Think of the hunter round of being composed of five parts:
The first four were dealt with in previous posts so we are moving onto the exit.
Finishing your hunter round in an efficient manner is the icing on the cake. After completing your finishing circle, bring your horse forward to the walk and leave the ring. There is no need for dramatic hugs, pats and ‘good boys/girls. Acknowledging your horse is paramount, but dropping the reins and squealing with delight is just a recipe for disaster (and it looks bad).
We as judges are excited to see excellent rounds. And I know of a few riders who have dropped down a few placings because of exuberant well wishers exclaiming within my earshot, “too bad you added a stride in the last line”. Too bad indeed!
It is good enough to pat your horse and acknowledge their efforts. It shows good horsemanship, compassion and integrity for the sport. Exclamations of GOOD GIRL/boy after the horse has refused, knocked down and bucked are not warranted. If the rider thinks that is good, well, maybe they should rethink their training strategy.
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