Drag hunting - could we do it?

peanut

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21 November 2007
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We've been out on hound exercise with the drag hounds a couple of times this season and last but never been autum hunting. We both loved hound exercise and would like to do more.

My horse is 20 years old and up for anything but not very fit.

I know that the drag hounds follow a scent and there are lines for jumping. Are the lines at the end or during? Could we stand and watch the lines (I don't jump) or doesn't it work like that? Are there normally slower people/horses?

I'd love to take my horse but don't want to exhaust or break her. Is there the option for a slower ride at the back when she becomes a bit tired? Would she cope?
 
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The yard, home or coal face.....
I would suggest you go and watch the 1st meet. Usually there are 3 or 4 lines and each have jumps along them. Some are marked as hedge country etc on the card.

Some drag hunts will have 2 masters at some meets and the 2nd master will lead a non jumping field whilst the main field master takes the main field. If a meet is suitable for non jumpers it is usually marked on the card.
Generally weekday meets will have 3 lines and weekend 4, but not always the case.

Lines are each usually about 2 miles or so, this is ridden as a good hand canter at the front by the field master once hounds are on the scent, and often much quicker in the middle...
At the end of the line you'll have about 20 minutes rest, many will walk horses off to cool, or chat etc.
Then hounds are cast into the next line. The lines are often set in an arc, so the final line finishes back near the box park, enough to walk the horses off a bit.

Plesse please don't attempt to take an unfit horse or pony drag hunting, it's much more brisk than trail hunting.

I've taken a reasonably fit animal out but walked back after 2nd line when I felt the Fuzzy wasnt as fit as it should be. This was a good 5 mile walk back!
Usually mine are in hard work and v fit if dragging, capable of extended brisk work for long periods.

Which drag pack were you thinking of following?
Ps, autumn hunting isn't a term usually used with drag packs, its hound exercise meets or a drag hunt.
 

millikins

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7 March 2011
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My closest pack always offered a non jumping group led by one of the field masters. The jumps are on the lines, but you can go round most if not all, there was a warning on the meet page if any jumping was compulsory. I don't think you should take an unfit horse but you don't have to do all the lines, there is a pause after each and someone would direct you back to the horseboxes.
 

ester

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You are best speaking to your drag pack and they will know the best meet options for you but they do need to be fit.

Mine did most of his hunting as a 22/23 year old but he was the fittest he'd ever been as we had access to good hills for a change. The fitter they are the less risk of breaking them.
 

Kat

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25 January 2008
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Derbyshire
You would be best asking the hunt secretary, and maybe posting the name of the pack on here for specific advice.


The bloodhound pack I hunt with no jumping is ever compulsory. Some meets have none or very little others have a lot but there is always a way around.

This isn't the case with all hunts though. Some drag packs are all about the jumping.

The horse's age isn't a problem my friend's horse was jumping stone walls hunting with bloodhounds at 26, you do need to have them fit though.
 
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