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I went foxhunting! Everyone who can should definitely at least try...

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  • I went foxhunting! Everyone who can should definitely at least try...

    I posted this on the Hunting section, but I wanted to share this over here too! My trainer evented his upper level horses, he still hunts, and he thinks it is an awesome idea for eventers to do. I also know people who have hunted their upper level (even Grand Prix) dressage horses. I know there are different reasons for not being able to, but after today I would encourage people who can to give it a try. Not only was it awesome and fun, but it was a great way to meet people. The lunch afterward was really good too!

    FWIW, my horse is a pretty experienced hunt horse, but the eventer I met was taking her horse out for the mare's first time.


    Well I went, and it was a lot of fun!

    My younger sister (9) decided to go Friday night as well. Anyways, we got there and tacked up. I knew it was an informal hunt, but I did not know the official name...cub hunt. The first formal hunt of the year is next weekend. My mom told me everyone was wearing their hunt coats so I wore mine although it turned out when I walked my horse over to where everyone was that they were mostly all in polo shirts! Oh well. I got many compliments on our turnout, and I think my family made a good impression.

    The day was very pretty, and in the 70s. My sister stayed back with 3rd field/hilltoppers while I went with 2nd field. Everyone was so nice! Right away I met a very nice girl who also events! And I am not going to lie; I was kind of nervous because I was not sure about how fast we would go or if my horse would get strong. Sonny seemed to know exactly what he was doing though, and he was seriously calm as a cucumber walking out to the field to start while some other horses were jumping out of their skin.

    We started off kind of slow walking/trotting and a little cantering with a bunch of waiting figuring out where the hounds were going. Then we waited some more to see where they were headed and what way we are going to go to get around the creek. I finally figured out that Sonny would be much happier if I just let him be up front, and when we had our first gallop through the trail I had no time to get nervous because they all just took off with little warning! The natural terrain seemed to give me some free half halting. Sonny was GREAT. So basically we were making our way with waiting and then some galloping thrown in. The entire time my horse was a perfect gentleman, no kidding. He was in a loose ring Myler comfort snaffle with no martingale too. He totally took care of me galloping through the trails over some rocky and sandy footing, through fields, under tree branches, and up and down slopes. We walked through this one path through the woods going through some steep ditches, and he just weaved his way through! It was awesome.

    So I think I am simply sticking with this club! The people liked answering questions and explaining things, they were friendly, and according to my parents they just built some great new jumps. There were many kids too. My parents even got to follow along sitting in a wagon. I think we will have the option to do some jumping when formal hunting actually starts because this time we didn't do any jumping and only saw one coop while we were out there.

    I think I am going to opening hunt next weekend and also getting my junior membership.
    T3DE Pact

  • #2
    hehehehe, we have converted another to the dark side
    Glad you had an excellent time! The experience only gets better with time.
    It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.


    • #3
      Which club were you with, and where? I went to an opening hunt a few years ago, and had a REALLY fun time...but it was 80-something weather (yep, even in November); they didn't flag coats; and the hounds started to get dehydrated so they cut it short. Let me tell you all that formal attire can be HOT. My sunglasses were getting so steamed up I couldn't see.

      My mare was the same way about wanting to be in FRONT -- I had to hold her from getting ahead of the field master! I have joked that I probably went 3 times farther than the rest of the field -- to the front, circle to the back, move back up to the front, circle back, to the front, ad infinitem.

      But, it really was fun!!!
      No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle.
      -- Winston Churchill


      • #4
        That sounds like a blast! I'd love to try hunting sometime.


        • #5
          Foxhunting has been very good for this lower level eventer. It's great for conditioning, riding at pace and building confidence over terrain. My horse loves it and really likes to move forward. When I started foxhunting once a week, our jumping improved and his recovery period after conditioning sets cut in half. Not to mention my confidence and stability in the gallop improved. Just more saddle time at speed.

          The season in New Hampshire runs Sept through Nov. I wish it could run all year so we could use it to leg up in the spring before the competitions begin. Oh well, it's so darn beautiful up here, I can't complain much.

          My hunt is a drag hunt, for what it's worth, so the fences are contrived to feel more like a cross country run than more of a random outing. The staff know in general were they are going and you get a pretty good ride.


          • #6
            I've always wanted to try this myself. The BO at one barn where I ride keeps saying she wants to go to one and take me with her. Uh, yeah! Sign me up!
            -Debbie / NH

            My Blog: http://deborahsulli.blogspot.com/


            • #7
              I took my greenie out foxhunting last winter, and had the best time ever. I'd really like to get into it more, but right now its just not in the budget. It is a blast though!


