For our final week of discussing Hunters, the discussion will be about choosing a prospect. Next week, we move onto Jumpers.
If you are beginning, and this is your first few years of riding, you should begin in the Jumper Division, rather than Hunters, for at least the first two or three years. This gives you a solid foundation in a competitive Jumping environment, before you focus on all the details required to be a competitive Hunter rider.
When you move on to Hunters, you should spend at least your first year in competition, leasing a proven and established Hunter Horse that can take you through some elementary levels to the level of your ultimate goal. After a year or more of leasing, consider buying your first Hunter Horse that is an established horse in Hunters, that is either coming down in the ranks, or has been proven to be going, and going consistantly in the competitive Hunter ring environment. You may have to pay more, but in the ultimate long term, you won’t lose your money with either of these prospects as a first time purchase.
In this purchase, you must consider Temperment, Conformation, Soundness (you absolutely MUST have a Veterinarian check the horse before you make any offer to buy), Ability, AND the comraderie between horse and rider. Last and not necessarily the most important, is the horse within the price that you have been alotted for this purchase?
Hunters are a detail oriented ring of competition, and any purchase of a Hunter should not be undertaken lightly, nor impulsively, nor unaided by the novice Rider or Owner.
Next week for the Month of March, we will cross over into the world of Jumpers.
Here’s hoping you have Good GO!s every outing with horses.
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