Advice for hunting newbies

Joined
23 November 2011
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Oxfordshire
Hunting newbie advice please... :)
Are running reins acceptable for hunting? I use them on my mare for polo but am not sure if they are accepted as suitable for hunting? :confused:
I dont use them at home for hacking/schooling etc, just fast matches where she is likely to get over excited... she may not need them (fingers crossed!) but if she is very strong it would be nice to have a back up plan!
 
Joined
24 November 2011
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Lancashire
I love the idea of hunting, but how can I get involved if I don't know anyone else who hunts?

I've recently returned to riding and am still well out of the loop, riding at a RS isn't really conducive to friend-making. Is it going to be just a case of getting to know people and taking it from there?
 
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I love the idea of hunting, but how can I get involved if I don't know anyone else who hunts?

I've recently returned to riding and am still well out of the loop, riding at a RS isn't really conducive to friend-making. Is it going to be just a case of getting to know people and taking it from there?
It helps to know someone...makes that first toe in the water less terrifying... I don't know anyone hunty, per se, but I met some people at local shows who hunt occasionally and I went with them this Saturday.

Can you...join a riding club? Or find out if your local hunt does hirelings?

Good luck and enjoy!
 
Joined
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Lancashire
I know there are people about who have hirelings, but I don't want to go to the trouble of contacting people, and finding and paying for a hireling only to be told "we don't know you we don't want you get lost"
 
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I know there are people about who have hirelings, but I don't want to go to the trouble of contacting people, and finding and paying for a hireling only to be told "we don't know you we don't want you get lost"
Golly no, don't think that would happen. It's in the hireling place's best interest - and the hunt's - to ensure they have repeat business. So I am sure you would have fun, meet people and want to go again.

You could also attend some meets on foot and get talking to people...
 
Joined
31 December 2011
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Hi I just went to first hunt on boxing day and loved it! Unfortunately that was on my aunts horse in Shropshire. i live in Bath, Sommerset. Have rang up about hirelings but v.expensive when added to cap. Anybody any ideas how i can get involved. Thanks
 
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10 November 2011
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Hi I just went to first hunt on boxing day and loved it! Unfortunately that was on my aunts horse in Shropshire. i live in Bath, Sommerset. Have rang up about hirelings but v.expensive when added to cap. Anybody any ideas how i can get involved. Thanks
Hi Anna, Im really keen to get involved too but my share horse is not suitable for hunting and being a veterinary nurse money is tight for me so i understand your woe about the cost of a hire horse + cap etc.

I contacted my local hunt sec and she advised me to join the foot followers association to get to know some people and find out more.

Im sure if you contact your local hunt they will be very helpful as their always keen to adopt a newbie! I can't afford to hire this year so as much as it pains me im going to attend on foot and get to know a few more ppl and save my pennies hard for next winter and get involved then.
 
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13 March 2012
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Can anyone recommend good books for hunting with dogs...or just the best way to introduce dogs and horses too each other.

Many thanks in advance...
 
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23 November 2009
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Hi guys, i have a full tb mare who has apperently hunted before, my local hunts are the vwh, old berkshire hunt and the Duke of beauforts hunt, but the vwh says that the horse is a preffered 3/4 bred sturdy horse and needs to be bold...which she is not.. have any of you ridden with either the OBH or Duke of Beauforts and could tell me what they are like in the feild? Thanks
 
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Hi guys, i have a full tb mare who has apperently hunted before, my local hunts are the vwh, old berkshire hunt and the Duke of beauforts hunt, but the vwh says that the horse is a preffered 3/4 bred sturdy horse and needs to be bold...which she is not.. have any of you ridden with either the OBH or Duke of Beauforts and could tell me what they are like in the feild? Thanks
Hi!
most hunts suggest what type of horse is perfect... but that by no means that yours won't cope! A lot of hunts recommend a 3/4bred for the surefootedness and soundness, but with the right fitness work and schooling there's no reason a TB won't manage!

re the bravery - she may not be brave on her own, but if she's hunted before then the chances are she knows what to expect and will follow everyone else over fences! a lot of horses get their bravery this way! And if she doesn't you'll usually be able to go round!

try speaking to the hunts concerned, and go along to hound exercise, or autumn hunting and see! :) and let us know how you get on!
 

Bernster

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I've heard of hunts wanting 3/4 breds for their horses, hadn't heard of em recommending it for the rest of the field though.

