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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2012
    Posts
    255

    Default Would I like hunting?

    I'm thinking about joining my friends hunt.Currently I do Ctr and endurance but I usually have to drive 4 -5 hours to get to a ride.The drive is taking too long,and I'm tired of the extensive packing I have to do because I take my husband and son with me.My friend thinks I will enjoy the social aspect of hunting.My Arab does jump,but I don't feel he has the best form.She says I can "hilltop". I have been going on hunter paces which are fun,but people are always inviting me to "try this jump".Also the clothing requirements seem to have you dressed for Alaska.I am moving out in Ctr,so I try to get away with as little heavy clothing as possible!

    My other concern is the course,my friend says to ride behind someone else and watch where there horse goes as to not trip
    And break your collarbone!I'm not afraid to gallop around but I am trying to stay in one piece! Thoughts ?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,701

    Default

    I'm a beginner myself, and I'm completely taken with hunting, but here's my take on it:

    1. Visit www.mfha.org to learn more about the sport.
    2. Find out more from your friend about the pace of their particular hunt. Each hunt has their own pace, based on both the territory hunted and the "personality" of the hunt. Your friend should be able to tell you if you and your horse will be well-suited for her group.
    3. Your horse should be fit, should ride well in a group (good manners, able to remain with the group, leave the group or have the group leave him). If you are hilltopping, you probably won't need to worry about jumping at all.
    4. Your horse should have brakes
    5. Dressing appropriately is important, it's part of hunting. But what's a little sweat when you're having a great time?
    6. Galloping...again, if you're hilltopping, you probably won't be galloping.

    If possible, consider car following or going out on someone's experienced hunt horse before taking your own horse out, then you can decide whether hunting is right for you and your horse.

    Good luck and have fun!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2004
    Location
    No. VA
    Posts
    2,228

    Default

    Yes, you would love it if...your horse likes and respects hounds, is biddable and stands when you ask and doesn't fidget (much), is good in company and can stay in line and not pass the Master, is athletic enough to take care of you at speed over natural terrain...and....if you like and respect all the aspects of hunting a wild creature in it's natural environment, and if you understand and respect the established hierarchy of the hunt.

    Go, watch a hunt first, secure an invitation to hunt, get or borrow some English riding attire (better known as "ratcatcher") , and go Hilltopper or 2nd flight.

    You'll have a blast.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2004
    Location
    Yonder, USA
    Posts
    2,561

    Default

    Nobody is out to get themselves or their horses hurt, but there is a particular etiquette in the hunt field. As a newer member, there is a good chance you will have to ride behind a lot of the group. You and your horse need to be prepared for that to happen and be comfortable keeping a safe-but-not-huge distance between horses (a length or two or three, depending on speed. You do want your horse listening to your directions and you need a clear view of the ground, but you shouldn't leave a big gap.).

    Regarding jumping, etiquette often demands that the field jump only what the master jumps (and vice versa--jump what the master jumps). Whether there is any jumping at all, and how big and frequen the jumps are, depends on the hunt, the fixture (place you're riding), and what group (field) you're riding with. Nonjumping fields are generally the slowest.

    The clothing (yeah, go ahead and think of it as a historic riding costume) is also traditional. However, there are variations for different seasons and weather. Many hunts will check the predicted weather and adjust clothing requirements accordingly.

    Remember, people hunt to have a good time--not keel over from heat stroke or break their horse's leg. Hunter paces are a great start. Next see if you can go observe, walk hounds (mounted exercise and training during the summer), or head out with the hilltoppers a few times to get your toes wet.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2007
    Posts
    691

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hinderella View Post
    I'm a beginner myself, and I'm completely taken with hunting, but here's my take on it:

    1. Visit www.mfha.org to learn more about the sport.
    2. Find out more from your friend about the pace of their particular hunt. Each hunt has their own pace, based on both the territory hunted and the "personality" of the hunt. Your friend should be able to tell you if you and your horse will be well-suited for her group.
    3. Your horse should be fit, should ride well in a group (good manners, able to remain with the group, leave the group or have the group leave him). If you are hilltopping, you probably won't need to worry about jumping at all.
    4. Your horse should have brakes
    5. Dressing appropriately is important, it's part of hunting. But what's a little sweat when you're having a great time?
    6. Galloping...again, if you're hilltopping, you probably won't be galloping.

    If possible, consider car following or going out on someone's experienced hunt horse before taking your own horse out, then you can decide whether hunting is right for you and your horse.

