I've been on one hunterpace and have hilltopped once before, but I'm going to a hunterpace on Sept 11th, and then a hunt sometime in October. I will be riding my mare who has done neither before. I have a few questions:
1. I currently ride my mare in a french link eggbutt snaffle, and she goes well in that in the ring and on hacks, but I think it would be wise to use something stronger for the hunterpace, and especially the hunt. What do you suggest?
I do have a pelham that I have tried her in. She was very respectfull of that bit... almost too much. My concern is using the two sets of reins during my first time hunting. I didn't have a problem with the reins at home when I was trying out the bit to see if it might be suitable for the hunterpace and hunt, but I would rather just use one set of reins while hunting. And I think using a converter for a single rein would be too much bit for my horse.
Or I was thinking I could use a running martingale with her regular bit and she how she goes in that at the hunterpace. If she is a bit strong, then I can just suck it up and use the pelham with the two sets of reins for the hunt.
2. I should be fine dressed in fieldboots, breeches, and a tucked in polo shirt for the hunterpace, right? And for the hunt would a huntcoat, and white show blouse, with a stock tie do?
Any other helpful advice would be greatly appreciated.
On attire, I would contact the hunt secretary. Some hunts require more formal turn out for hunter paces, and depending on you hunt the dress code for cubbing could be anything from a polo to rat catcher, to the more formal black coat.
As far as the bit....it will take some experimenting on your part. I would agree that having too much bit can be as much of a problem as not enough. If she is over bitted, she may have a hard time relaxing. Especially if you use a converter on the Pelham.
Try her at home with the running martingale to make sure she won't flip out about it.
You could also check and see if you horse would prefer A double jointed Pelham and learn to use double reins. It is not that hard. That way you can use the reins with separate intensity for good and bad behavior.
You might want to experiment with a Kimberwicke. Not sure you'd need it for the hunter pace, but if the Pelham is a bit much the Kimberwicke might be just the ticket. One set of reins - even with the Uxeter Kimberwicke.
Have a wonderful time.
"He took my heart and ran with it, and I hope he's running still, fast and strong, a piece of my heart bound up with his forever"
I second the Kimberwicke. Or perhaps a single twist eggbutt snaffle, or a baucher. They're all a bit of 'bite' but more mild than a pelham.
As to attire: Check with the hunt secretary. What you described would be appropriate for a hunter pace with the hunt I ride with, but as someone else mentioned, it could be different where you're going.
Well we went to the hunterpace today and had an absolute blast! This was my homebred mares first outing and she behaved like a perfect lady. You would think she'd been doing it for years. She stood like an angel at the trailer; went to a halt after a gallop and stood quietly on the buckle. She even went into a small lake for a drink, and water has been a bugaboo for us for awhile. Not bad for a "crazy trakehner."
I decided to go with the kimberwicke since I already had one (don't know why I didn't think to use it) and I would've had to go out and buy a running martingale. I like to economise where possible, and I prefer my horse to have full use of her head and neck should she ever take a stumble.
So I'm quite excited for the hunt. The hunt was giving out a voucher for a hunt with no capping fee. So I will use that when the hunt meets at the barn I'm boarding at in October. The barn owners are new landowners with this hunt. What's better than a day of hunting? Free hunting!
Feathering (or feathering the stern): wagging the tail
To cast: to send the hounds into a covert to scent for the quarry
Now how could I use this info for a hunterpace ie. trot, walk, canter? Some spots were obvious as to where to walk (rocky trail through a forrest), other places were not so obvious (in forrest, but on good footing with no branches in the way).