Right, be honest, worth a go or waste of time?

caemar1

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Right, I need you to be brutally honest with me, I would rather this than make a fool of myself.

I have never seen a hunt, been hunting or had anything to do with it ever, but I fancy giving it a go.

One of the main reasons I want to give it a try is that I have a young horse, 5 at the min, and I am bringing her on slowly and have heard that hunting is a good education. (correct me if I am wrong here)

So, apart from the fact that I don't know what to wear, what to do etc, there is also the minor matter that my horse is actually a 14.1 part bred arab!

So, is it worth a go or will I get laughed out of town??

As she is a baby and we have only just started jumping at home I dont want to have to be going over huge hedges but would like to try and pop some small fences.

I live in Lancashire so I believe my nearest hunt is the Holcombe.

Any advice gratefully received!
 

BigRed

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I don't think it matters at all what type of horse you ride and I think people say hunting is a good education because it encourages the horse to go forward with others and jump things that maybe both of you wouldn't in "cold blood".

The things you need to think about are, whether your horse will be lit up and silly out hunting, because some do get very silly about it.

I have to say that I support hunting and went on all the marches in London. When I went hunting for the first and only time, I found the people to be very unfriendly and I felt a real outsider, so I never went again. I have several friends who hunt with the Surrey Union and I should have made an effort to meet them, but it was bad luck none of them were out that day.
 

Starbucks

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No - of course you won't get laughed at!!

It's the perfect time to want to have a go really because Autumn hunting will be starting soon - that will be a lot streadier and a good introduction for you both.

Do you know anyone who you could go with who is used to hunting? If not - call the hunt secretary and explain that you haven't been before, and ask what meets would be suitable for you.

In the mean time I'd try and get out to a meet (on your feet), just so you can have a look and see what does on.

Small warning - be prepared for your horse to be 10x more loopy than they have ever been before!! :p
 

nuffield

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Hi caemar, I hunt ,occasionally, with my pure bred arab! shes only 14hh. i only go occasionally because i have no transport , i've sold my trailer, and i can only go to meets which i can hack too [ TBH I could get a lift to other meets but i cant afford to hunt as much as i would like]. everyone is realy nice,helpful and encouraging. I first went on new years day 3 years ago after moving to this area, i knew no-one so had no introduction or buddy to go with.i'm rubbish at jumping and mostly go through gates, no one minds, its great fun. first step is speak to the hunt secretary, say your a newbie and you'll get loads of advice and encouragement and i'm sure they'll look after you.
Best Wishes
Jill
 

Maisy

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Last year, I had never been hunting, never watched a hunt or had anything to do with it, but like you had always fancied a go.....

My horse is a cob in the truest sense of the word....dragged out of a field in ireland, backed and then shipped over here to a dealer to be sold from what i can make out.....she is only 15h.

However, I found some of the friendliest 'horsey people' I have ever met on the hunting field and am now hooked!!

The only thing I would say, is that even my steady girl has sparked up considerably from going, and that if you are constantly fighting for breaks the whole time, it would be less enjoyable. My mare, who doesnt normally do anything that would consume more calories than absolutely neccessary, was cantering up the road on occasions..... :crazy:
 

conny

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it doesnt matter what kind of horse you have,ive seen all types from arabs to full clysdales and all horses in between,i dont think anyone cares.maybe if you ring the hunt and have a chat they will answer all your questions and might know someone that can nanny you for the day.
 

CrazyMare

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I hunt a 13.1h pony!! You will NOT be laughed at beacuse of your horse.

Call the secratary or ask around on the yard for people who go regularly. Maybe even someone on here hunts wiht your hunt who could nanny you the first time?
 

Chumsmum

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Worth a go!

I really would recommend going on foot to see what happens if you have never been before - you get to meet loads of people and can introduce yourself and learn lots without worrying how loopy your pony is lol.
 

Libbyn1982

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I used to hunt allsorts of ponies when I was younger as mine couldn't handle it in his head (slightly mental horse!!), sure you'll be fine with your arab. Where in Lancs are you? I have been out with NE Cheshire Drag Hunt a few times as they do a couple of novice hunts through the year which is a bit slower and most fences are optional.
 

Irishcobs

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We have 3 pure bred arabs that hunt with us at least once a week, your pony certainly won't be laughed at.
As the others have said give the secretary a ring.
 

CorvusCorax

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Do it do it do it!

My RI has a wee Arab who hunted last season and he was grand.
She takes her four and five year olds out to give them a bit of an education and they love it.

We follow in a car and on foot too, gives you a good idea of what to expect.
 

jules34

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Hi,

I'm thinking of going hunting too this year for the first time. A friend at my yard hunts her 26 year old NFxArab every autumn/winter and they have a fab time! I'm hopefully going with her on a training meet to get a feel for it.

