Hunter Princess Blog Hop – A Princess Stereotype You Break

Hunter Princess Blog Hop – A Princess Stereotype You Break

I use the term “Hunter princess” pretty tongue in cheek, because a lot of people in the horse world don’t.  Sometimes us hunter gals are associated as the Barbies of the riding world, and that stereotype isn’t usually earned or even fair.  Of course… there are exceptions – aka someone who used to ride at my local show circuit with a hole in her riding glove so her giant engagement ring could stick out… true story.

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In reality though, a lot of people in the horse world think us hunter girls are entitled riders who are scared to get out of the ring and don’t ride as well as the average eventer (not that I don’t love my eventer friends).

This week for the blog hop, let’s tackle this stigma.  Is there a way that you “break the mold” of the stereotypical hunter princess?

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For me, I definitely don’t fall in the “hunter riders have made warmbloods and they don’t do anything.”  If you’ve read my blog for 2 minutes, you’ll quickly realize that a) my horse is not made b) my horse is not a warmblood.  That doesn’t mean he’s a bad horse, but we will never look like the fat dumbbloods (I say that lovingly, I adore warmbloods) people expect to see in the hunter ring.

Every triumph has not come without work, that’s for sure.  And you know, I’m not knocking the people that have the big fancy warmbloods either.  We all have our struggles.  Perfect horse?  Maybe that rider has a lot going on personally they’re dealing with.  More likely though, the “perfection” you’re seeing is the result of years of money, hard work, and time.

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So what about you readers – what stereotype do you break in the “hunter princess” mold?  Every discipline has their stigmas too, whether it be dressage or western or even halter showing 🙂

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16 thoughts on “Hunter Princess Blog Hop – A Princess Stereotype You Break

  1. I know one of the biggest stereotypes for Hunter Princesses is that they’re all a bunch of snobs, but every single hunter rider I’ve met has been just as nice and helpful as any eventer. Plus I really wish I could jump around a stadium course like one.

    1. True. I think that stereotype exists a bit for dressage riders too, which is not the case with a lot of dressage riders I have met. And like you, I wish I could hack as well as they ride a intro test 🙂

  2. I use to actively participate in the hunter world so I think I can fairly say this… while no, not everyone is a “hunter princess,” the stereotype is pretty prevalent. I think that’s one of the things that frustrated me about it. It was really hard to get ahead if you didn’t have zillions of dollars. And quite frankly, it was true that a lot of girls were going around on made horses and could ride those horses well, but couldn’t necessarily ride anything challenging.

    BUT, like you said, not everyone is like that! I, for one, was not. And I still did quite lovely on the local circuit. And I honestly believe my *free* *thoroughbred* would do really well even on the A circuit, if I put time and effort into it. (Secretly, I plan to do that one day just for fun…) And I do think some of the hunter eq has gotten terrible- the whole falling up your horses neck and pushing your legs way back to make it look like their jump is bigger or something? (Ugh, it has taken me years to get rid of that bad habit) BUT – George Morris, hunter god, abhors this, and it sounds like you get correct coaching on correct basics. So again, you see a lot of it but it’s not everyone!

    And I laugh about your eventer remark- I thought eventers were just crazy people who were too lazy to learn how to ride properly? That’s the stigma I hear a lot 🙂 I think the upper-level eventers obviously have to really learn how to ride… but there are a lot of peeps running around Beginner Novice – Training (ugh, and even beyond) that will make you pee your pants watching them. They give us a bad name, as well 🙁

    1. I’ll admit – that’s the stereotype I had of eventers as well. Guilty! It took taking lessons at a nice event barn in MA and meeting/learning more about upper level eventers for me to realize that ‘ok, these people aren’t all crazy yahoos galloping over everything in their path’. 🙂

      1. No, not everyone… but there’s plenty of crazy ones, as in everything I suppose! I think in every discipline there’s the half that earns the bad rep, and then the half that does it right- but people tend to remember the bad over the good, hence the prevalence of the not as nice stereotype 🙂

  3. Unfortunately in the 4H Hunter world, the kids are all rich, snobby, and complete jerks (talking from experience in my area only) so I didn’t have a great impression of Hunters. However, reading blogs of Hunter riders has really changed my original view of them, though I still don’t understand the Hunter world very well!

