Hunter vs Jumper vs Equitation
Hunter: This is a tricky sport to really master both as a rider and as an onlooker. It is judged so therefore subjective. Most rider’s start in Hunter to master the skill of even pace, correct striding and smoothness of the round, as the courses are relatively straightforward , jumps very inviting and fairly low heights. Hunter is judged on style of the jump and smoothness of the round. However even though the horse is being judged the rider’s skill, position etc play a vital role in getting the horse to jump in good form.
Equitation: This is judged on rider’s position and ability to execute the course with control, efficiency and proper pace. It is usually a tougher course than is asked in a hunter round, and this allows the rider to show off their riding skills and ability to navigate tougher turns and broken lines.
Generally equitation is a good training ground for someone wanting to move on to jumper.
Jumper: This is judged on the ability to get around the course cleanly with no faults and then is judged on time. ie the fastest clean round wins. No subjectivity.
Although this is an easy class for the spectator to understand how its judged, rider’s generally need to experience the hunter and jumper for skill development before being able to handle a tougher jumper course.