Is hunting too much of a risk?

only_me

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was reading debate in H&H. got me thinking - i think hunting is what i have to do on my horse to get him faster xc as i think he is going to find getting novice time hard.
but the thing that worries me is jumping wire - i want to avoid this as he isnt the neatest in front
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but i have taken him hunting over a hunt ride at a local cross country course (jumps to advanced) and he jumped everything - but i want him to move up a gear xc.

what do you think i should do, and do you think hunting is too much of a risk for a competition horse?
 

Starbucks

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I don't think so, and you don't have to jump wire... or anything else you don't like the look of.
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Is your horse generally quite level headed and hardy?? If so I think you'll be fine... and i bet he will love it!!
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All our horses do/did hunt a lot and the only time they seem to get injured is doing stupid stuff out in the field or out hacking!!
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seche

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All of ours hunt barr one who did used to explode he died sadly on Alan Kings gallops due to a brain haemorage - could explain why he was abit bats...

I know alot of eventers hunt their horses but dont go hammer and tong up the road jarring legs etc -but just out for a jolly I see nothing wrong with it. - my mums best NH race horse (holds 3 course and distance records) hunted all though his racing career to keep him sweet. Pippa hunts her babies, certainly used too at any rate.

If you dontlike the look of it you dont have to jump it.. give it a go.

NB all of ours hunt with boots on though - both front and back. & unless it was a very thick hedge I wouldnt knowingly point my horse at a wire fence.
 

Sarah_Jane

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I would love to hunt Sarnie and think it would do her the world of good but to me she is too valuable. It may be different if I as a different hunting country but we have a lot of stone banks and it needs a very different type of horse to Sarnie really. If I was somewhere wih hedges and post and rail mainly then I would consider it.
 

seche

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SJ bring her up to play with us! - I choose my meets and dont go unless on foot if its been mega wet - my horses tendons dont need a good wrenching! plus I havent hunted a "full day" in years I come home round about 3pm.
 

KatB

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I have hunted my horse, but choose the meets carefully. However, I ahve made a decision not too any longer as he just hasnt got the right brain for it and puts us both at risk on occasions!!
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Hunting is educational for them though, and if my horse ever settles a bit I would prob still take him.
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Darkly_Dreaming_Dex

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Why not start off with Bloodhounds or Drag hounds as they are just as much fun but more like the hunt rides you have done as they tend to be over man made fences and the lines of jumps are determined before you start- takes the randomness out of it. Then when you realise we are not nutters you can come proper hunting with the foxhounds
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seche

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Thats an idea! - I grew up hunting with the Coakham Bloodhounds - some of the best fun ive ever had in my life on a horse out with them!!! Wish they werent in Sussex!!! Still id recomend hunting to anyone... there is often a non hard core jumping frat who you could stick with?
 

LEC

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I hunt everything but again am ultra fussy about where I will go. I will not hunt an eventer over ditch country as they get very wary about water jumps as our main rhynes are huge open water. It also does nothing for their jumping technique as ditches are done from walk/trot and they they learn to crouch and get very flat. Will jump hedges with wire in though as long as wire is well below hedgeline. My horse really enjoys it and it made him much better thinking xc.
 

Jade2007

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I wouldn't hunt my pony because he is fairly old (16) and has had a lot of wear and tear and old injuries, that if brought back up would probably end up in having him put down. However, I used to hunt my last pony who was 19 quite happily. It depends on the horse and the hunt! The one I used to hunt with wouldn't jump wires etc. because there was alot of kids that went (we still jumped a lot, just nothing extreme).
 

wench

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my horse was previously hunted with quorn/atherstone before I got him, never done xc, but he gallops well and isnt scared of the fences!
 

Laafet

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Go hunting it is so much fun. I took Murphy and it improved his dressage and attitude to loading so much. I went initially with the Bloodhounds and then as I was fortunate enough to live in Heythrop and OBH country went with them as it was pretty much over the same country as the Farmers Bloodhounds. I plan to take Tarquin this year as I believe it will help him grow up some more and its nice to let them have some fun esp if they do dressage all the time. I am very careful about the ground etc but ATEOTD they are horses and going out with a load of other horses must be much more enjoyable than going in circles in a school every day!
 

Halfstep

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If my dressage horse didn't have legs of glass he'd be going cubbing this autumn. He still might........

My showjumper (jumped grand prix tracks and was my YR horse) hunted most winters. But we never jumped wire or anything serious; ditches and stone walls were about it. He loved it though - took everything off a SJ stride and scared the living daylights out of the rest of the field.
 

MillbrookSong

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Have hunted song a few time and the morw he went the better he was - eneded up a right pro meets port in one hand food in the other!! Lol

But think its great for youngsters to hunt just to find there footing as not everything they meet XC will be on the perfect stride!!
 

kick_On

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I do and would always take new horses hunting to give them confidence jumping ditches, rhines and hedges, tree stumps etc... And if you have a backwards thinking horse it can given them the GRRR factor.

Not all horses are suited to hunting, as to have a good hunter is just a valueable as say a good PN/N horse but seasons are at different times of year. So if you only have one horse i would say you need to pick what you prefer most. But going out for odd day wouldn't hurt, but go out with 'old hand' who know country your going over, so can steer you pass things like wire in hedge, doogie hedges with boggy landing etc...

