hunters-iconHave you always wanted to try riding Hunter/Jumpers, but never had the opportunity? Well, guess what? The SAFE Show is your chance to give Hunters a try! And what better place to start than in the Trot Poles!

There are four classes in each Hunter Division, for example: CLOVER HUNTERS (TROT POLES)

  • 401 Clover Hunters, Under Saddle (Walk Trot)
  • 402 Clover Equitation, Not To Jump (Walk Trot)
  • 403 Clover Hunters, Trot Poles
  • 404 Clover Equitation, Trot Poles

The first two classes listed, 401 and 402, are Flat Classes. All the riders will enter the ring at the same time, and the judge will instruct all riders to walk, trot, reverse direction, and line up with your numbers facing the judge. It’s just like a rail class in the main arena. In class 401, Clover Hunters Under Saddle, the judge will be evaluating your horse’s performance, just like in a Pleasure class. In class 402, Clover Equitation, Not To Jump, the judge will be evaluating your performance as a rider.

Sample Hunter Course (click to enlarge)

The second two classes listed, 403 and 404, are Over Fences Classes. In both classes, you and your horse will enter the arena alone, and navigate over a course of 8 fences. For the Trot Pole division, each fence will just be a pole placed on the ground that you trot over. You may ride the entire course in the trot. The course will be posted at the entry to the arena, and you’ll need to memorize it before you take your turn. The course will consist of 8 fences, and they will be arranged in a pattern of straight lines and vertical lines. This drawing at the right shows you an example of what a hunter course might look like. Note: this is NOT the course that will used at the SAFE Show, it’s just an example! In the Clover Hunters, you’ll trot over the 8 fences and then make a big circle at the end of the ring before coming down to a walk and walking out of the arena.

There’s a lot more to Hunters that what I’ve just told you, but your coach or trainer will have to take it from here. But riding in the Clover Hunter Trot Pole Division is a good way to get a taste for the Hunter world, and it’s fun too!

If you don’t have experience riding your horse over fences, we don’t recommend that you enter any of the other Hunter divisions, because we want you to stay safe. If your horse has never seen a jump before, he might not want to go over it and stop suddenly, or he might jump WAY over it and unseat you. But if you’re a beginner who is comfortable navigating your horse at the trot, you could have some fun with the Trot Poles classes! And if you’re a grown up, don’t worry, you will not be alone! There are already a few brave adult riders signed up for Clover Hunters, so don’t let the fear of being beaten by a tiny kid on a pony stop you from entering! Register for the SAFE Show now for the best stabling assignments! Click here to enter!