Getting to the Jump is Important

What the Judge is Looking For

In a hunter class the judge would like to see a horse rounding his back, bascule, and admiring the jump and surroundings. Any expert horse show judge knows this can happen only if the horse gets to the right spot.

Three options for take off

  1. too close – if your horse takes off too close they often do not jump properly. The horses often swing their legs to the side when they jump and what the judge is looking for is even knees and smooth take off.
  2. just right – This is what the judge is looking for. It is like the Goldilocks of the three take off points, “just right”. This allows the horse to rock back onto his haunches and lift up his knees evenly and bascule over the jump. This is what the judge is looking for, the correct take off spot.
  3. too far – When your horse takes off too far from the fence or ‘long spot’, it often makes the horse flat and reach for the fence.

If you can get your horse to the correct take off spot you may have a chance to be in the ribbons. If you miss your spot, it could cost you a placing. Other things which the judge is

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Getting to the right spot is important

looking for are:


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About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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