01 September 2008 14:52
I’ve been told I should try working hunter pony classes with my six-year-old, 14.3hh, cob mare, who is well schooled and has a nice jump. What do these classes involve and what preparation would I need to do?
By Your Horse
YRC Instructor Alison Ritchie says:
In a working hunter pony (WHP) class you need to present your horse in the ring and ride around a course of rustic-type fences. The level of the class will determine the height and difficulty of the jumps. If you ride a clear, you will be asked to come back into the ring, where either you will be required to do a short ridden show or the judge may ride your horse.
Your mare will need to be able to jump a variety of rustic fences, some on related distances. She will need to show off her best paces, transitions and obedience. She will also need to be settled enough to travel round the ring behind other horses, in walk, trot and canter, and show a short gallop.
I suggest you visit a few local shows and watch some of these classes so you have a better idea of what they entail, and see the dress code. You will also be able to see what types of horses do well. If possible, chat to one of the judges afterwards to get an idea of what they have been looking for. These classes are great fun, and I am sure you will really enjoy them!