Talking Tack with Robert Walker
Black Country Saddles sponsored showman Robert Walker discusses the importance of correct tack and turnout for Show and Working Hunters and provides advice on how to make your horse look his best.
First and foremost, it is important to realise that every class and type of horse is required to wear different styles of tack. However one thing is a necessity…. no matter what class you enter all tack must be fitted correctly and be comfortable for the horse. Turnout is also extremely important therefore special attention should be paid to how your horse looks in the ring.
Ideally, Show Hunters should be ridden in a double bridle and the noseband must be a simple, plain, flat cavesson. The size of the noseband used depends on the horse’s head. You can make a lot of difference to whether the head is large or small by making sure the noseband enhances the appearance.
I like Show Hunters to wear a straight cut saddle with a plain brown or black numnah. The Black Country Classic Show Saddle offers style and elegance when in the show arena.
It is straight cut to help accentuate the horse or pony’s shoulder but has a subtle knee roll to help keep the rider in the ideal show position.
The low cantle helps provide a flatter seat for a neater appearance with the close profile of the saddle helping to show off and enhance the overall picture which is so important in the world of showing.
For turnout, Show Hunters must be plaited with a neatly pulled tail. Make sure all whiskers, ears and heel feather is trimmed to give your horse a more defined outline.
For Working Hunters the turnout is the same as a Show Hunter however the tack differs. I would always opt for a General Purpose or Working Hunter style saddle which gives enough security for you to jump in, whilst at the same time does not cover too much of the horse’s shoulder, hindering the appearance.
Bright numnahs and square saddle pads are a ‘no no’ whilst brown or black numnahs – which aren’t too big for the saddle – are the norm. In Working Hunter classes you are also allowed to use a martingale if you need to.