What is Show Hunter?
A Show Hunter is judged on his jumping style, way of going, manners and ability to maintain an even pace and jump out of his stride. He should show excellent form over the fences using his body, head and neck in an even jumping arc with a rounded topline or bascule and folding his legs well.
Courses of 8 - 10 fences are designed to favour smoothness, accuracy and flowing performance. These are naturally styled with easy take off type fences with simple verticals and oxers. Riders do not walk the courses because the course plan posted at the gate shows the distances or striding required. There is no starting bell and time is not a competitive factor. You and your horse are judged from the moment you enter the ring until the time you leave. Your tack is noted - refer to "Allowed Gear."
Here are some tips to get you on a winning round:
- Read the course plan at the gate carefully and become familiar with the course. Watch someone else ride the course first if you are unsure. Make certain that you also know how many strides there are between a line of fences and what distance the striding is.
- Use all of the arena area to get your horse balanced by riding wide and deep on the corners. Use the corners to obtain the correct lead and balance and settle your horse to maintain rhythm.
- Cantering around a corner on the wrong lead can unbalance a horse. Cantering disunited into a fence also upsets the horse’s rhythm and they do not jump as smoothly.
- Make sure your horse is bending to the inside on corners and not looking to the outside.
- In training classes you are allowed to trot to change your canter lead. Try and make your change as quick and smooth as possible with the least amount of trot strides.
- In recognised classes you are not allowed to trot. You need to encourage your horse to do flying changes. This takes a lot of practise but makes for a much smoother course.
A winning show hunter round looks balanced, rhythmical, athletic and relaxed.