  4. I’m a proud Hunter Princess… minus having the fancy horse, fancy french saddle, & $$$. haha
    I’d say I’m more a conservative hunter princess though. I don’t really do the “bling.”
    I will say that while I am not scared to get out of the ring, but getting out of the ring and going galloping, uhhhh no. haha I’ve done that a few times, it was awesome and terrifying. I’d rather not die anytime soon haha
    Also, its meant to look like we don’t do anything! 😀

    1. I would like to add that I worked very hard for my lessons. In 8th grade, I worked at the barn from 8am til who knows when on Saturdays and Sundays for one lesson a day. Can’t tell you how many times I was used as my trainer liked to say a “human lunge line”. I use the hunter princess term loosely haha I think I just like to think I’m a hunter princess. I’ve only officially owned a horse once, and that was by pure chance. My trainer gave him to me, so I would have something to ride while I was a working student at an A circuit barn in Alabama. To me, I like to think that hunter princess just means you like the fancy things, but you can ride well (or you want to learn) & who cares what your horse costs 😀

  5. This is a great subject! Although I love the hunter ring, I would never really be able to call myself a princess. I worked for each and every ride as a kid/teen. Since my parents refused to buy me my own horse, I rode anything and everything I was given, and did pretty well with them as well. And while I can get a bit jealous of those huge, made horses that pack their riders around the ring, I know personally, I wouldn’t be the rider I am today without those obstacles growing up! It’s a more diverse hunter world than it seems!

  6. Definitely every discipline has that crowd that gives them a bad name. Dressage queens or Hunter princesses, etc. I have a step-niece who rides western and the amount of money her family drops on showing, lessons and horses made me about faint! But, there are always those riders who have to work for everything they get, too. I’ve found that in most disciplines if you look around you’ll find some pretty great people. And like you said just because someone is riding an expensive horse doesn’t make them a “princess.” How you are raised is more important, in some ways, than how much money you were raised with!

  7. I think it depends on the “crowd” at the show. I did mainly eventing but did a hunter show as well when I lived in Texas ten years ago and the crowds at both places were decent. Now that I’m in FL, I’m finding both crowds to be less friendly. One local schooling hunter show I did a ladie’s horse got loose and we were worried of it running on the street – no one even helped her get the horse! She was there by herself (had no friends with her) and so people from my barn and I helped find her horse. At the event I did in TX, you’d have 20 ppl trying to catch a horse! A hunter show I did in FL, I would say “hi” or give a compliment to another rider and they would stare at me like I’m stupid. I think it depends on each individual person if they’re a snob, not an entire group.

  8. I think there is a big difference between a hunter rider (lots of respect) and a hunter princess (eyeroll). I use the terms accordingly.

  9. I have a different perspective on this now having been primarily eventing/ dressaging for the past year+. Prior to starting to event I had only seen the lower level stuff around locally that was honestly terrifying at times. That said there are scary riders in all disciplines. Now that I am more interested in it I also watch the bigger rated shows and there are some flat incredible riders. I have a whole new respect for trying to kick butt at 3 different phases in 2 or 3 days. When I “own” my hunter princess hood it is normally in regards to my turnout and the items (horses) that I pine over.

    As a hunter “princess” rider my riding/ barn life was totally different. My horse only got a few hours of turnout, I never had any hint of color for saddle pads, and I rarely rode outside of the ring and when I did it was usually at a walk with me shaking in my boots. As a eventer transplant I now hack out alone and in company – and love it (at WTC and even gallops!) and while I still stay pretty reserved when compared to the stereotype that eventers are all loud and colorful I am embracing the fact that I now have THREE different phases to shop for, I can wear my new found love pants with segmented butt leather (FITS) – a hunter no no for sure! and I am much more independent and self sufficient. Some of these changes also have to do with the fact that I was in highschool for one part and now I am an adult.

    Interesting topic! I have enjoyed reading the posts thus far.

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