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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 1999
    Location
    Lovely Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Default Tennessee Valley Foxhunting Clinic.... What would you want to learn?

    The Tennessee Valley Hunt will be having a Foxhunting Clinic August 29 at its kennels in Strawberry Plains, TN near Knoxville. I have been put in charge of organizing it and am looking for ideas that folks think would be an asset to the clinic.

    It will be for all ages, all levels of riding/hunting experience and open to the public (not just current members).

    Here are some of the highlights:

    Preparing yourself and your horse for the hunt field
    Gymnastics for a more careful & clever horse
    Etiquette in the hunt field
    Riding across country
    A hound walk, introducing your horse to hounds
    Following over jumps

    I am open to suggestions to make this the best foxhunting clinic ever.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2007
    Location
    Meadowview VA
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    Everything you listed sounds good to me!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2006
    Location
    Franklin, TN
    Posts
    737

    Default

    Ah, I know your hunt country pretty well, though it's been years ( I whipped there professionally in 1990/91) How about helping folks develop a fitness program for horses, based on breed, weight, temperament....I see more horses injure themselves due to lack of fitness than anything else.
    I remember always telling folks it was better to get on and do two 15 minute trot sets a day, with 5-10 minutes walking in between, than to go out for two hours on one day a week.
    Include adjusting stirrups for maximum efficiency, and teaching a solid xc seat with a solid base on the lower leg...far too many people start out with their stirrups too long, no bridge in their reins, and feel precarious because they are tipping up on the neck.
    Sounds like a great start!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2005
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    6,228

    Default

    How about ordering a bulk supply of Wadsworth and gifting them to recipients as a 'clinic completion award?'

    Etiquette 'and terminology' in the hunt field- what 'hold hard' means, 'reverse field' 'hounds please/staff please,' 'ware hole', etc, draw, check, cast, 'lieu in,' 'try back,' etc. (Please teach 'em right-none o' that 'ware staff'!

    Under preparation- the merits of 'bitting up.'

    Fashion show- willing models to show ratcatcher and 'basic' formal attire.

    Huntsman demo of the various horn calls and what they mean.

    Riding xc should include the dynamics of riding in a group (including, no tailgaiting, red ribbon, signal behind back 'warning my horse is thinking of kicking', etc)

    Those are what pop into my feeble mind at the moment...must go pack for my weekend jaunt now!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2000
    Posts
    2,426

    Default

    I think the clinic should include how to handle things like field reversals, staff back, etc. I've been out with some hunts and when the fields are checked up on a trail they are scattered all over the trail. It can make for a dangerous situation for staff or for a first flight reversing back through the second.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2007
    Location
    Meadowview VA
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    Ok, my newest post is lost somewhere in space...That's ok, because in the interim I had a piece of peanut butter pie for breakfast.

    The suggestions jogged my memory as to what we did when I was in college.
    (rode at Oak Manor in Weyer's Cave, Va).
    For lessons, we would go out hacking and practice hunter exercises-all horses walking, last in line would trot to front of line; all horses trotting, last in line canter to front of line. We did do the hold hards, usually in the arena cantering or hand-galloping. At another barn we would be out and open/close gates while mounted.
    Haha and once at Oak Manor three of us were out, me, the owner, and the coach. I was mounted on a former MFH horse, a black TB named Flagpole and he decided as a former MFH mount, HE should lead the "field". I did get him stopped before we crashed into the woods. Good times, good times.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 29, 2008
    Posts
    1,018

    Default Ok, stupid question...!

    is this a clinic where you bring your horse and practice getting him acquainted with what riding in a hunt field would be like? Please say yes! Or is it just for your brain?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2007
    Location
    Meadowview VA
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    Hey Mortebella,
    I am coming without any horse as all of mine need more training (not to mention that I am out of shape ). So I am "auditing" the clinic, I reckon! However, I'm pretty sure it is a clinic for riders and horses.
    Try TVH's website to see what it says.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 29, 2008
    Posts
    1,018

    Default Squee!

    It says live hunt with hounds on Aug. 30!!! Squee, squee, squee! Can you tell I'm excited?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 29, 2008
    Posts
    1,018

    Default

    3df, your Flagpole sounds a little like my boy. Hold hard will not be an easy task for him from a hand gallop. Leverage bit here we come.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 1999
    Location
    Lovely Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Default

    This is a clinic for rider and horse, though non riders are encouraged to attend. I've already purchased Wadsworth's Riding to Hounds in America from Horse Country.

