The Wild Ranch Fall Challenge Hunter/Jumper show held earlier this month at the Colorado Horse Park had an entire ring dedicated to unrated classes for beginning riders. These ranged from Walk/Trot and Walk/Trot/Barely Canter all the way up to 18" Hunter Over Fences. Today's photos were taken during the five classes that made up the Pile of Poles Hunter division.
The Pile of Poles division is designed for riders who are just beginning their jumping careers. Entrants compete over a course of "jumps" that can best be described as two standards with a pile of poles between them. For safety reasons, the standards do not have jump cups.The most common gait for this class is a trot...
but a few of the more accomplished riders chose to ride the entire course at a canter.
After the Over Fences classes were completed, everyone came back to compete in the Pile of Poles Hunter Under Saddle and Pile of Poles Equitation on the Flat classes.
Even though this is a beginner division, lots of the horses were braided...
and most of the riders wore A show type attire.
|(If you look carefully, you can see the tall boots are actually paddock boots and half chaps)|
Of course, some kids went a bit more casual...
or, in this case, a lot more casual.
Honestly, this is not a bridle I'd ever expect to see at a big Hunter show no matter what the division!
It's not the Hunter Derby, but the Pile of Poles division can be a fun way to get a kind looking, slow moving model into the Hunter class.