Hunter in hand is a class geared towards the suitability for Hunter under saddle, creating the perfect venue for many performance-type Appaloosas the chance to be recognized in hand for their conformation, and movement.
The horse is initially judged in the "open" position, which means all four legs are view able when set up for inspection. Judged 60% movement, 30% conformation, 10% temperament, horse are then asked to first perform a ground covering walk around the smaller triangle, once complete they swiftly, without hesitation move into an open trot that showcases their movement. horses are expected to move around the triangle with ease, comfort, and a quiet relaxed & natural headset suitable for their body type.
Handlers should be wearing a Conservative collars polo, or collared button up shirt, tucked into dress pants or khakis - belts must be simple, without western flare, and running shoes are suggested, use of a crop is OK and can be beneficial for horses who may be lazy.
Many people new to Hunter in hand make the mistake of treating the class as if it is a pattern class similar to showmanship; but this is not the case! The absolute goal is to create the most desirable, fluid and complimenting go for the horse, and secondly the handler. learn to match your horses stride, help them rate their speed with yours, and find the exact speed that your horse looks best at.
Some horses are big, with giant strides meaning their handler has to practically sprint, whilst others might be more ideal at a soft, controlled pace. horses headsets should be natural, and relaxed from the withers out, some horses look best with an above-wither headset, while others may drop lower into the bridle. You also want your horses throat latch to be open, and not appear as if the handler is pulling on their horse to slow them down. no matter what, a happy, fluid horse is most ideal.
The best way to truly understand is to come out to a show and see just what it is all about, once you see, you will be hooked like everyone else.
With that, below is a great example of a pattern with a yearling
F. HUNTER IN HAND
1. Equipment: a. English headstall equipped with any acceptable single-rein English bit (see ENGLISH PERFORMANCE specifications) and that complies with appropriate equipment rules for the age of the horse shown. Notwithstanding the above, English bridle is mandatory on horses two years old and older and plain leather halter is required on weanling and yearling horses.
b. For horses one year old and younger, halters are mandatory. The halter and lead must be halter of plain leather. The chain on the lead may be over the nose or under the chin; however, no chains are allowed in the horse’s mouth and no lip chains are allowed.
c. The use of a crop or bat is optional.
2. Attire: a. Attire of the handler should permit free movement. Color may be chosen to complement horse, but should be conservative. Suitable attire shall be a collared polo shirt or collared dress shirt (solid colored 2017 Official Handbook 147 and either white or another conservative color), vest, tie and gloves (optional). Dress pants should be loose enough in which to run. If a belt is worn, it should be a plain belt, not of western type or style. Jeans are forbidden. Running shoes or paddock boots are required.
3. Class Conduct:
a. Horses will be judged individually on the triangle, following a posted order.
b. The horses will approach the judging area
(A) and set up for inspection in the “open” position (i.e. with all four legs of the horse visible by the judge standing on either side of the horse). The judge shall inspect each horse from the front, rear and both sides. Transmissible weakness and/or conditions shall be counted strongly against animals (See Rule 713.A.3.b).
c. At the judge’s request, the horse will then walk the small triangle ABCA. The horse will continue on at a trot following the large ADEA. d. At the completion of the judging, the handler will lead the horse away from the judging area. As one horse leaves, the next one will enter the judging area promptly. e. When all horses in the class have completed the triangle, they may be lined up for judges to place, or “ringing” (walking in a large group circle around the judges) may be used. f. An exhibitor may show more than one horse in a class on the triangle. In this case, a helper may assist in bringing the horses back for ringing or final inspection. 70 to 90 feet (21.34 to 27.43 m) between corner markers 4. Scoring System: 60% movement, 30% conformation, 10% temperament. 5. If a horse knocks over a cone or marker, they are to be scored accordingly. This does not constitute immediate disqualification but at the judge’s discretion can be penalized in the temperament or movement score. 6. If a horse or exhibitor falls, they are to be scored accordingly. This does not constitute immediate disqualification but at the judge’s discretion can be penalized in the temperament or movement score. 7. If a horse is off pattern either by completing the large triangle ADEA before the small triangle ABCA, by not displaying the correct gait while completing the corresponding triangle or by not submitting to inspection prior to completing the pattern, the entry shall be disqualified. a. An appropriate penalty shall be assessed at the judge’s discretion for break of gait during completion of the pattern, but this shall not constitute off pattern or immediate disqualification. 