    We will have a live hunt on Sunday with everyone practicing what they learned the day before.

    Thanks for the idieas for the clinic. I'd thought of most of them, but it helps seeing it all in print.

    The pack is going really well. A hard running group of Pennmarydels that are hunting coyote about 60% and fox 40% of the time. Sometimes in the same day. We have a lot of Moore County (Jody Murtagh's blood), some Doc Addis, Delabrooke, Red Mountain and just acquired this season, some Grand Canyon coyote catchers.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 1999
    Location
    Lovely Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Default

    This is a clinic for rider and horse, though non riders are encouraged to attend. I've already purchased Wadsworth's Riding to Hounds in America from Horse Country.

    We will have a live hunt on Sunday with everyone practicing what they learned the day before.

    Thanks for the ideas for the clinic. I'd thought of most of them, but it helps seeing it all in print.

    The pack is going really well. They are a hard running group of Pennmarydels that are hunting coyote about 60% and fox 40% of the time. Sometimes in the same day. We have a lot of Moore County (Jody Murtagh's blood), some Doc Addis, Delabrooke, Red Mountain and just acquired this season, some Grand Canyon coyote catchers.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 1999
    Location
    Lovely Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Smile Wish me luck.... We've got about 25 for the clinic!!

    I'm excited and nervous.... I have a couple dozen folks for the clinic, only a few members, all the rest are new, including 6 or 7 kids. We might get a few new members from this event!!

    I have all my suggestions and am writing up a lesson plan.

    Wish me luck!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2007
    Location
    Meadowview VA
    Posts
    2,167

    Default

    Oh, Groro,
    You're nervous? With all of your experience?
    I am so looking forward to being there. I'll be happy to pitch in and help any way I can.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2005
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    6,228

    Default

    Well, good luck then, not that you need it! Do let us know how it went!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    176

    Default

    I wish you great luck with your clinic! I organized a similar clinic for our hunt this year and I have one thing to offer:

    I created a "On your first hunt" guideline for new hunters. It is both informative and funny as it guides them from the initial contact with the hunt to saying "Thank You!" to the Master and Staff when their day is done.

    Please PM me if you would like a copy.

    Hotspur
    Metamora Hunt



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 8, 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,432

    Default

    After lurking a bit on FOL I have to ask... what is the story behind the dinosaur?



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2009
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,941

    Default

    I wish I could come! My reliable mare is down with a bruise or coming abscess, and I'm not sure I'm up to it on my four-year-old. I bet it will be a blast!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2005
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
    Posts
    6,228

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gypsymare View Post
    After lurking a bit on FOL I have to ask... what is the story behind the dinosaur?

    If you dig deep enough into the FOL archives you will get Carla's inimitable explanation. Short version- foxhunters are gifted with little plastic dinosaurs to put in their pockets. When a foxhunter starts getting a little huffy puffy about rules, turnout, etiquette, how many braids in the horse's mane, whatever (which are good things, but not to excess)...foxhunter says to self 'I have a dinosaur in my pocket. How seriously do I take myself?'

    Carla's version is waayyyy better.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 1999
    Location
    Lovely Virginia
    Posts
    188

    Smile The clinic was awesome!

    Just a quick report to say that the foxhunting clinic I was putting on for the Tennessee Valley Hunt Club was a total success. We had over 40 participants which included 35 riders. Most of the riders were newbies wanting to learn more about the sport.

    I used the MFHA's guide to a foxhunting clinic notebook that one can order. Joyce Fendley, MFH from Casanova wrote it with help from a few other Masters. All I can say that it was a perfect tool for organizing a clinic.

    We met on Saturday at our kennels to evaluate everyone's riding skills and put them in appropriate groups. We worked on basic field etiquette,had horses and riders meet the hounds, did a bit of gymnastic jump work for the first flighters, had a chalk talk with a catered lunch under the trees along the Holston River and finished with a mock hunt.

    Today we met at 8 for a cub hunt designed specifically for the clinic participants. Everyone had a great time and we may get some new fun members. I am so relieved that they all had a great time and we didn't have any wrecks.

    Now I have to get ready for the opening of cubbing in two weeks. I have the "honor" of leading first flight! Wish me luck!



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