How to prep for a hunter pace?

Discussion in 'Equestrian Events, Shows, Competitions' started by mmonte24, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. mmonte24

    mmonte24 Registered

    Oct 16, 2018
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    Hi! I’m interested in doing my first hunter pace this year with my barn, but I have never done anything like it before. I’ve ridden trail rides in rough terrain w/ a friend but that’s about it.
    What can I do in the ring (schooling) to prep/train for it? I know it’s supposed to be low key, but I don’t want to go in without practice.
  2. Baboo

    Baboo Senior Member

    Dec 16, 2010
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    Any hunter pace I have gone to has been essentially a "trail ride" with jumps that you can take or ride around. Our hunt club usually has two 'competitions' - one is for the quickest time overall, and the other is for closest to a time that organizers took to complete the course (with variable speed etc.), more like a ride at "fun" pace. May be different in your area. Here it is very relaxed and lots of fun. Often BBQ afterwards, casual riding attire OK (boots/helmets required), tack check prior to leaving (girths done up etc.). The organizers always hang around until everyone is loaded and on their way before they leave so nobody is left with a horse that won't load at the end of the day.

    These are my favorite events now that I am not actively showing. Our club gets permission from a large number of property owners so the ride is over several miles of different terrain that you don't normally get to use, and they pre-ride it and make sure everything is safe and hazards are well marked. Jumps are low, and all can be bypassed easily. People go out in pairs, either pre-arranged individually or assigned on the day. If your horse is good on trails, with company, shouldn't be too much problem with this. One thing that may pop up would be if you are taking the leisurely pace and get passed by a pair aiming for the quick time, your horse needs to be comfortable being passed on the trail. Most riders are good about only passing when they can safely do so, and let you know they are coming and intend to pass. That' usually not a problem either, as your "pair" will be staying with you as the others go by. Have fun!!
    bellalou and Pony123 like this.
  3. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2014
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    Yes, all of this! I love Hunter Paces.

    Make sure your horse is in good condition, and comfortable on trails and in company. Some sort of watch is handy to keep an eye on your time. There's not really a lot to do in an arena to prepare. Some good long trail rides with a friend, at various paces (I've generally ridden my HPs at a trot and found that it works well for the preset time option) is the best practice.
  4. Pony123

    Pony123 Full Member

    Feb 18, 2014
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    I went to one last year for the first time and it was really fun and we won :). We didn't do much to prep, I practiced with my partner in a field over some jumps and schooled small jumps XC. We just went out and had fun.
    Baboo likes this.

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