There are three main types of classes for horses ridden over fences at horse shows: hunter, jumper, and equitation. Judging criteria are different among these three classes. Hunter classes focus on the form of the horse and equitation classes focus on the form of the rider. Equitation is based on the rider’s form and handling of the horse over fences.
Hunter classes typically consist of 8 to 10 jumps, and the height of fences varies by division according to age, skill level, and/or size of the horse and the rider. Judging is based on the horse’s jumping form, with significant consideration of the horse’s attitude and willingness to perform over fences. Also factored into the score as are its manners and way of going on the rail.
Jumper events are based on the speed at which the horse and rider complete the course and how many jumps they successfully clear. Faults are recorded for each rail knocked down, for every refusal, and for every second over the maximum time allowed to negotiate the course. Jumper courses are very technical in nature, with many tight turns and changes of direction. Height and/or spread of jumps on the course increase according to the level of competition.
The elegance, athleticism, and willingness of the Morgan provide the perfect foundation for competing successfully in hunter classes. Morgan horses simply love to work, and they thrive on learning something new and expanding their ability.
Speed, agility, strength, intelligence, and bravery are the combined traits of a Morgan that provide a candidate that can excel in the jumper competition arena. They are capable of delivering power from behind for the jumps, rapid reaction times needed for those tight turns, and a keen eye to measure up the course in front of them to be ready for that next jump on the course.
Morgans have been included in the list of the 11 best breeds for jumping. The list can be found HERE
Visit the US Hunter Jumper Association website for more information about these classes. Click Here