Although it’s frustrating to have your hunter or jumper excused from the show ring due to refusals, don’t assume you have the right to school your horse over a more inviting jump before exiting. According to U. S. Equestrian Federation rules, as of April 1, 2007, hunters are not permitted a schooling jump after 3 refusals.
Jumpers are also supposed to leave when asked. And when is it time for them to exit gracefully? Jumpers competing in divisions below Level 5 (3’9”-4’) can accumulate 3 refusals before hearing the whistle. However, higher divisions are excused after just 2 refusals.
Since the majority of hunter and jumper shows operate according to USEF rules, it’s wise to be familiar with USEF rules, even if a particular show isn’t rated. That way you won’t appear ignorant and the judge will appreciate your timely exit.