    Good luck and have fun!
    Hinderella forgot one more suggestion: join the group of Coth ladies this September at Hunters Rest, use one of their horses and have all the coth hunt enablers there to cheer you on. And this way, I won't be the only newbie out there So please, do consider hilltopping with me at Hunters Rest!

    See what you coth enablers have done! I'm trying to enable before I even know if I'll like hunting!
    Last edited by cheval convert; Jun. 28, 2012 at 06:52 PM. Reason: To add last thought



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2000
    Location
    Chantilly,va.
    Posts
    10,902

    Thumbs up experienced jock!

    Joining the group at Hunters' rest is a brilliant idea! You might also consider having an experienced foxhunter ( human) ride your horse out the first time!
    Last edited by Carol Ames; Jun. 28, 2012 at 07:37 PM. Reason: typos
    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,641

    Default

    There are problems with fox hunting and I'll share some of them.

    I told both my daughters "Do not plan weddings or births of grand children around Opening or Closing hunt. Do not ask me to choose which event to attend." (Both girls married in the summer months and the first grand child was born two weeks ago. )

    You will never see rain or cold as a reason to stay home. Not a whole lot different in the CTR and ER world except we don't have to ride quite as long to earn a completion for the day.

    You will have more "I can't believe we did THAT" stories after a couple seasons of fox hunting than after an entire career in CTR/ER. Our trails aren't marked and mostly we're following hounds who are following the coyote who knows where every low spot, hideout and deep creek crossing is.

    You won't get to wear the zippy, wild colored tights and jackets but one fox hunting outfit will last for as long as it fits you! Invest wisely and your done for a long time! Ditto the tack.

    All jokes aside, hunting is truly timeless and the folks you meet will be as varied as any other group. A good hunt horse keeps you safe for the field you choose to ride in. With your CTR/ER background you are mentally ahead of someone coming out of arena riding to try hunting. Hope you give it a try!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2012
    Posts
    255

    Talking

    Where the heck is hunters' rest?I live in south Florida so any excuse to get out during hurricane season would be appreciated.
    I need to buy another F250 as mine was stolen out of a home depot parking lot at 3pm in the afternoon! My f150 isn't large enough to pull my big trailer,I need to resolve this.
    I think I will go cubbing with my friend and see if my horse enjoys it.He is familiar with keeping his place in a group,I hate riders that ride your butt or seesaw in front of you to keep you from passing.I am the brain and he is the brawn.
    Contrary to popular belief not as endurance riders dress in crazy attire!Ahem,we are very close to wellington and are influenced by the latest styles just like anyone.I am addicted to irredion tights as I'm usually in them for along time-5:30 am to 2:30 pm on ride day.
    My other thought is if I like it and my horse doesn't,maybe I 'll have to get a second horse.I don't think I'll give up long distance riding entirely, just enjoy riding with this particular friend and she is convinced I will love it.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,701

    Default

    Hunter's Rest: http://www.huntersrest.net/

    Send her an email, tell her that you're interested in hunting, and away you go! She can fill you in on the details of visiting Virginia to hunt.

    This thread has details of the event to which Cheval Convert refers, and I'm going down the next weekend (09/22):
    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=355953

    Even if you think your horse will enjoy hunting, if you take the opportunity to go out on one of HR's livery horses, you will be able to focus your attention completely on the hunt.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2004
    Location
    No. VA
    Posts
    2,228

    Default

    I will clue you in right now - you will have people riding up on your horse's butt hunting (not maliciously, just unintentionally). You will have them almost crashing into you (if a fast run comes to an unexpected, sudden halt), and they can -and will - pass when the hounds are running full on a hot line. For a new or green hunt horse, simply put a green or red ribbon in the tail to warn people to not tailgate. No one will try to prevent your passing, and *on a fast run* you will see lots of riders passing others. You can pass politely at a slower pace if the person in front of you is lagging and dropping back too far from the rest of the Field. When the hounds aren't running, everyone generally stays where they are in line, moving up (or dropping back) only to be with a friend/mentor - you merely have to ask to pass, and people will graciously move over if the terrain permits.

    Don't pass anyone wearing the hunt's colors. They've earned their right to ride in the front of the Field, and in front of others.

    In Endurance a competitor is forbidden, under penalty of elimination, to impede another competitor on the trail. If you are having other riders trying to prevent you're passing during a competition, you better start bringing those incidents to the Ride Manager's attention.

    Sorry about the theft of your F250. That's horrible.



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