714. GENERAL PERFORMANCE RULES A. Horses entered in all events must be serviceably sound and in good condition. Small blemishes on account of accident, for example, wire cuts and brands, are not to be counted against the horse. B. No horse is to be penalized for the manner in which he carries his tail nor for normal response with his tail to cues from his exhibitor or when changing leads. A judge may at his discretion, penalize a horse for excessive or exaggerated switching or wringing of the tail or for a seem- 148 Appaloosa Horse Club www.appaloosa.com ingly dead tail that merely dangles between the legs and does not show normal response. 1. Tails may be lengthened by hair-to-hair attachment only, with no attachments of any kind to the tailbone. Artificial tails consisting of fabric and hair are permissible. 2. Weighted tails are permissible, provided they meet the following criteria: a. Tail attachment is made hair to hair. b. Humane conditions are maintained as outlined in Rule 30.A.1. c. The designated judge or equipment steward shall determine if the tail meets the criteria or if the weight of the attachment is excessive. Their decision will be final. C. Judging begins when the entrant enters the arena and ends when all judging is complete. After a judge has placed a class and signed the judge’s cards, a class will not be re-judged and the judges record shall not be changed. If clerical corrections, initiated by show official(s) (typically announcer, but could also be show secretary, manager or ring steward) are made to a judge’s card, they must be approved and initialed by the judge. Once a judge’s placings have been announced, no clerical corrections shall be made. D. In all classes where backing is required, the judge may, at his discretion, require the backing of only the finalists in the class. E. No rail class shall have a mandatory starting direction. The direction shall be at the discretion of the judge. The direction of reversing shall be to the inside unless otherwise specified by the judge. Horses may be required to reverse at a walk or jog/trot at the discretion of the judge, but horses shall not be asked to reverse at the lope/canter. It is permissible for a judge to require an exhibitor to extend the walk, jog/trot or lope/canter unless otherwise specified. F. A judge may require any contestant to repeat his performance of any or all the various parts of a required pattern(s) except in timed events and unless otherwise specified under class rules. G. The exhibitor shall be prepared to drop the bridle and bit for inspection if the judge so desires. Bridles and bits shall be dropped for inspection by judges in at least one western class and in one English class at each approved show. For safety reasons, exhibitors must dismount when dropping bridles. H. If the number of entries in any class exceeds the number that can be judged in one group, the class will be judged in two or more sections at show management and/or judge’s discretion, and the top horses in each section will be brought back to be judged for the class awards. The number of go-rounds to be held and the number of horses to be shown in each is at the discretion of show management. Notice of such elimination or go-rounds should be posted at the entry office as soon as determined upon, and it is the responsibility of the exhibitor to ascertain whether and when such elimination as may affect his or her entries will be held. If any entry fails to show in any classes where there are eliminations or go-rounds, the entry will not be eligible to show in the finals. I. At the National and World shows, in all classes where each entry performs individually, the order of competition shall be determined by random draw. Horses will work in order of draw. It is the responsibility of the exhibitor to be prepared to work in that order. Draws may be changed to accommodate exhibitors with more than one horse entered in the class. This process is optional at ApHC-approved shows. J. In all performance classes, all horses are to be ridden astride (except Ladies’ Side Saddle, Pleasure Driving and Heritage). K. If only one contestant qualifies in a class, the class shall be considered complete. Should no contestants qualify at show management’s discretion, the class may be re-run once in order to attempt to establish a winner. L. When an exhibitor competes in a timed event or time trials, each qualifying time shall be announced over the public address system by the show announcer immediately following his or her qualifying runs. Any exhibi- 2017 Official Handbook 149 tor receiving no time due to disqualification shall also be announced over the loud speaker by the show announcer. M. All class rules and conditions shall apply to contestants in time trials and/or eliminations. The same exhibitor and/or rider must exhibit the same horse in the eliminations and the class finals. N. Classes that are not approved including futurities, maturities and stakes classes and/or classes open to all breeds in which ApHC-registered horses will not earn points may be held at the discretion of show management, and such classes may vary from ApHC-approved or pointed classes as long as they are not held concurrently with ApHC-approved classes and provided that rules and eligibility requirements are established in writing, available to all exhibitors and are not changed once entries have been accepted. If such classes are held concurrently with ApHC-approved classes, ApHC rules regarding show, judges, registration, discipline, class conduct, membership, horse, exhibitor and equipment restrictions and limitations shall apply.