Out hunting you can nearly always avoid jumping and still stay up front (with local knowledge) and IMO that's the best place to be, as you stay out of trouble.

The thing to do is go out 'autumn hunting' to see if horse has right attitude, as it can be a total nightmare if they will not stand at cover, or go mad when hounds speak and pop out of cover!!, or 'god forbit' kick hound (you will be send home for this!!!)

I've hunted on both my eventers to give the confidence over country. One is totally star (a bit fast) but will stay up front all day and jump anything. And the other i will never take again, cos he kept bolting
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, but it did teach him to jump hedges tho!!! (and he's the better eventer)
 

only_me

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he has been proper hunting about 3 times, has seen hounds ect. he rather liked the hounds, he tried to "groom" them
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he will stand still when the rest of the field is standing still, and the thing is he will jump anything happily (he has jumped HUGE irish bank on his own which is advanced jump ) its just to get him to move up a gear?
 

kick_On

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ooo hunting will defo teach horse to really gallop. I would suggest you find yourself an 'old hand' to go with and who will help you with your hunt country, so you can have good day and avoid risks that you don't wish to take.

But it's not only the ground you have to worry about, tis other horses and riders!!!. What i do is, at meet i sit there and work out which horses and riders i don't wish to be stuck in gateway with, all the stamping, swishing horses and also riders who didn't know the frontend from backend, avoid them like plague!!!
 

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[ QUOTE ]
What i do is, at meet i sit there and work out which horses and riders i don't wish to be stuck in gateway with, all the stamping, swishing horses and also riders who didn't know the frontend from backend, avoid them like plague!!!

[/ QUOTE ]

I do that, but I think I'm a magnet for them, they always pop up next to me no matter where I am in the field!

Hen loves his hunting, it's what he does best, just wish he would translate it onto the XC field!! Although he went hunting long before he went XC and never batted an eyelid at XC fences, so I don't know what he would of been like if he hadn't hunted first!
 

Skhosu

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I am not that fond of hunting nice horses tbh as if you have a nice horse, the risk of them hitting something/being kicked etc. is reasonable!
Plus my horses head was completely blown so I may be slightly biased!
 

sw123

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All ours go hunting, usually they're bought as hunters!!! The only one who won't is my homebred 5yo because she's a bitch and would kick others and it would wind her up too much she's already sharp and v bold!!! 4yo will be cubbing between Burghley and the PAVO champs!

I pick my days, i'm not uber fussy over the ground, they have to learn to go in mud but wouldnt do it day in day out. Tog the grey in my signature has done 5 seasons with me and probably did twice a week for half of each of those. We jump dry stone walls up here which aren't everyones cup of tea but if you're on something that jumps you're fine. If they didnt jump we wouldnt have them!! I dont jump wire though. I have also had some fabulous days out with Quorn, Tog is a real hedge hopper and up at the front is great fun over the biggest country.

If you're sensible its a good thing for horses and no i dont think they're too precious for it, a lot could do with a good seasons hunting!
 

H-J

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Ive hunted everything ive had and loved it
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Only one I wouldnt take is Dexter, he would love it but just isnt hardy enough and would gallop flat out to be in front and go sideways non stop!! He jogs when I hack out with one more person!!

I will definitely be taking dougal a few times b4 xmas this year
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Winston was bought as a hunter and I have hunted him.
He loves it and is a real gentleman.
Funny enough he hates deep going, and doesnt feel safe jumping in it.
I took him out with the Bicester a few times in very wet condidtions and it helped enormously.
We have big hedge and post and rail country, although I usually go in the week as they tend to be quieter days (50 ppl) and you can pick and choose your lines better.
My old horse went, but like yours HJ he was very nutty lol
My old mare also went and was brilliant the first few times but it blew her brain and she wasnt safe after that.
 

Baggybreeches

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I hunt my big lanky TB 'properly' with our hunt, quite often I have had people look at him and say 'its not really TB country'! But TBH he is an absolute gent, he plugs through the mud, goes on the flint paths up on the hills and is also good at gates or holding horses. BTW I hunt for P2P qualification and he stays out all day (unless I get tired!).
You say the problem you have is with getting the time at Novice? Some advice Ginny Elliot was given by *I think* trainer Micheal Dickinson leading up to the 1984 olympics, was to train Night Cap or Priceless like a NAtional Hunt horse instead of the way an event horse was trained.
 

Fiona

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Come out with us (bloodhounds), about 30 jumps on an average day (walls, ditches, hedges and some XC fences), can be nearly 60 fences on a good day. Let me know nearer the time, didn't get many visitors last year due to the wet weather after Xmas, so the master would be very keen to get some new folks out.

Let me know.

Fiona
 

flyingfeet

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I would never hunt my decent horses, I think its nuts to take them over wire, rabbit holes with a bunch of t*ssers that either use you for brakes or get so close their horse can easily kick you.

You get wet muddy and damage your horse, not exactly my idea of fun.

I might take the less precious horse out cubbing, still not a huge fan as the people in our area are generally very stuck up.
 

Fiona

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Honestly - its brilliant. I had hunted Ben for years with the local harrier pack before we moved house and he jumped wire etc OK, but I didn't want to risk S (as a v gormless backward 5yo). After a season's hunting with the bloodhounds she is an XC machine (2 blips in 4 years). Let me know in the autumn!!

Fiona
 
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