All sorts and types are out hunting where I am, so wouldn't too much about that, as JenH says. It's more about fitness and temperament I think. Try it out and see, and let us know how you get on, bet you will have a blast. Lots of helpful tips on this forum for your first time out.
 
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11 September 2012
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For anyone new to hunting who live in the midlands, we are having a hound excercise meet just of J13 M6 in Staffordshire on the 23rd September. Ideal for newbie people and horses, fun relaxed ride with optional jumping.

Its the Burne Bloodhounds, visit their web site for more details.

Regarding horses suitable for hunting, I ride lots of breeds including welsh sec D ponies to a 17.3 TB! depends on whether you want a horse to go all day and jump day after day or one that goes lame and knackers himself out within half an hour pulling like a train! gues which breed that is!
 
Joined
16 February 2012
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Malmesbury
This is a great post !!! :D
i have been hunting for a couple of years and both me and my mare love it !
politness is defo the key !!
although i wanted some poeples oppionions:?
i was out last week and a mother had her 2 children that were hooning all over the place like headless chickens, once we had to stand they were behind me and the kids ponies were not standing my mare spun round (she liked to face noises, in this case the kids) and in doing so brushed her bum along with one of the ponies. the mother went made saying i should go home because i made the pony lame (it wasnt lame and when she got the daughter to trot it up the road it was fine) i appoligised (even though i dont relly feel it was my fault) and she went on her way. i find these incedents can put a downer on the day so a message to any newcomer " if something like this happens just appolagise, offer to help and try and stay away from them for the rest of the day" if an incodent is seriouse i do beleive the best thing to do is call it a day and make your way home????
 
Joined
5 January 2013
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I would really like to get into hunting i have a hunter type horse who has hunted before. But i havent. I dont know where to start. Im in colchester essex but can travel. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
 
Joined
8 March 2014
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New Horse and New Rider - I have a rising 6 year old, owned for a few months. Been told he hunted as a 4 year old in Ireland, but i never have. Bit worried about going out for the first time - some hunts locally say you can go around the fences and they are small, but still nervous about what to expect. I am planning on a few sponsored rides etc in the spring to get used to 'open countryside'. Loads of Q's pop into head though. Will i need stronger bit etc. I'm based in Sussex - does anyone join any of the local hunts here?
Read the advice posted before and very helpful (even the PVC pants lol)
As an aside, it seems that every horse that comes from Ireland has hunted. Might be wise to take with a pinch of salt, and assume it hasn't!!
 
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8 March 2014
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I think a good piece of advice is to assume you WILL be at least anxious, if not terrified when you go out for the first time (and very often on many subsequent days!) Take it really easy. Try to identify someone at the meet who looks friendly and who you might be able to tag along with. Introduce yourself, and ask if you may follow them. Never be afraid to admit you are a little out of your depth; failure to do so can lead to injury! Remember that hunting can be, and often is a dangerous sport, so treat it with care. A normally almost comatose horse has the potential to turn into a frothing loony until they settle in.

Somewhere I read that hunting is one of the few places where one can approach a complete stranger and strike up a conversation. Take advantage of that. I am sure that you will find that you will be made very welcome. I always try to make the effort to spot 'newbies' and make them feel welcome. Be aware that some won't, but I think we are a pretty friendly bunch on the whole! And remember that we go hunting for FUN. Do whatever you have to do to make it so!
 
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8 March 2014
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Remember that we generally hunt over agricultural land, and it is an enormous privilege to be able to do so. These guys make their living from these fields, and you often never know who they are! So as a rule, smile or say good morning to anyone on foot. Sometimes traffic does get unavoidably held up by us, especially if hounds are moving to the next covert along the road. Wave at, say thank you to or smile at EVERY car that passes when the blockage has cleared - we are ALL ambassadors for our sport. And remember that the old bloke whose trousers are held up with string may be the owner of a few thousand acres across which you will hunt! At gates, let anyone whose horse is fussing through ahead of you - it may be you next time. Say please and thank you A LOT!
 
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8 March 2014
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Can anyone recommend good books for hunting with dogs...or just the best way to introduce dogs and horses too each other.

Many thanks in advance...
As a rule, only specially bred hounds are hunted with horses. It would go down very badly if you tried to let your dog join in with an organised hunt, although my whippety thing did the other day and caused much hilarity!
 
