The working hunter horse:
- is representative of the type of horse used in the hunt field
- should possess manners, jumping ability, style, pace, and quality
- must demonstrate ability to furnish the rider with a smooth, comfortable, and safe ride
- The round has a beginning, middle, and an end.
- The pace should remain consistent and even at the same speed throughout the course on a 12-foot stride.
- Determined based off a 12-foot stride.
- 6 feet for take-off and 6 feet for landing.
- 60 feet = 4 stride line
- 48 feet for strides + 6 feet for landing + 6 feet for take-off = 60 feet.
- Eliminating strides and adding strides will be heavily penalized.
Change of Direction
- The horse should land on the lead in the direction the course takes, or it changes a lead with a flying lead change without disruption
- Faults: cross canter, counter canter, swapping leads before a jump
Quality of Jump
- A horse should show an athletic ability by pushing itself into the air:
- rounding its back
- lowering its head and neck
- raising its knees above horizontal in the air
- hitting the perfect arch over the top of the jump
- The horse's hind end and body should be straight and in the center of the jump.
- The horse should land softly and effortlessly on the landing side of the jump, demonstrating a fluid movement.
This event is scored on a basis of 0 to 100.
- Poor mover = 10 point deduction
- Fair mover = 5 point deduction
- Good mover = 0 deduction
- Excellent mover = 1 to 3 point addition
- Exceptional overall look to round = 1 to 5 point addition
- Inconsistent and erratic round = 1 to 3 point deduction
- Total of three refusals
- Off course
- Bolting from the arena
- Deliberately addressing an obstacle
- Fall of horse or rider
- Illegal tack (horse booted, polos, tail wrapped, running, martingale)
Watch the video below of an example of a working hunter course.