The working hunter class is the closest you’ll get to eventing in a showring. Competitors tackle a round of jumps and are then put through their paces on the flat, making it an all-round test of a horse’s performance.
Here are some top tips to help you to ensure you will be in the ribbons at your next show,
- Ensure your horse is used to the rustic style fences used, especially ones like water ditches as many horses will find these scary!
- Judges look for a smooth round which keeps a steady pace throughout without too much rider interference. The horse, unlike showjumping, should stay the same pace into a jump as the rest of the course!
- Horses should be bold and athletic, yet careful, a judge would rather one fence down rather than an untidy course that was clear!
- As the judge will ride your horse make sure he goes well with another rider, and maybe get a friend to try him out and see what he says!
- A horse with good manners is the key!
- Make sure your stirrups can go shorter or longer if the judge needs them to be altered for their ride!
- Keep your tack simple and avoid overly-severe bits — if the judge sees you using a gag in the ring, they’ll wonder what you would need to stop your horse while out hunting.
- Ensure your gallop is controlled and steady, also if your horse won't gallop an extended canter is enough at lower levels!
- Turnout is key to make a good first impression on the judge, tack should be clean and supple, both horse and rider should be clean, tidy and still comfortable!
- Make sure to have fun, because if both you and your horse are happy then the judge will think that your horse is a pleasure to ride!