oh dear - i don't think we'll be hunting...


Well-Known Member
30 July 2008
So i went to the Atherstone Pleasure ride on saturday :s

He was very fresh in the morning but seemed fairly settled when we arrived. We set off (alone) but he could see 2 horses ahead and was being a complete pig. he was rearing, bucking, generally prancin gup the road. I kept calm and he seemed to settle a little bit as we left the road. I took him down a differant route for a bit so he could calm on his own.

It worked and we carried on the set route nicely and calmly. I began enjoying myself and we had a nice calm trot. Then, on the next bit of road, a big group, maybe 8 or 10 horses came trotting up behind. It was quite obvious that Charlie was upset about this and began messing about. I started to panic thinking he was going to hurt another horse, and everyone began to get annoyed. I kept apolagising and saying to walk round us, but instead 2 trotted past telling me I couldn't ride. :(
One of the ladies (a nice one) told me to stay calm and ride him forwards as he kept spinning and bucking. I have never seen him like this before and was quite scared and it didn't help that people kept saying horrid things.

I decided it was getting dangerous, pulled him off onto a drive jumped off and called dad to fetch us. I was so disapointed in myself for not carrying on but the more i thought about it, the more i think i did the right thing. We could have been hurt, or hurt someone else. Apart from the rude people, everyone else was very kind and asked if they could do anything.

Thay must've thought i was a right idiot - stood there, tears rolling down my face, trying to hold onto a ginger idiot who was flipping about, sweating buckets and squealing at the other horses.

I guess i'll have to put it down to experiance... :smirk:
I'm not sure hunting is for charles...


Well-Known Member
26 November 2008
I went on a pleasure ride with a friend once, and her horse was also a bit...upset. He calmed down a lot once we put in a few fast canters. It sounds like you encountered some very very rude people! Common etiquette dictates that if someone's horse is flipping out, you walk past. It's true that one of the challenges of endurance riding seems to be keeping calm when people are passing each other at all paces, but how are you and your horse supposed to learn that if you don't try it out?

I've only been hunting once, but I found it easier to keep the spooky pony calm(ish) there, because everyone was moving as a group. He didn't much like standing still, but he was happy to move at the pace of the field. You might find hunting easier for your horse than the pleasure ride, because you're not trying to work so much against the herd instinct there (trying to keep your horse from following the others).

I hope those more experienced on here will correct me if I'm spounting nonsense!


Well-Known Member
13 August 2008
Shropshire the undiscoverd county

don't take this too hard, find your local hunt and go out on hound exercise which sould start in mid august with basic road work and then move to full hunting in November.

start slowly and move them up and keep going forward.

good luck
4 December 2008
Rubbish, to be polite!

Hunts are very friendly and everyone started as a beginner. Anyone who says they didn't make an ass of themself at some point is telling porkies.

A horse new to hunting won't know what to expect and certainly won't expect to be out for several hours. After an hour he will have calmed down, and second time out he will remember

Early season is slower.

Stick with a group of riders towards the rear. Heroes at the front and survivors at the back.

Don't overtake - follow something bigger (as long as it doesn't sport red or green ribbons). If you use it as brakes, apologise. I'm aware that smaller people use my 17hh for this purpose and its OK because he doesn't mind - but some do.

Remember the "fools, complete fools and those who hunt in snaffles" quote. You have to be able to stop an overexcited horse without falling off.

Sport a green ribbon and tell everyone you're new. You'll get a lot of advice, new friends and plenty of slack.

Just don't become a cause celebre like we had last season when a visitor who was clearly an excellent rider on a very fast pony thought the whole scene was an excuse for a hooley. She'd come from the back and overtake people close on either side leaving a trail of spooked horses (and riders).


Well-Known Member
25 October 2006
I think you did really well and it's such a shame you encountered a bitchy group, how horrible. To be honest I take my lad on fun rides alone but it's a lot to ask - I think you'll find hunting quite different and perhaps easier!

Could you try another fun ride with a sensible horse and pal to escort you? I'm sure you'd be fine then. My lad would be perfect but I am too far away from you! Definitely don't give up on the hunting idea, or even fun rides. I think you were unfortunate and that nasty comment hit home and dented your confidence. You were actually doing fine!!!