This thread has been set up for people to post advice for hunting first-timers about correct turnout, etiquette and other useful tips. Please change the subject line to reflect the info being posted so it is easy to search.
This article will give you most of the information you need to know. I have been hunting for aboout 5 years and came from a completely unhorsey background; and I learnt from this article! I also wish someone had told me about all this several years ago!
If theres anything else you need to know I can try to help?
Hunting wll have finished for this season. But a good way to get started and involved is to join a hunt supporters club. Subs are very low, people very friendly (when they get to know you). www.mfha.co.uk.
It can be nerve wracking to start with as your horse may get silly, I found putting a red for kicker or green for novice ,ribbon in his tail helps to ward off bargers and gives you space to think, also .be firm and ride at the back with all the old ladies like me! your horse will defuse if he's not given liberties , time enough to get with the thrusters when he's learnt his manners.
Ring the seceratry first to check that they are allowing visitors that day.
Always say good morning to the master
Show your horse/pony the hounds at the meet
Pay your cap whilst at the meet (ask the seceratry how much it is at it does vary from hunt to hunt)
Always stay with and behind the fieldmaster unless otherwise told
Always follow the fieldmaster or hunt staffs instuctions - they are providing your sport
Always turn your horse to face to hounds when they pass and move out of the way for the hunstman or the whip
Wait your turn at a fence and if you hit a rail tell the fieldmaster straight away so they can get it sorted
Always shut gates
If you leave before the day has finished, ask the fieldmaster for they way home and say goodnight
If your horse might kick, red ribbon. If it is young or is its' first time out, green ribbon.
Only people over 18 should wear black/navy coats. Anyone younger should be in ratcatcher
Offer to open gates for hunt staff if they need to get through
Never ride on crops or stand on them. You are on the farmers land by their permission, and it is only fair to treat it respectfully
If you don't want to jump, don't panic there is always a way round and others who do not want to jump also.
If there is a gate next to a jump that you wish to go through, do not open it and go through it until everyone that wants to jump has jumped.
Do not obstruct the public on roads or elsewhere
Always thank the public even if they are rude or difficult
Go well into a field when leaving a road to give others room
Keep together crossing roads, and single file riding along roads
This may seem a little overwhelming but remeber:
Good manners corst nothing, bad manners could cost us our hunting.
First and foremost; have fun. The start of the day will seem like a rugby scrum but about 15 minutes in, it all calms down and is simply fantastic.
I am looking for a pair of breeches to wear hunting. I want a pair thats WARM and tough, that are an off white colour (some beige are nearly yellow) Having alot of trouble finding what I want. Any ideas?
There is some good advice for travelling on Ryan Air with your hunting kit on www.countrytalk.co.uk. It is on Stabletalk, Readers Tips. It is quite funny! i would like to go to Ireland and hunt and I wonder if you can hire jackets as well as hireling hunters?Travelling on low-cost airlines really can be a bit difficult.
A great way to introduce yourself to Hunting (and to socialse your horse to it) is going on summer rides. A hunt local to me (The South Notts) have summer rides - I went last week with them. They were amazingly accomodating, friendly and so helpful. All this hype about the arrogance of hunting folk is rubbish, I would invite any person to go on one of these rides and find fault with the attitudes. It was suggested to me that cubbing is an excellent way to introduce your horse as well. I look foward to some good days out with them next hunting season, and a fun summer of rides as well.
Yes, I agree! No-one knows how their horse will respond so don't just rock up to a busy hunt meet and then panic when your horse does its nut! Try and get them used to it with fun rides over the summer and start off at a smaller hound excercise meets in the autumn.
I went out this weekend and as the meet was at a big stately home there were 3x more people out than usual; obviously many hadn't hunted before and it was the almost the worse scenario to find out how your horse will react. I would say if in doubt go with a friend and stay right at the very back so if you can't handle your horse and want to bail out you don't cause chaos!!