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  1. #1

    Default Hunt Caps and Memberships

    I have moved to an area where there are a couple of hunts not too far away. I used to hunt quite a few years ago but had dropped from that scene due to work commitments.

    I wonder what "typical" costs are these days. I know hunts have to make money to feed hounds. I also know that there are different structures or business models for running a hunt.

    I am curious about some of the fees I have heard about. Is it normal to invite new people and charge a fee to walk hounds? What about hunt trail rides in the summer? And I was very surprised to find that some hunts do NOT apply capping fees toward a subsequent membership? Maybe I am wrong, but I thought that all hunts would let prospective new members cap a few times and then apply those fees to a membership, assuming the hunt invited the person to be a member.

    I would like to hunt again and was just curious how these things work today.

    I am in the deep south, so not talking NoVA prices.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,731

    Default

    I'm new to the hunt world, but I would think all you can do is to inquire of your local hunt. Every hunt, and its territory, is different, so haering what a hunt in NY or CA has for a membership fee wouldn't tell you anything about the hunts nearest to you.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2008
    Location
    The Beach, Maryland
    Posts
    1,364

    Default

    Our hunt here on the eastern shore of MD last I checked (which was 3-4 yrs ago) was $450 for a yearly membership. Caps were $50 and you could certainly cap before becoming a member, but I don't know if they'd apply it towards membership.

    You don't really get invited to become a member of our hunt, you just join, from what I remember.
    Friend of bar.ka!
    Quote Originally Posted by MHM View Post
    GM quote of the day, regarding the correct way to do things:
    "There's correct, and then there's correct. If you're almost correct, that means you're wrong."



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2000
    Location
    Tempe, AZ
    Posts
    1,827

    Default

    Every hunt is different. The two I belong to have very different policies about capping and what I call "capping to membership."

    Also, the membership fees here (AZ) are mind-blowingly low. I know they can be mind-blowingly high in other parts of the country.

    Contact the secretary of the one that interests you for the most pertinent information.
    ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2004
    Location
    Yonder, USA
    Posts
    2,561

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    I think everyone has a different strategy for making money.

    Ours does hunter paces, which are pay-to-ride and open to the public. They are primarily a moneymaking and recruiting tool. Hound walking is free and open to members, prospective members, and guests, since it's necessary "work" and an opportunity to train horses. Trail clearing is also free and wide-open to participation. <grins> Adding a potluck after hound walking once a week in summer helps the club socialize within itself and gives prospective members a chance to meet members. Our hunt trail rides and many social events are only open to members (a carrot dangled out there to get people to at least sign up as social members).

    Since someone is required to cap three times before applying for a subscribing membership, part of the deal is that the capping fees are applied toward the first-year subscription fee. However, I can see other hunts having a different fee schedule, depending on how hard up they are for new members and what their overall fee structure is like.
    ---------------------------



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2006
    Posts
    261

    Default

    Alterhunter, our MD- based club puts a prospective member' s caps towards a membership if, like you said, they are invited to join. We do charge for trail rides (members and non- members pay same rate, something I' m not certain I agree with, but for now, it is what it is). We walk hounds on foot and on horseback and do not charge a fee...but any non- member attending, in my opinion, should have the good manners to make a donation to the kennel for the privilege of being invited. That said, this does not happen very often.

    Our does are between $700- $2500, depending on your level of committment...and we are pretty inexpensive for our area, for a recognized club.

    This said, we are just one club. Everyone does things differently.

    Good luck and good hunting!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Disappointed wannabe

    Well, maybe I won't be hunting this year after all...

    I did ask around and wasn't happy with what I learned. There are two potential hunts not too far away. One has a reputation as a snob hunt. The other one had a rep for being friendly and welcoming. That's the one I was interested in.

