Hunterize Me

It’s not that I haven’t ridden in hunter classes ever before, because I have. I just haven’t ridden terribly well in hunter classes before. I don’t really have a problem with the under saddle classes. I like using the entire ring to plan a track for my o/f rounds, and not being so concerned about efficient turns on Eli is a nice change. Staying on the same pace the entire round is also pretty much fun times. I feel fancy in the tack and attire.

Wish I could’ve bought this guy

My problems are thus:
1. I struggle with getting the “sit two strides out and close leg” jumper mode activation out of my brain.
2. I chase distances when I don’t sit two strides out and press.

Recipe for carnage.

Baby jumper did the hunters at shows first

Eli’s brain has caught up to the job and mine hasn’t (probably because it’s the job he wants, duh). He still obliges me with responding to jumper mode activation, but that’s not really what we are going for any more. I am about to set a grid, drop my reins, and put on a blindfold to get my brain in gear, for staying in one place and letting the horse carry me and jump up to me instead of hammering to the base of the fence. The exercise* my trainer has set us to is working really well, but goddamn I am a slow learner compared to Eli. I think I need something more drastic to get my mind right, like the aforementioned blindfold.

What extremes have you gone to, to learn a new skill?

*The exercise is to canter until about 2 to 3 strides out and then trot over the fence. The exercise is to slow down MY brain.

23 thoughts on “Hunterize Me

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  1. Interesting exercise, hope it works to slow down your brain. I think I would probably by a new shirt that was very huntery looking, and then let my “dress for for the job you want” look do it’s thing. I’m sure that would at least help πŸ˜‰

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  2. This is exactly the reason that I don’t think I’d ever be happy/comfortable doing solely hunter classes. I’m a huge control freak. I can trust my horse to some extent but I definitely would like to be like okay here is the plan and now we are going to go get that jump together. Good luck figuring it out.

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  3. I’ve become a sit and close my legs girl. I tried hunters because B had such a nice consistent stride and then he realized how much fun cross-country was πŸ˜‚ But my mind was always on the fast pace so I’d have to constantly say out loud, “1, 2, 1, 2” with every stride and not touch his face. Going out on the trails for a lope helped with consistency in both his stride and slowing me down.

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    1. Patience seems to be a theme in hunters, and I am not that patient, but I can definitely work toward it. I’d try the trail thing, but I don’t think Eli would make a good trail horse lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I re-wrote my comment like 4 or 5 times at this point but I’m sure I was going to get spanked for a few things I wanted to say soooo… honestly I think once you guys find that groove (especially if he’s enjoying it) you won’t have a problem. I always find hacks out on the trails the problem solver. And if you’re a runner or hiker, take him with you in hand. That’s all I could do for the first 2 years with B and probably was the reason he’s so awesome out there.

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        1. I do walk him all over the property but under saddle and in hand. The back part of the property has just been cleared so we might go exploring out there, too (except I think 3 horses are permanent residents out there already)

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  4. I’m going in the other direction! My muscle memory tells me “hold a steady pace and let my horse do his job,” but my horse himself tells me “boot me up into a gallop, then sit and collect, then send me at the base pls.” If you figure out a way to hunterize, maybe there’s hope for me to de-hunterize!

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  5. I have to count out loud in order to keep a consistent pace πŸ˜‚
    My trainer utilizes a lot of exercises that involve shortening/lengthening within a line to help us work on consistency – once you get 5 strides in the 4 stride line, you have to maintain that pace around to jump other things.

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  6. I did a similar exercise at a clinic recently (the coming back to trot 3 strides out). In this case it was to get my mule listening and not racing the jumps, so I probably still squeezed on. Hunter style and I just don’t get along. Maybe one day. Or maybe with the right horse.

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  7. My main seat has been dressage for almost 10 years now and I still can’t kick my h/j roots when it comes to my upper body. I have gotten a lot better periodically on nice horses, but when I ride a less educated horse (my own right now) I tilt forward without noticing. It’s the worst.

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