence that if Mr. Jenkins wanted to do hunters he'd probably be damn good at it.

                                        I remember reading that linked column and wondered "who doesn't know Rodney did hunters?" I thought everyone who knew of RJ mostly knew the infamous "how hunters got the trot jump" legend. But now I know that indeed there are some young'uns who didn't know about RJ's hunter career. I stand corrected and better informed.

                                        Later we shall teach you about Mr. Ace and The Very First Hunter Trot Jump, but first a bit of friendly advice: When you find yourself in a hole, put down the shovel. You did an awesome job of graciously accepting some good natured ribbing, but now you seem to want to jump down in a hole and pick up a shovel! Resist the temptation! It never ends well for the person in the hole.
                                        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                                        • #60
                                          Trying to cover for your misquoting, eh, DMK? I think that was you... who said something about my post suggesting that his riding was ineffective, when in fact I said a lot of hunter rides and positions are ineffective (not in so many words)?

                                          I'll gladly admit it when I'm wrong, but Yea, sure, I'll bite a couple of times if I'm misquoted. I don't mind ignoring it once or twice, ignoring misunderstandings, etc. but to continue it as if it were what I said, that's ridiculous.