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,

  1. Ensure your horse is used to the rustic style fences used, especially ones like water ditches as many horses will find these scary!
  2. 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!
  3. Horses should be bold and athletic, yet careful, a judge would rather one fence down rather than an untidy course that was clear!
  4. 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!
  5. A horse with good manners is the key!
  6. Make sure your stirrups can go shorter or longer if the judge needs them to be altered for their ride!
  7. 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.
  8. Ensure your gallop is controlled and steady, also if your horse won't gallop an extended canter is enough at lower levels!
  9. 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!
  10. 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!