Is my horse a hunter or a jumper?

I have a 5 year old, 17hh warmblood mare. Considering her size, I pictured her being a jumper but once I started riding her, I noticed she has the potential to be a great hunter. She collects, bends, frames easily and doesn’t run through a course. With more practice jumping, she could turn into a perfect hunter. But it is more common for horses of her size to be jumpers so I’m not sure which route I should take her in. Any thoughts?

I wouldn’t consider height to be a deciding factor between the two disciplines.


I would think that her size could be an advantage, as it will be easier for her to have that relaxed lopey canter that is popular now. What are your showing plans? If you think you will be showing her on the A circuit then it could be a good idea to specialize, but if not, there’s no reason you can’t do both. Or, perhaps she could be an equitation horse. A large horse with an easy collection and soft frame is kind of the ideal, so if I were you I’d enjoy it and try everything to see what you like!

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A lot of hunter derby horses are bigger these days, if she moves like a hunter make her one.

Lake of Stars is 16.3


I’m sure there’s no reason why you couldn’t compete in both rings with her. Because of her size, @ccgaff is right in that it might be just as easy for you to achieve that lopey canter down the lines that is so desirable in the hunter ring. At the same time if she is careful, responsive and handy with a ground covering stride it might be just as easy for you to navigate a jumper round efficiently and still be competitive.

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Big hunters are quite desirable and you’ll see many wanted ads floating around for “nothing under 16.2h”. Depending on her size/stride/etc, sometimes being too big can make being a show jumper more difficult (quick turns aren’t always easy for a big horse). Focus on having a good foundation and she’ll let you know where she is going to excel… but others are right. You don’t necessarily need to make a choice. Some horses can be fun for everything!

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My Hunter is 17 2… my other horse that I think is more of a jumper is 16 1 - so height is no issue.

If you have video to post of her that would help you get a lot more input.

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