As much as I love hunters, I have to admit that their tack is pretty boring. Nearly every horse at a big hunter show will wear a bridle that looks like this. It will have a raised browband and caveson, laced reins and some sort of snaffle bit. Occasionally you will see a pelham bit, but this is not the place for individuality. The name of the game is fitting in, not standing out.Fortunately, this is not the case in the jumper ring! Jumpers are scored rather than judged, so turnout can run the gamut from traditional hunter style elegance to walk on the wild side individuality. Here are some of the looks I spotted today while watching the Children/Amateur jumper class at the High Prairie Spring Preview II show.
This cute horse almost looks like a hunter--except for that blue flybonnet! Here's another horse with a hunter type bridle--in this case it's the draw reins (and the too long to braid mane) that give him away.Unlike the previous two horses, everything about this grey horse's bridle screams jumper. He has the bling-y browband, a figure eight noseband, a three ring bit with bit guards, rubber reins and a running martingale.This cute little paint is wearing a bridle with fleece covered cheekpieces. These work a bit like blinkers on a race horse. They block the horse's backward vision and (hopefully) help him focus on the jumps in front of him. He is also wearing a pelham bit with a bit converter and rubber reins.Here's another full blown jumper style bridle. Note the bling-y brow, figure eight noseband and gag bit which has been properly equipped with two reins.Lastly, here's a jumper in a English type hackamore. Alison Bennish sells this kind of hackamore cheek piece in model scale. I'm pretty sure I have a pair in my parts and pieces box. It's high time I get those out and make them into something!