Monday, June 27, 2011

Miniature horse hunters, part one

Most miniature horse shows offer hunter and jumper classes.  Like their full sized counterparts, miniature hunters are judged on their style, manners and way of going.  Unlike big hunters, the minis are led rather than ridden.
Tack requirements for this class are simple--the horse must wear a halter and lead.  Most of the competitors used a Western style show halter with silver plates.
However, a few horses wore plain leather halters, 
Arabian style show halters, 
or nylon halters.
No matter what type of halter, nearly every competitor used a flat leather lead shank, with or without a chain.
Although not required, a lot of the hunters are shown with braids.
Rather than hunt coats, tall boots and breeches, handlers wore Western type showmanship outfits minus the Western hat...
and in most cases, the cowboy boots.  Miniature horse hunter classes involve a lot of running so comfortable shoes are a must!
Classes are divided by the handler's age and experience.  At the Rocky Mountain Classic Show held last week in Estes Park, Colorado there was an Amateur Hunter class,
an Open class, 
and two separate Youth classes.
Miniature horse hunter courses include a minimum of four and a maximum of six fences.  Fences range from twelve to twenty four inches in height and five to six feet in width.  All jumps must include a ground line and standards can be no higher than forty inches.  Most of the hunter jumps at the Rocky Mountain Classic looked like this:
Additionally, there was a green roll top...
and a brick wall.
Also worth noting--striped poles are not a problem for miniature hunters.  They'll jump anything!
Up next--miniature horse hunters on course!


  1. I would love to do this in performance someday :D

  2. I loved showing a mini when I was in 4-H. They are such wonderful little horses!! I helped show another mini at Midwest Horse Fair one year, and I had the jumping horse. We started with pretty low jumps, and I think the highest we jumped was about 3.5 - 4 feet. I was funny because the first time he jumped the highest setting, he knocked the pole down the first time, and everyone "awww"-ed. The second go, he cleared it and got a ton of applause!

  3. I want to teach Ozzy's mini buddy to jump, and this makes me want to do it even more.

  4. oh man.... that was TOOOOOOOOOOOO cute...

  5. Adorable! Now if I could only talk my boyfriend into buying me one ;).

  6. Oh my goodness, they are too cute for words! I would love to see the "Hunters" competing in hunter bridles rather than western show halters...kinda don't look like "Hunters" in those pretty silver halters...Our neighbor has 3 minis, including an orphan foal that they have been raising. He is the cutest thing ever! Runs around the yard with the kids like he is a dog. Too cute!

    Great post - thank you for sharing all of the wonderful photos!

  7. So cute, I think the hobby needs a lot more jumping minis so we can have performance entries this cute!!!