If you look on the internet you'll probably find the hunt your planning on going with will have a good website with lots of useful info and a contact number. I think you should go for it - good luck!

Jules x
 

caemar1

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Thank you for all your encouragement everyone!

I am definately going to give it a try!

A friend of mine lives in a village where they set off from quite often so I will go with her one day to get a feel for it and then give the secretary a ring like you have all suggested.

Now all I have to do is to turn my fat pony into a fit pony, mine too tries to keep calorie use to the bare minimum!

I will let you know how I get on, thank you all again.
 

wizzi901

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It doesnt matter to real hunt people what you are riding, all that matters is the horse is capable of carrying you for a days hunting, it doesnt even have to jump.

There is plenty of info around on what to wear etc and most hunts are helpful and supportive, and pleased to have additional followers, we need it in this day and age.

Take and go and have fun!!

I will be hunting this season on a 14.2hh pony! - and I am long legged 38 year old so dont worry!
 

LindaW

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I hunt a Tersk - people often smile (kindly) and say how nice it is to see an arab out and about enjoying himself - he looks like an arab despite the pulled mane. There are a few arabs out hunting down my way, we always have a chat, and no one has ever given anything but compliments (though there was a bit of a silence our first day out when he reversed 20m circles at speed for a fair while every time we stopped - boxing day with Badsworth when they were just Badsworth - my first hunt also, he was a medium dressage horse before and was a bit excited bless him)

Now he's a hunt schoolmaster and has taken a couple of people out for their first time because he's so mannerly. Was about the third time out before he settled properly and got over himself.

I also hunt 2 pure bred trakehner mares, one bred backed and educated by me, 6yo. Again, not the sort you usually see out hunting, but they have both learned manners, same as the little chap, have a good attitude, and quite honestly are a pleasure to take anywhere.

Hunting is a good education for them, but you do have to be prepared for a few 'plungy wungeys' and not get too wound up about it - one of the reasons I prefer the bloodhounds, it's faster and your mounts have to be fitter, but they do get on with it so your horse has less time to stand around getting wound up, and learns to get on with the job.

I have seen one or 2 horses appear to blow up and one sent home by the master last season, so it's not for every horse, but as long as you are confident that you aren't over horsed, you should find it a blast.
 

haycroft

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i got a one off invitation to hunt with the old berks last one of the season... afriend of mine said i could borrow one of her horses from her yard...never rode it before until that day
i loved it and the horse looked(molly)afterhttp://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd56/draperslock/DSC00353.jpg im on the right(if its worked) ... as i havent been for ages ,every thing was borrowed appart from my hat of course

please give it ago ...i loved it...hope i get an other invitation this season
 

JenHunt

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definitely worth a go... as folk have said already, ring your local hunt secretary to find out when and where they are meeting - ask if there's a meet they would recommend for a newcomer to hunting (horse and rider), ask if there would be anyone who could help make sure you cope on the day, ask how much they charge for the day and if there's a 'cap' on top of that or if its included.

on the day itself - tack up as you would for fast work/ jumping usually. Maybe add a martingale or flash if don't already use one.
be prepared for your horse to be a bit silly (i always think they are worst the 2nd and 3rd times out though) but try to stay calm your self - deep breaths and keep concentrating on where you want her to go and how fast you want to go.

hunting is by far the best education for a horse. You teach them about behaving in company, about looking after themselves and their rider, about sorting out their own feet in rough ground, about learning to listen to you and to go forward when asked and to stand quietly when nothing else is going on.

My horse had done nothing but hunting when i got him, and whilst he is essentially an Irish draft x every instructor i;ve seen in the last 4 years is amazed at how good his rhythm and balance are 'for a big horse that hasn't been schooled'!! lol makes me laugh every time!!

make sure as well, when you get home you do everything in your power to look after her and make her comfortable and make sure she has settled down before you pack up for the night. Some horses carry on hunting in their heads for a while when you get back, and they can take longer to cool down, they might be restless or off their food for a couple of hours, but if your yard is quiet she'll soon settle down.
 

LindaW

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To add to that - do all of your mucking out and other jobs before you go, you'll be knackered too.

I always pop some nice dry rugs on mine and put them out for half an hour (assuming they are no longer sweating) to let them just relax and have a nice roll before tucking them all cleaned up into a dry stable with more dry rugs, and I go back down a couple of hours later to do feeds when they've had time to drink and nibble some hay. While they are in the field, I clean and sort the tack.

They always have the next day off in the field, and I got for a short hack the day after that, just in walk.

Expect to be stiff for a couple of days yourself too, to begin with.
 
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