Movement & Frame
The show hunter has long and low movement, meaning its strides are long and ground covering, and there is not much flexion of the horse's joints as it moves (also known as 'flat kneed' movement).
The action of the field hunter is efficient: the horse does not waste energy bending its legs any more than it has to. This relates back to the hunt field, where the horse had to work for several hours on end, often galloping, and inefficient movement would tire the horse more quickly.
The show hunter moves smoothly and freely, pointing its toes as it floats over the ground. It should not have excessive knee action, nor should its strides be short and choppy, both of which would make its movement less efficient. The horse should be forward, so it could jump if needed, but no faster than necessary.
The horse must always be in a balanced frame. This, too, relates back to the hunt field, where a horse had to be balanced in order to cope with the changing terrain, sometimes sudden change of direction, and surprising fences. The frame of the show hunter differs from that of dressage horses, eventers, and show jumpers, as it travels in a long and low frame, with its head moderately extended. Its frame is more "stretched out" than horses competing in dressage, eventing, or show jumping, but the horse should not be on its forehand. The riders of show hunters often ride on a slightly looser rein than seen elsewhere to facilitate this type of movement, and the horse carries its head just in front of the vertical.
Although the horse is in a long and low frame, it should still be able to collect its stride when asked. The horse must also be proficient at lengthening its canter stride while still maintaining its tempo and rhythm.
The walk of the show hunter is free and ground-covering; the trot should be balanced and flowing. The canter should be moderately collected. The horse should have a long galloping stride (12 feet is the expected length), but it should still be balanced and rhythmic.