    The "friendly" hunt limits # of caps for non members and the money does not go to membership dues. I also found out that they charge $20 for non-members to go on mounted hound walks. WTH? I thought hound walking was supposed to let new people or new horses see if they liked hunting. Why would they charge $20 per ride if they wanted to see if their green horse would hunt? That sounds like this hunt does not want to encourage new members. They ought to just not invite non members if they don't want them. And I talked to a friend who has hunted with this hunt and he said that hound walks are usually about one hour walk-trot twice a week in July. That's a bunch of money for an hour trail walk.

    Somebody else said that the "friendly" hunt recently had complete change over of the masters. And it was not handled well and a lot of people were upset about it. Looks like some new members and the new group of masters have turned this once friendly hunt into another snob hunt.

    Oh well. Too bad cuz foxhunting doesn't need another snob hunt. Maybe I will try to cap once or twice to see if it's really as bad as they say.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2003
    Location
    Flint Hill, Virginia
    Posts
    2,585

    Default

    Just pretend like the $20 fee is the same fee you'd pay to do a hunt trail ride (which are usually more expensive than that, and do NOT offer the hound experience.)
    Seems less 'expensive', now, doesn't it.
    Our hunt does hunt trail rides late spring and late summer. The charge is, I think, 25 or 30, member or not. Our rides are 1 1/2-2 hours AT THE WALK ONLY.
    I've never, ever, ever heard a peep of complaint from any rider that any hunt trail ride (ours, others, etc.) was too expensive, too slow, too ... anything.
    It is a FUNDRAISER, just like dues, just like a hunter pace, just like a point to point, just like a hunt ball, just like anything.
    Honestly, I was thinking about one of my boarders just yesterday. He *finally* came out to ride his saintly horse (Apache for those of you who know my herd). I was doing the 'math' in my head -- he rides 1x a week, usually, 2x max, so that's 8-10 rides per month. He pays board and shoes and whatnot of about $500 per month and I was thinking, 'golly, that's a lot of $$ for only riding a few times a week!'
    Then I started dividing it out, and its $50 per ride, say. You'd pay more than that to hire a *good* horse for a *good* guided trail ride at a *good* location. For him to pay about that for his saintly beloved horse to be at his beck and call to ride in this lovely location, then, gosh-dag-it, that's actually a *GOOD* deal!
    Think of the hunting like that -- it costs $xxx to feed hounds, employ staff, underwrite their horses, manage territory, fix insurance, etc. If you hunt a *lot* then your fee/s divide out to pennies per hunt.
    Don't fret. I know all about being poor. Most of us do. It's just that foxhunters tend to pinch pennies everywhere else in order to get to hunt!
    No hunt in this day and age actively discourages new members. Some are more proactive than others, but please do not imagine that.
    And the 'snob' hunt might turn out to be a snob *member* (or two.)
    We hope you'll give them both a chance.
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 26, 2011
    Posts
    1,569

    Default

    Quite frankly most of the hunts that I know do not allow the public to walk hounds or road hounds (mounted). It is usually reserved to staff and a few invited members. $20 to help acclimate your horse to hounds is a good deal. That would be $20 well spent.

    You've got to remember that hound walking and roading is about training and conditioning hounds, not you and your horse.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2003
    Location
    Flint Hill, Virginia
    Posts
    2,585

    Default

    PS
    Hound walking is most decidedly NOT to 'allow' non members to 'see' if they and their horse 'like' hunting.
    Hound walking is typically for staff and hounds, during which sometimes, and I mean SOMEtimes, members are allowed to come. If and only if they are not on a dangerous horse who might injure or frighten a young hound.
    Hound walking is to teach the young HOUNDS about horses/going out/shipping around, etc. Nothing to do with horses or people!
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2009
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2,145

    Default

    Alterhunter,

    Please consider this as well...

    There is a reason to limit the number of caps per season. It costs X number of dollars to do all a hunt does. The hunt needs to be assured that X $'s come in and hope for Y more $'s. If you could cap at will, you (other members, as well) might only come 3 times, or you might come 50. But the hunt wouldn't have a very good idea of what it's low end budget will/should be.

