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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2006
    Posts
    371

    Default Blackberry Farm Opening Hunt Weekend

    First let me say how much I love DH! We had a budget for our vacation and then I found Blackberry Farm *ugh* then I found the link to the Opening Hunt Weekend *triple ugh* and my W/T husband said it looked like it could be fun! So we're breaking our vacation budget and are going! He'll be riding in a wagon following the hunt and I will either ride with the hunt or hilltop depending on how the hunter pace goes on Friday. I have not ridden cross country in over 20 years and I am sooo excited.

    I have my H/J show clothes and I know for the most part that should be fine but have a few questions for the true hunters.

    1) Will my dark brown coat be fine?
    2) Is a colored shirt ok or should I pick up a white one?
    3) Do I need a stock?
    4) Is there anything I should definitely bring, read, practice for, etc?

    I'll definitely be riding in boots and breeches every day and do no stirrup work to make sure I'm fit. And I'll bring my saddle just in case its allowed on the horse I'll be riding.

    LetItBe
    Crayola Posse: Violet Blue



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2000
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,181

    Default

    Oooh, what fun!

    Don't know what you shoulder bring, but be sure to tell us all about your day!
    Proud Member of the League of Weenie Eventers
    Proud Member of the Courageous Weenie Eventers Clique



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,719

    Default

    The Hunt (it seems to be Tennessee Valley Hunt) has a web site with details of appropriate attire. If formal hunt season has begun, you would normally want a black coat, white shirt and stock, beige breeches and black dress boots. But as a guest at a special event, attire may be more relaxed. Whatever itmay be, it should be neat and clean, boots polished,etc.
    Bring lots of hair nets, I'm always losing mine.
    DO NOT drink coffee the day of the hunt, or even the day before. You'll have nerves enough without caffeine.
    Read Wadsworth's "Hunting to Hounds in America"
    When in the hunt field, watch and listen all around.

    And enjoy a wonderful, life changing experience



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
    Posts
    19,475

    Default

    If this is opening hunt, it's one of the High Holy Days of hunting, where anything but the most formal attire is frowned on.

    That means black coat with three buttons and usually longer than a show coat; white stock tie over a white or yellow ratcatcher shirt with a plain gold safety pin as a stock tie pin; beige (buff, light tan ONLY-- not greenish beige) or canary breeches; a canary vest if you can swing one, and brown or buff (wash leather) gloves. Black or white gloves and white breeches are completely improper. Helmets are usually black velvet or black velveteen, but can be anything in black. Black dress boots are the usual, but you can probably get away with black field boots. No BLING.

    So no brown coat or visible colored shirt. The stock tie will cover up whatever is under it, but I usually rode in a mock turtleneck under the stock. You'll get pin holes in it from the stock pin but it's a lot cheaper than buying a collarless ratcatcher shirt that won't be seen.

    One thing you will want to take with you is an extravagant hat for wearing after the hunt is over; and it's also hunt etiquette on High Holy Days to change out of your hunt coat into something else for the post hunt festivities--usually a tweed ratcatcher.

    They'll have stirrup cups and blessing of the hounds, etc; and the food will be amazing.

    You'll really enjoy putting on your costume for the hunt. It's all part of the experience, and you'll feel like an actor in a play as you dress.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2009
    Location
    Camp Creek, WV
    Posts
    328

    Default

    I read the hunting forum all the time because I would love to try it someday! Since I haven't had the opportunity yet, I generally don't post because I don't have much to add. I looked up the website for the Tennessee Valley Hunt, though, and I have to say it is about the best hunt website I have seen so far. Just about every question you might need to ask is answered on the web page. How fantastic! The website alone has made me decide that the next house we buy will be at the Big South Fork Airpark not that far from Knoxville. (That, and the Hunt Breakfasts at Blackberry Farm--think I'll be saving up for sponsorship for those!)
    http://tvh.fishtrap.website-previews.com/index.asp
    I'm sure you will have a blast! The director of the Equestrian programs at Blackberry Farm is a joint MFH so should be able to answer any other questions.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2006
    Posts
    371

    Default

    Yeah I decided today I was going to send a what should I bring email this week, especially as I need to take the fact it might be cold into consideration! That will give me enough time to go shopping if need be though a new hunt coat isn't in the budget especially as I just got the brown one and have only showed in it once. I am good on the gloves and breeches at least, boots are field boots but they're black and will get a good cleaning before the trip and during it.

