Advice for showing in the Hunter Pleasure division?

(I’m sorry if this does not go in this forum topic thingy…)
I own a 11Y/O PB Arabian gelding(SShameless son!) Anyways… I will be showing him in the Hunter pleasure division and I need some equitation and general riding tips. Basically I have pretty good EQ but what is something that is specific for hunter pleasure? What do they look for in a rider? I know they want them to look relaxed and the horse looks “pleasurable to ride” but any tips? Anything is greatly appreciated!:):):slight_smile:

Arabian hunter pleasure is far removed from what hunters really are. Despite that difference (which is not an uncommon thing in many breeds!) I feel one should ride in correct hunt seat position. That being said, the class is judged on the horse and you could ride backwards and if he still goes well, would place! :slight_smile: Sitting nicely does show off your horse better and stays out of his way.

Will this be a hunter show or Arabian breed show?

Arabian hunter pleasure is judged on the horse, not the rider. It is not an equitation class. As long as your riding isn’t interfering with the horse it’s fine. They are not looking for anything in the rider.

Forget “relaxed”! This is a class that has very steep competition. The horse needs to be in frame and working for the whole class. You have to show at the walk, trot, canter and hand gallop, as well as back. Be sure that you can transition to the canter from both the walk and the trot smoothly and that your horse has a nice hand gallop to walk transition. Steadiness and consistency in all gaits is important. Good transitions are important.

Here is Arabian Hunter Pleasure on the national level

it’s not like Open Hunter Under Saddle where horses jump courses as well as come in on the flat to be judged mainly on overall quality and movement with division Champion and and Reserve Champ based on total points in both jumping and flat. Breed characteristics and conformation really are unimportant in the judging standard here. Judges are not looking to spin one for not fitting a specific “frame” or “headset” or not picking up a gait within 1/2 second of the call. Very very few ever do these flat classes without jumping and, in this environment, the ribbon over fences is far more desirable to the point many don’t come back to hack if they did poorly over the jumps and/or are not great movers.

Hunter Pleasure is a stand alone rail class. It’s also judged on overall quality and movement but they don’t jump. Most are specialty rail horses that just do the flat, they are expected to be much more prompt in transitions and it’s much more mistake and out, even minor ones. There can also be a breed specific component to the judging, type and conformation figure into the final marking for each horse.

All in all and quite honestly, breed show Hunter Pleasure is a beauty contest and obedience test with a dash of Halter thrown in. It’s a tough class unless you invest in a pretty fancy horse and present it flawlessly to current breed standard.

Smaller open shows maybe not so many fancy big guns but the judges breed preferences will be in play. The classes where you work individually on a pattern or course and maybe Eq are a better goal if you are on a budget. Usually not so many in them either, those rail classes can be huge.

Not saying don’t do it but if it is at an Arab show, you need to go watch and talk to those who specialize in it. On this forum, we mostly do The Open Hunters that also jump- not the same skill set in either horse or rider as a breed show rail class and not the same judging criteria.

There are a few here who may be able to help you with specifics about presenting an Arabian Hunter Pleasure but you should see if you can hook up with somebody who does them extensively in your area to make the best of you and your horse.