Joined
30 March 2014
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Midlothian, Scotland
Hi How do you go about finding your local hunt?? and do you have to be a member to go out on the hunt ride outs??? I live near to Peebles in the Scottish borders
Your nearest hunt will probably be the Lauderdale, however you're in travelling distance of the Buccleuch, Jed Forest and Berwickshire (and the Fife but getting over the bridge can be a nightmare sometimes). I live quite near you (Penicuik) and I hunt with the Berwickshire, mainly because I love the type of country they have (the Lauderdale is closer but their country is very hilly and my horse isn't really made for it). If you like jumping I'd recommend the Berwickshire or the Buccleuch as they seem to have the best jumping (from my experience), but there's always a way round if you don't want to.

You don't have to be a member to hunt, just call the hunt secretary (number's on the website) beforehand and let them know you're coming, they'll give you directions, tell you where to park etc. and then just pay the cap on the day!

I'm not sure about the other hunts as I've only hunted with them on joint meets but the Berwickshire were very welcoming when I first started hunting & if you're unsure of anything Lynne, our secretary is really helpful.
http://www.berwickshire-hunt.co.uk/
 
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When you join a hunt you are in effect joining a club and fundamentally, your dress code is out of politeness to the masters which dovetails in with 'tradition'

Ladies dress code for any pack of hounds after the Opening meet is either a Blue or Black Coat, well made and ideally tailored, of a weight to keep you warm on cold wet days, especially if you are hunting on Dartmoor or Exmoor.

Boots are as you say long boots, but normally simply referred to hunting boots with straps, same colour as the boot. i.e black, not white. White straps are only worn with tops by gentlemen who are either masters, hunt servants or have been invited to put up the button. Ladies do not wear tops, although I did once see a lady master in tops. I know ladies wearing tops are not unusual in the States.

Breeches normally fawn. beige or white

You are not correctly turned out if you are not wearing spurs - preferably snub nosed if you are not used to them. Again this is a subject that generates considerable debate especially on this forum.

Stock properly tied. No doubt ladies who post on this thread will have a variety of comments on shirts/stocks as to colour or patterns.

The females in my family go for all white with a stock pin horizontal.

Hat is all important for safety, with proper harness and ideally the same colour as the coat.

Prior to the opening meet, Tweed jacket with any of the above. Although a stock is not considered necessary or spurs. Gentlemen normally wear brown boots.

Suggest you visit Calcutts website https://www.calcuttandsons.co.uk/ where all your questions and requirements will be easily answered sorted. Most excellent people who have a very good second hand department.
 
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Joined
14 January 2017
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Excellent thank you. I actually found a lovely webpage that sells beautiful hunt gear on consignment. So it will be quite reasonable to be smartly turned out with out breaking the bank.

Thank you so much
 
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Excellent thank you. I actually found a lovely webpage that sells beautiful hunt gear on consignment. So it will be quite reasonable to be smartly turned out with out breaking the bank.

Thank you so much
Also, have a look on ebay, you can often find good quality second hand tweed/wool jackets :)
 
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The Internet makes one's location irrelevant
Excellent thank you. I actually found a lovely webpage that sells beautiful hunt gear on consignment. So it will be quite reasonable to be smartly turned out with out breaking the bank.

Thank you so much
One last piece of advice. You are coming from Florida and I assume you are American. The weather you are used to will in no way be similar to the UK. When you are hunting up on the Moor, the wind and rain can cut through you like a 'knife', if you are not properly kitted out. A good coat that shall we say fits in all the right places and does not allow draughts, especially if you are wet.

By the way we normally refer to hunting kit not 'gear'.

Also and this is the best advice I can give, make sure you wear Men's Thermal Long Johns, don't know what they are called in the States. Don't rely on Ladies Tights. You need to keep your legs warm. There are more folk falling off because they are tired, wet and their legs get cold, thus losing grip. Yes I know, on a really wet day, the thermals will get damp at worst wet but proper thermals stay warm.
 
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Im originally from Buffalo NY our weather was more like Northern Scotland. 4 - (-20) wind snow, sleet, rain from Dec- April. With meters of snow! And fair days of 18-32 through spring and summer. Fall is always mad with temps anywhere it feels like.
I moved to FL so as not to have to deaI with the frigid temps. I have thermals, silk and woolies. I do know how to layer for all seasons of horse activities.
 
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