What is a 'hunt horse'?

soloequestrian

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Totally naive question - I've never been hunting or even seen a hunt. I have a project horse who loves his hacking and in passing a few people have mentioned that he might make a good hunt horse. I've never jumped him and to me hunting is synonymous with jumping - the pictures in H&H mag are always of people sailing over massive hedges or ditches. Is this not the case? Are there some who go hunting just as a sort of social hack?
 

spacefaer

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A hunt horse lives at the Kennels and is ridden by the hunt staff

A hunter is one ridden by anyone else following hounds, from the Masters, Field Master and members of the field.

It totally depends which packs you hunt with as to how much jumping is available and what sort.

For instance; if you are hunting on Exmoor, you'll never need to leave the ground. Packs in Leicestershire are traditionally known for their hedge country.

It is not essential to jump with any pack, but you are more likely to get left behind with some jumping packs than others.

My local pack always jumps but very rarely more than hunt rails - max 90cm.
 
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The yard, home or coal face.....
Prime requirement of a hunter is that it does not go nuts when in open fields in company.

Some settle to that really well, others never do.
It also needs to stand quietly when asked to.
Never raise a hoof to a hound.
Travel sensibly in the field without pulling and jump anything asked (within reason!)
Generally all round pleasant equine.
Mannerly hunters are very sought after :)
 

utter-nutter

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It also needs to stand quietly when asked to.
Never raise a hoof to a hound.
Travel sensibly in the field without pulling and jump anything asked (within reason!)
Generally all round pleasant equine.
Mannerly hunters are very sought after :)

this ....though many hunters are a 'work in progress' well thats my excuse for my 'hunters' occasional interesting behaviour :rolleyes: i agree with being sort after, the 'perfect mannered' can go for ££££+
 

spacefaer

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A good hunter is sound, hard and tough. It doesn't need to have perfect conformation but it helps with soundness (and indeed some legends of the field have been distinctly odd looking!)
Needs to have impeccable manners around other horses and hounds
Needs to stand when asked, even with others galloping off, alone or in company
Needs to be prepared to jump from any pace, in random going, in company or alone.
Must have brakes!
Must have comfortable paces (as you'll be sitting on said horse for hours!)

You get the gist - a good 'made' hunter is an absolute pleasure to hunt. .. and it takes time to put that level of education in
On average, a couple of seasons. Which is why a made hunter is (or should be) lots of money!
 

Shay

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Stand still whilst you stand in your stirrups and turn slightly to have a wee
Thats a male perspective - although I have to say I've not seen someone do that in the feild in nearly 50 years hunting. Perhaps they have too much manners around me - although I have seen many (male and female) hop off to the purpose! Held a few horses too!

I suspect everyone has a slightly different perspective of what a "hunt horse" is. Of course technically as others have said a horse in hunt service - although that may well be what folk meant when they mentioned it to you.

A hunter is mannerly - in the extreme. Definitely has a "third leg" and is built to stay sound.

A hunt horse can - in some ways - be more difficult. The riders are (usually) better and can put up with a bit of mucking about. 100% with hounds. Happy to go alone. Jump anything - pretty much under any circumstances. But if it pulls a bit, lacks breaks etc - its at the front. If its a bit of a pest in the stable - they are more able to cope. They need to be independant, strong willed but absolutely love thier job. It needs to load - although I once had a master's horse injured I could not get to load for love or money! And must be good with hounds. If it is sound, up for it and positive it may well suit as a hunt horse.

Both hold their value very well - hunters particularly. If you have an eye on producing non competition horses for profit a proven hunter holds its value almost as well as a dessage horse. And for longer. But you do have to get them out hunting to get thier hunt references!
 
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