Working Hunter First Timer (at 53!) advice please!

Tobiano

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Hello… at the grand age of 53 I have just entered for my first working hunter class with my lovely cob - I took the plunge because the jump height at 12" to 18" was just my cup of tea! But having never done one before I don't know what the format is likely to be (not much info on the show schedule) or what my horse or I should wear. (Though he will have to wear the tack he normally wears as that's all we have got!)

Can some of you lovely kind people advise please? :)
 

be positive

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Usually each competitor will go in individually and jump round the course, then all clears and sometimes the ones with least faults will go back in together, you all walk, trot and canter on the right rein, do a change of rein when asked and canter on the left, normally you will also be asked for a short extension on one side before coming back to walk. The judge will then call you into line, either ride, unlikely at the level you are doing, or see a short show. Possibly then take saddles off do a walk and trot in hand, again unlikely but not unheard of, before getting everyone to walk around to be called into their final placing.
Local shows and judges can have their own ideas but that is the normal way classes are run.

You should wear tweed, shirt and tie, cream jods, long boots, tidy hair in a net, velvet covered hat, brown gloves and carry a short jumping whip, horse can wear pretty much anything except boots should be removed after jumping, tidy and discrete tack preferred, saddle shaped numnah, no bling!!
 

Tobiano

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brilliant thanks be positive! … if it's only the clears going into the showing phase I probably don't need to worry too much about that part!! :)
 

be positive

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brilliant thanks be positive! … if it's only the clears going into the showing phase I probably don't need to worry too much about that part!! :)
At local starter level they may take everyone back in, if you don't go clear check before leaving as it would be a shame to miss out on the experience, there is also the possibility they take all competitors in and send you out to jump, as I said above the judges may have different ideas on how they run the class, have fun anyway.
 

fatpiggy

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My old fruitloop always thought WH was great fun because she got to jump a course rather faster than was encouraged in the showjumping ring, ie out of gallop, and then get to have a good gallop in the individual show as well as our local judges always asked for a proper gallop, not just a few strides of extended canter. Giood job it was done in a sizeable field!
 

Bernster

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Ooh this is handy. Am toying with the idea of doing my first ever show, working hunter, this summer. Not sure I can be fagged with all the washing plaiting and pulling though!
 

Tobiano

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Ooh this is handy. Am toying with the idea of doing my first ever show, working hunter, this summer. Not sure I can be fagged with all the washing plaiting and pulling though!
Oh go on do!! Luckily my boy is hogged, but unluckily the show is the day after the one and only party I have been invited to this year and I can't drink as have to bring him in to make sure he isn't knackered from a night out grazing, about 11 pm.
 

Tobiano

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My old fruitloop always thought WH was great fun because she got to jump a course rather faster than was encouraged in the showjumping ring, ie out of gallop, and then get to have a good gallop in the individual show as well as our local judges always asked for a proper gallop, not just a few strides of extended canter. Giood job it was done in a sizeable field!
Eek! With 18 inch jumps I think if we gallop we will probably gallop right through the middle of them. I shall try and pluck up my courage to do them in canter rather than trot!!
 

fatpiggy

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Eek! With 18 inch jumps I think if we gallop we will probably gallop right through the middle of them. I shall try and pluck up my courage to do them in canter rather than trot!!
I didn't have a HUGE amount of say on the speed. Gallop was her favourite gear and actually, when I say gallop, I mean a proper, flat out gallop. She may have been part Welsh D but she could and would leave thoroughbreds standing. By her standards most peoples' gallop was to us, just an extended canter. One judge in an equitation class once asked us to show some extension so I helpfully asked which pace she would like the extension in. She smiled and said, well as its you two, it will be gallop won't it. Gallop, gallop, extended gallop and back to gallop. Oh dear! Another judge, in a WH class which we actually won ( a miracle), asked me if I had ever hunted her. I said, did I look that crazy? I would have gone past the Master and have been banned. Her reply was, my dear, on that horse you would be past the fox!!

I loved WH though. The ordinary horse has as good a chance as the showier ones if it is dependable.
 

YorksG

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There will usually be two stewards for the working hunter, one for the collecting ring and one with the judge (for the jumping phase), most will be friendly and helpful :) Remember before your jumping round to go and acknowledge the judge, a nod and a cheery good morning, then return to the judge before you leave the ring, some people forget this bit and treat it like a showjumping round with no acknowledgement of the judge.
And the most important is smile and breath and enjoy :)
 
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