    Blackberry Farm and the hunt really do make this a really great opportunity to try fox hunting. Friday morning there's a lecture on hunting protocol and etiquette which even my husband is excited about, and then in the afternoon a mock hunt hunter pace to get your feet wet on the horse you'll be hunting.

    In some ways this trip belongs on the dream vacation thread between the foxhunting and the stay at Blackberry Farm itself.

    LetItBe
    Crayola Posse: Violet Blue



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
    Posts
    19,475

    Default

    You could always get a consignment black coat from some place like Middleburg Tack Exchange and then send it back to them to be sold after you finish with it.

    Or you might fall in love with foxhunting and keep it.

    Quote Originally Posted by LetItBe View Post
    Yeah I decided today I was going to send a what should I bring email this week, especially as I need to take the fact it might be cold into consideration! That will give me enough time to go shopping if need be though a new hunt coat isn't in the budget especially as I just got the brown one and have only showed in it once. I am good on the gloves and breeches at least, boots are field boots but they're black and will get a good cleaning before the trip and during it.

    Blackberry Farm and the hunt really do make this a really great opportunity to try fox hunting. Friday morning there's a lecture on hunting protocol and etiquette which even my husband is excited about, and then in the afternoon a mock hunt hunter pace to get your feet wet on the horse you'll be hunting.

    In some ways this trip belongs on the dream vacation thread between the foxhunting and the stay at Blackberry Farm itself.

    LetItBe
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,719

    Default

    You can check eBay for a coat. There's an eBay seller, I think it's meshugana616 that has a lot of hunt clothing for sale. Just search melton under equestrian. Horseloverz.com also carries a hunting melton, and Shires makes a nice coat. If it is cold you will truly appreciate the difference a real melton makes.
    Vineyridge is right, dressing properly is all part of the enjoyment.
    Have a great time, and report back!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
    Posts
    19,475

    Default

    It occurs to me that Blackberry Farm being what it is might have loaner or rental coats available.

    Carla Hawkinson is a really great person. She's the Joint MFH and head of the equestrian stuff at Blackberry Farm. Or you might PM groro here, who is also one of the Joint MFHs, with your questions.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2008
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    253

    Default

    Great place, great people, great reputation. I'm sure they will offer helpful answers to questions. Enjoy and report back.
    Never argue with a fool. Noone can tell who is who.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
    Posts
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    Default

    If you haven't experience with tying stock ties, it's really simple, since it's just a square knot with the ends flipped over--at least that's what I have done for fifty years.

    Once you get the tie wrapped around your neck once and the ends lying in front, it's just "right over left and under; left over right and under." Then cross the ends over the knot and pin in place.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,719

    Default

    And because I love to shop for other people :
    This seller on eBay has a formal coat and a lovely canary vest for sale. If it's your size, you're in luck:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Womans-On-Co...item258300866f



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2006
    Posts
    371

    Default

    That's not bad at all Hinderella and is the right size if its not tailored at all. I also found an inexpensive black coat over at Smartpak so if black is required I did just get a gift certificate for my birthday. Somewhere I think I still have my first hunt coat which was black but it has a velvet color if that helps to date it!

    Viney I know they have men's loaner coats for dinner, I can't imagine the logistics of having loaner riding attire though.

    I'm going to speak with Carla on Thursday so will find out exactly what I need before shopping.

    LetItBe
    Crayola Posse: Violet Blue



  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by T-storm chick View Post
    The website alone has made me decide that the next house we buy will be at the Big South Fork Airpark not that far from Knoxville. .
    well in the winter that trip would be pretty pretty far from one to the other...but it'd be nice to have someone as a new neighbor!
    best tamara
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2010
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,719

    Default

    I have the same coat as the one shown in the eBay listing, and I love it. It has a well tapered waist. And nice deep pockets, for your flask



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2006
    Posts
    371

    Default

    Hey just wanted to give an update.

    Carla has a black coat that might fit so she's actually sending it down to me to try. I'm keeping my eye on a few auctions on ebay for a vest and possibly a jacket if Carla's doesn't fit. I'll hit up smartpak for a pre-tied stock and pin and a white shirt if I don't have one in the closet.

    Can't wait!

    LetItBe
    Crayola Posse: Violet Blue



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