Hunter & Dressage


Country Girl[IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.
9 Years
Sep 25, 2010
My horse Toby, I am training for Hunter Classes, what do they judge on? Could anyone give me tips on Hunter Equitation over Fences and Flat, Hunter Under Saddle, and Regular Hunter Jumping Classes? Also, could anyone give me tips on Training Level 1, Dressage Equitation, and Dressage Suitability? How could I get him Groomed and Prepared? Oh, and one more thing, how could I train him in JUMPER classes?

Well Dressage takes time lot's of time. When is your show? I would say take some dressage lessons with your horse, not all horses have the abilty to do Dressage (well). Have you done intro level tests yet?
WHoa! Whoa!

Sounds like you've got a lot on your plate!

For Training Level dressage, the judges are mostly going to be looking at gaits, an accurate pattern and harmony between horse and rider. Submission and impulsion are nice--and the winners will score high in these areas--but if you're first starting out, go in, ride your pattern, stay relaxed, keep your horse relaxed and make sure your circles are round.

Dressage Suitability focus more on the horse and Equitation on the rider. You want the horse to display nice, elastic gaits, self-carriage and obedience. For Equitation, correct seat hands, and use of aids.

For hunter equitation, you incline your upper body slightly forward. THIS DOES NOT MEAN LEAN!! Elbow, arm and reins should make a line to the horse's mouth. Again, correct set, legs and use of aids.

When is this show? Do you currently work with a trainer? If not, I suggest you begin riding lessons. From your previous posts you seem like a very energetic and ambitious person. Unfortunately, you seem to be trying WAY too much. Maybe slow down and focus on one or two things before moving on. I'm not trying to be a naysayer, but I tried competing in endurance rides and first level dressage for several years and ran myself ragged. Now that I just focus on the distance riding, it's easier on me and my horse.

For jumper classes or anything over fences, you WILL need a trainer to get you started, especially if you're not sure what the judges are looking for.
Well if you just want to go and have fun it should be fun.

But normally, a person wouldn't do dressage, jumpers and hunters in a big show.

One would do one of those. Too, most big shows are only for one of those, not all 3. Which big show is it?
Look, clearly you are just wanting to go have fun. (Or you would be a] spending time learning about all these different disciplines, b] spending time learrning how to do them, and c] realize the unreasonableness of what you have asked us <g>)

So my suggestion is: Go have fun. Do not try to impress judges or be all fancy and outdo other entries -- you are not at that level where tips or 'what is the judge looking for' matters.

What the judge is looking MOST OF ALL for, in any of these classes, is an organized happy ride without burps and blips and kicking and veering around and horse or rider getting upset. Aim for THAT.

And frankly, at a schooling show, if you can achieve that (a peaceful organized ride) and avoid violating any major rules, you will look just fine to spectators and maybe even get some ribbons. (You DO need to learn the basics of the rules of course. Like, what tack and equipment is permitted in the class.)

I will not comment on the jumping-young-horses thing other than to say I think it is a very bad idea when done in combination with ambition-plus-inexperience. A year apparently "gained" now usually equals five or ten or fifteen years LOST later on in the horse's life. But, <throws hands up>.


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