Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Top Ten Worst Pet Peeves - Hunter Equitation

My blog is relatively young and it seems when I'm at a show or doing laundry, I can think of a thousand topics to add. Then I sit down to post something and I draw a blank. I want to keep adding new posts so I can keep readers interested, so please, if you've a topic, email me. Flyinghorse2@cfl.rr.com

Top Ten Worst Pet Peeves - Hunter Equitation
These are just my preferences and do not in any way mean that the judge you show in front of, will feel the same way. That's why judging hunters and hunter equitation is so subjective. Of course your performance will count immensely but if it comes down to one tiny fault against another who has a better turnout, the tiny fault with the better turnout will take top call!

1. Gloves - I don't care if they are the cotton pimple grip cheapies, wear gloves.

2. Jackets - Even when jackets are waived for heat, jackets are still most proper in the equitation rounds, wear it! Put it on just before you enter and rip it off after your class is finished. It's only a couple of minutes. Oh and make sure it fits. Hunt coats should ride just above or at the hip. You should not be sitting on it when mounted and when you try one on, stretch your arms out in front of you at shoulder level. Do the sleeves come halfway up to your elbow? Then the sleeves are too short. The coat is too look good while your riding, not while your standing in line at the concessionaire. Oh and if your mother tells you a blazer is the same thing, it's not and you will feel out of place if you wear one.

3. Shirt Sleeves - If you do decide not to wear a jacket, it is proper to have long sleeves. You take a short sleeve or sleeveless shirt to wear in hunter, pleasure, etc rounds and change into your long sleeve just for equitation. Western riders change complete outfits frequently for different classes. Hunter riders should think of doing the same.

4. Crops or bats. Not in equitation please. If your horse requires the use of a crop or bat, it is not ready for equitation. Spurs are fine and will help mask leg cues but crops/bats and usually used incorrectly forward of the girth. 

5. Dirty boots. If nothing else is available, ask someone to wet a rag and at least dust them off. I don't ever notice anyone's boots unless they are dull & dirty. 

6. Hair nets. Use them. Practice putting your hair up even if you have short hair, it will keep strays from flying around your head like a bee. Oh and please use the correct color. A dark net on blond hair is annoying. 

7. Leg protection for your horse. It is acceptable for your horse to wear splint boots, heidi boots, open fronts, etc for equitation. Pink polos are a definite no-no as are purple glitter bell boots. Leave the spastic colors for home schooling. Try to get a color as close to your horse' leg color as possible so the leg protection is not a distraction. 

8. Jewelry. Don't wear it. If you have small post earrings or a watch, that's fine. I've seen everything from dangling earrings to facial adornments and not only is it improper, it is unsafe.  

9. Breeches. I don't notice if your breeches are side zipped tailored sportsman or hundred year old Harry Hall's that everyone in your barn has passed down. As long as they fit, I don't even notice such things. It's when they are skin tight, I cringe. Pass them along to the next smaller person and get a new pair.

10. No make up. When you sweat, it looks like your face is melting. I know that many who show in breed shows wear makeup in the ring but to me, it just is out of place.


  1. Having shown mainly in equitation I understand your pet peeves and agree with all of them. All good points. Believe it or not at home (even though it's just my daughter and I) we still do the hairnets, helmets, tasteful boots etc... I haven't been to a show in a few years now but from glancing through some of the catalogs, I see that they are now selling hip-hugger breeches. What's up with that? I haven't worn hip-huggers since the '60's (I'm old I know) but they don't seem appropriate apparel for riding. Good post.

  2. hi - ghm introduced me to your blog and i'm sure i will become a regular reader (if and when i have some free time! :-\

    i was an equitation rider as a junior and an amateur before going professional and i agree with all your 'rules,' especially hairnets, long sleeves and jackets at all times!

    but i'm a stickler for tradition and i do have to disagree a little with #4 - i was taught that a crop, bat, or whip (for dressage,) like gloves, a helmet and spurs (i'm flexible on the spur issue,) is part of the horseman's toolkit and should be carried, even if not used, at all times while mounted. and i see nothing wrong with a rider using one lightly if the (hopefully rare) occasion calls for it - after all, part of being a good, effective rider is knowing when and how to apply the appropriate discipline.

    i never once used a crop on my eq horse at home or at a show, but i don't see the offense of carrying one. but i agree that most people don't know how to carry a crop correctly, much less use one properly! and in that case i'd rather they didn't carry one at all.

    sorry, don't mean to split hairs! can't wait to read back through your other posts. great blog, and very infortmative :-)

  3. So interesting! I have to admit, I don't participate in shows at all, but I'm fascinated. Now I'm way too old to start, but I still like to watch. This list helps explain what the judges are looking for and now I'll be a great armchair quarterback ! :)

  4. I love these all! Great post! I would also not think of a crop as being inappropriate but I've also said to students so many times...when they should have used the crop....'why are you carrying it if you aren't going to use?' ...LOL! Great post....something to think about!


I am just one judge with one judge's opinion. Almost all of the classes I judge are based on the rules of USEF & AQHA. Judging a horse show is very subjective to the interpretation of the rules. Please keep this in mind when commenting.