    It is also unfair to the current hunt members to allow unlimited capping. Many have paid an initiation fee and yearly dues AND pay to trail ride, AND pay to go to the hunt ball, AND pay toward the Boxing Day gift, AND pay to hunter pace, AND pay to "adopt" a hound, AND pay to panel territory, AND..... I hope by now you are getting the idea that it takes a HUGE amount to keep a hunt going.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    134

    Default

    I like this thread. Very informative.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,482

    Default

    I smell a troll.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,126

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jawa View Post
    There is a reason to limit the number of caps per season. It costs X number of dollars to do all a hunt does. The hunt needs to be assured that X $'s come in and hope for Y more $'s. If you could cap at will, you (other members, as well) might only come 3 times, or you might come 50. But the hunt wouldn't have a very good idea of what it's low end budget will/should be.

    It is also unfair to the current hunt members to allow unlimited capping. Many have paid an initiation fee and yearly dues AND pay to trail ride, AND pay to go to the hunt ball, AND pay toward the Boxing Day gift, AND pay to hunter pace, AND pay to "adopt" a hound, AND pay to panel territory, AND..... I hope by now you are getting the idea that it takes a HUGE amount to keep a hunt going.
    I've wondered why there was a limit to caps and this makes a lot of sense (to me anyways). For instance, this year I just can't swing a Full Membership now that I've reached the "magical" non-Jr age of 27 and will have to stick to my 3 caps for the season. I do try to volunteer to help out at Hunt functions and events as my schedule permits, maybe I'll help out at the breakfasts on the weekends since I can't ride.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    I smell a troll.
    Nope, not a troll. But obviously posting as an alter as I don't want to be "recognized".

    Just a former foxhunter that had high hopes for getting back to a sport I used to love. And pretty appalled at the politics that have taken what was once a really great club and turned it into something very unpleasant. It's just sad.

    I started this thread because I wondered if what had happened to this club was happening all over.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,126

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter's Rest View Post
    PS
    Hound walking is most decidedly NOT to 'allow' non members to 'see' if they and their horse 'like' hunting.
    Hound walking is typically for staff and hounds, during which sometimes, and I mean SOMEtimes, members are allowed to come. If and only if they are not on a dangerous horse who might injure or frighten a young hound.
    Hound walking is to teach the young HOUNDS about horses/going out/shipping around, etc. Nothing to do with horses or people!
    Our hunt has "open" hound jogging after the initial staff training. It's how I got started and how many locals start their youngsters for the season without too much hubbub. Of course it's usually walking/trotting up and down the road, a small bit of field training for the hounds, whips and MFH where the rest of us stay on the road working on our "checks."

    Same with cubbing, starts with Staff only and then opens up to the masses.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alterhunter View Post
    Nope, not a troll. But obviously posting as an alter as I don't want to be "recognized".

    Just a former foxhunter that had high hopes for getting back to a sport I used to love. And pretty appalled at the politics that have taken what was once a really great club and turned it into something very unpleasant. It's just sad.

    I started this thread because I wondered if what had happened to this club was happening all over.
    So you trash the sport on the Internet? No wonder you use an alter.

    Maybe some of the costs you are so "appalled" by are due to nothing more than a club that doesn't have wealthy members or Masters to help pay the bills. The hounds have to eat in good times and bad, and a club cannot depend upon the whims of less than dedicated members.

    You want to get back into hunting? Really? That's great. It cost money to hunt back in the day, and it costs money now. There's no way around it.

    I find it hard to believe you are a former Foxhunter yet you know so little about the sport. I know of no club that offered unlimited caps. Hound walking or roading is not a "trail ride", and a small fee to attend walk out, if a hunt does such a thing, is to help defray the cost of running the club. Every charge a club makes is to do nothing more than pay for the club. Hounds need vet care, food, and insurance is an ever increasing expense.

    That was true when you hunted years ago, and it's true now. So I don't see why you are complaining.

    It's very poor form to disparage,trash, or gossip about the sport or clubs, by the way. Very poor form.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JSwan View Post
    So you trash the sport on the Internet? No wonder you use an alter.

