Can someone educate me on HUS?

I’m a jumper queen. I’ve completed in jumpers for years now, but my APHA paint jumper is now 21 and needs to think about a career change. I was thinking maybe switching over to HUS. I saw it at WEC and it looked like a lot of fun and not too far out of my horses wheelhouse of training.
I had a friend growing up who did it on her paint, and she loved it (and also won a lot of $ doing it) but it wasn’t big near where I grew up so I never tried it.
Now I know we won’t be competitive, we aren’t going to place. But I’d still like to try it.

However, I can’t find any shows? It’s so easy to find jumper shows but I can’t seem to get info on any shows with HUS classes. Is there a list somewhere? Do people just ‘know’?
I’m in Virginia if that makes a difference.

The APHA has shows listed here:

Or you may call them for that information.

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Are you looking to do breed shows? That is what it sounds like to me, just wanted to clarify.

In the part of the world I live in there is a pretty active open show series that does basically stock horse breed show style English and Wester US classes. English classes all morning and Western classes all afternoon. They frequently have payback too. Maybe you can ask around in your part of the world to see if there is such a thing. Facebook can be a good source for this type of information, if there is a local riding group you can ask there.


“HUS” is shorthand for stock-horse type breed show hunter under saddle, so you will find it at AQHA and APHA shows and open shows that follow the same pattern.

Check the APHA site Bluey posted. Also check the AQHA site - some of their shows have open days or classes where other breeds can compete.

Check your state 4-H horse program. Many 4-H shows have open classes and you will likely find HUS classes there.

Check your state paint horse club. Virginia’s is

Check your state QH association. Virginia’s is

Also, go to YouTube, if you haven’t already done so, and watch some videos of HUS classes. HUS has it’s own distinct rules and expectations. It’s not necessarily the same as what you would expect to see in a Hunter/Jumper show hunter under saddle class.

Thank you! I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to check with APHA.

I did find two, but one is more of an ‘open pleasure’ show and the other is 3 hours away with no overnight stalls. Seems it’s not as popular in VA as it was back west where I grew up.

Thanks, I looked there first but had a hard time navigating it. I’ll have to log onto an actual computer to see if maybe it’s just my mobile browser

Thanks, looks like the APHA club has a show in September that’s pretty close to me! Looks like I’ll be going there to try this out.
Yeah it’s very different that the hunters I grew up with (which is why I don’t think we will do too well; I know people spend a TON of money on these horses and they train for years).
I’m also going to see if I can find a trainer to take him to a a few times a year for pointers if he likes it.

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Hi! So I’m not sure if you are wanting to quit jumping entirely or just move away from it and add in the hus. If it is the latter, nsba offers at their stock type shows what they call working hunter under saddle. It is a hus class judged closer to what a hus class at a h/j show would be judged as. The horse has to complete an over fence class to be eligible to compete in it.

I’m not sure if there are any shows where you live at that offer this option, but it might be a nice in between. I don’t think Apha has adopted this class yet, aqha just did this year. Last year at the nsba world show was the first time it was offered anywhere.

For the breed show regular hus class Taking lessons would be a great way to start but the premise is still all the same. You want a long stride with your horse, slow step and cadence, mannerly way of going, but the headset should be level. Not below level. And the nose should poke out with the “hunter poke” but no drape in the reins. You want to have a light contact. Manners are very important. Horses can jump and do the regular hus. You often don’t see a lot winning a both but there is no reason you can’t transition your horse over to a new career you can both enjoy. Good luck and have fun!

our horses easily learned to adjust their strides/headsets depending upon the tack they had on… I believe it was more due to the weight differences of the saddles than anything else as those western show saddles are pretty heavy

Thanks! I’m considering stopping jumping on him entirely. Hes 21 and is starting to show his age.

Just ran across this;

Back in the day, people used to call HUS “Wenglish.”

Do they still?

Well, I guess it depends on where the class is happening. At a stock horse breed show I would still call it Wenglish.

Thanks! I don’t know why, but I always found that word very cute and funny. :sunglasses:

Something else to think about at APHA shows as well as open shows with “stock type” hunter classes is that you can do other events like hunt seat equitation (you’ll do a pattern as well as rail work), and hunter hack (if your boy would still like to pop over two relatively low jumps along with some rail work), and showmanship at halter (in-hand class that is fun relatively easy on an older horse). If your horse isn’t the “type” that would excel in the HUS classes (way of going, “modern” look of the purpose-bred HUS horses), then he could still be successful at these “all-around” type of events that are suited more to “real” hunter horses.

Have fun!

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So I apologize for getting on my soapbox but as a hus rider that also jumps that article rubs me wrong. First off the paint example has its head about 6” too low even for breed show hus. While the other horse is too high for a breed show it is actually closer in height. If it would stretch out in neck to make it longer it would actually work. The neck needs to be level. Not with the poll significantly below.

Also the tails are almost universally braided at the larger shows.

And the “dramatic” jumping styles with more bascule and tighter knees are definitely rewarded. They aren’t seen as much but when they are as long as they are mannerly and still move well, they win. And we are seeing more and more of them in the open and amateur division. Not a ton but a few of them are sneaking in. Which I love.

At a breed show, conformation can figure into placings, it is part of the criteria listed in the breed rulebooks. Very much can be a beauty contest. And they are usually judged as “mistake and out” classes demanding razor sharp transitions and obedience. Not like Open flat classes where flowing, forward strides will forgive a trot step going into the canter or not dropping instantly to a walk from a canter or even passing inside a slower horse.

Its a different beast then the Open HJ show. They look for different things. You might want to go watch APHA or AQHA HUS before committing to spending money on a trainer, hauling, entries etc.

There are other things you can do to still enjoy this old guy and both of you can have fun.

BTW, showed APHA and AQHA for many, many years before switching to Open Hunters… Loved it. But they are really different.