    Maybe some of the costs you are so "appalled" by are due to nothing more than a club that doesn't have wealthy members or Masters to help pay the bills. The hounds have to eat in good times and bad, and a club cannot depend upon the whims of less than dedicated members.

    You want to get back into hunting? Really? That's great. It cost money to hunt back in the day, and it costs money now. There's no way around it.

    I find it hard to believe you are a former Foxhunter yet you know so little about the sport. I know of no club that offered unlimited caps. Hound walking or roading is not a "trail ride", and a small fee to attend walk out, if a hunt does such a thing, is to help defray the cost of running the club. Every charge a club makes is to do nothing more than pay for the club. Hounds need vet care, food, and insurance is an ever increasing expense.

    That was true when you hunted years ago, and it's true now. So I don't see why you are complaining.

    It's very poor form to disparage,trash, or gossip about the sport or clubs, by the way. Very poor form.
    1. I am not trashing the sport.
    2. I never said I was "appalled" at costs. I asked some questions about certain costs. But I am appalled at politics. BIG difference.
    3. I know very well what it costs to run a hunt club. And raising funds is always hard. Increasing fees for hound walks and trail rides for non-members is at least one way of finding funds from a different pool than the dues-paying membership. And that is all fine as long as you don't run off all the LOYAL members who have supported the club for years. As membership drops, so does the official budget that can be counted on to feed hounds.

    4. I am using the alter to protect what is left of this particular hunt club's reputation. I hope the club can be salvaged after the destruction that has happened in the last couple of years. But it will be without a lot of very loyal, long time members including former MFHs and former staff.

    As for my lack of knowledge... Don't you think that If I am smart enough to use an alter to protect the club, then I am probably smart enough to pretend ignorance about certain things to protect myself as well?

    I really did wonder about the issue of caps going to membership. I have never belonged to a club that actually did that. But several recent threads here - about other hunts - made it sound like that practice was actually more common than what I was used to (i.e. caps don't count toward membership.)

    BTW Jess - You would know me instantly from FOL - and in fact, over the years - you and I have agreed on pretty much any issue that has been discussed in that forum. I know you well enough to not be terribly surprised that you jumped on my post as a being from a troll.

    But if you realized who I am, and what has happened to the hunt I once loved, you, too, would be appalled. I promise you that.

    I did get some useful information and thank those who responded to my questions.

    Really, truly, NOT a troll.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,482

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alterhunter View Post

    As for my lack of knowledge... Don't you think that If I am smart enough to use an alter to protect the club, then I am probably smart enough to pretend ignorance about certain things to protect myself as well?
    A new poster, using an alter, posting an inconsistent, conflicting story - is naturally going to arouse suspicion on this BB. Especially after the craziness of the past few days.

    Don't assume that your reader can peer into your soul from their keyboard. There is absolutely no way the reader is able to know what you are thinking - they can only infer from what is written. And what was written in your posts does not jibe with what you write now. It's natural to raise an eyebrow.

    I'm sorry you can't find a club that meets your expectations. Though if I were you I'd go cubbing with both and see which one has the best hunting; then finagle the money if possible. Good luck.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 17, 2007
    Location
    Meadowview VA
    Posts
    2,284

    Default

    I've car followed one hunt and hilltopped at another. Everyone was fantastic.
    Although I am not a member (yet), I look at any costs/fees and compare them to a weekend of say, showing. I have not shown at big shows, only a few schooling ones that were very local and not much $$.
    Let's say it costs $1500 for me to join a hunt. That would include hunting 2x week if I wanted to/was able to, the socializing, the soirees, etc. From what I've read on COTH, that is a weekend's cost of showing-including stabling, fees, hotel, food, etc.
    So to me, hunting is a good deal, and a good deal of fun .
    Besides, where else is one encouraged to ride, have a great outfit or two, share a flask, and if said rider crashes and burns (falls off, lands in mud, ad infinitum), it is understood, appreciated, and apparently entertainment at the end of the season "do overs".
    Please excuse any lack of proper terminology as I have had only one cup of caffeine.



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