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by ezmissg View Post
                Which club were you with, and where? I went to an opening hunt a few years ago, and had a REALLY fun time...but it was 80-something weather (yep, even in November); they didn't flag coats; and the hounds started to get dehydrated so they cut it short. Let me tell you all that formal attire can be HOT. My sunglasses were getting so steamed up I couldn't see.

                My mare was the same way about wanting to be in FRONT -- I had to hold her from getting ahead of the field master! I have joked that I probably went 3 times farther than the rest of the field -- to the front, circle to the back, move back up to the front, circle back, to the front, ad infinitem.

                But, it really was fun!!!
                I went with Oak Grove near Holly Springs. I guess what it is called is the Blackwater Creek territory.
                T3DE Pact


                • #9
                  My friend used to hunt with Oak Grove. Glad you had fun!


                  • #10
                    Fox hunting is a blast.

                    I used to go with my older daughter for several years and we always had fun. Taught both she and her horse tons about forward and just plain fun while out and about.
                    "We don't ride the clock. We ride the horse." Reiner Klimke.


                    • #11
                      I took my new eventing pony houndwalking with Bear Creek and with Shakerag in GA late summer this year - he and I had both never been and we loved it! After that we decided to go cubbing - foxhunting without the formal attire and it was a blast - after 2 hours of galloping and jumping bigger jumps than I would ever see at BN - I am hooked! It's a great confidence builder for horse and rider - it's definitely helped his spookiness - he thinks he's big time now...I highly recommend it for everyone - great training - but more than that it's FUN!


                      • #12
                        GRADY!!!! That's an amazing story...now you and Collin can babysit Rasta and me!!! I'm dying to go - hey, maybe there could be Intro to Foxhunting clinics! I'll sign up if you're in charge.
                        ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan


                        • #13
                          I hunted for years as a child before I ever evented. It definitely taught me a lot and it was always fun.
                          Fox Haven Farm, Inc.
                          Home of 2002 JC Registered stallion Artrageous

                          Artrageous has his own Facebook page!


                          • #14
                            I took my new mare out houndwalking for the first time today and she was great. Hopefully, she'll make a foxhunter, because I'm hooked! I borrowed a horse to ride 2nd flight last weekend and had the MOST fun. I couldn't walk for 3 days afterward, but you also couldn't wipe the smile off my face. I'm not sure if I'll be back to eventing just because my life is so crazy busy, but if I do, I'll definitely be a better rider cross country because of foxhunting.
                            If you believe everything you read, better not read. -- Japanese Proverb


                            • #15
                              I went out for the first time today. I have been bringing along one of the CANTER MA horses who is a resale for them and he was amazing. The group we went with is a small informal group so we hunt close behind the masters. We did some t/c and lots of standing and watching which he handled like a pro. The only thing that rattled him was when the hounds came pouring out of the truck but all he did was go backwards and then stop and stare. Later he had the pack come right on either side of him and he was excellent. I also joined Wicomico (eastern shore of Delaware) so I hope to get several of the horses out.


                              • #16
                                KBG -- I think a couple of former boarders at my barn ride with Oak Grove (at least, their group recently had to relocated to near Holly Springs). Did you by any chance meet Marcie Smith or Becky Bowers?
                                No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle.
                                -- Winston Churchill


                                • Original Poster

                                  I did not, but it seemed like there were so many people there! I talked to quite a few riders without even learning their names.
                                  T3DE Pact


                                  • #18
                                    My daughter is now at school at USF in Tampa and is boarding Bates at a foxhunting barn. She hasn't taken Bates yet but has foxhunted with South Creek a couple times now on the owners Clydesdales. I am going to take Tucker, my draftx and join them for their Invitational after Thanksgiving. It has been 20 years since I took my old jumper foxhunting, I cannot wait to go again!
                                    Lori T
                                    www.facebook.com/LTEquine for product updates on the lines I rep


                                    • #19
                                      My horse was quite the chicken on XC (came into eventing late in his life) - truly just afraid of anything "natural" and had never learned that galloping around could be fun.

                                      Well, we went hunting a few times (second field) and it made a man out of him!! It kind of beat him up a bit, but that actually toughened him up. The next few times I evented him he finally just went for it. I think hunting can really help "train" an event horse.


                                      • #20
                                        I just recently tried hunting for the first time too. I had heard that it would be crazy galloping over awful terrain, but it is wonderful.

                                        So far, I have been twice. It is a live hunt, so perhaps more sedate. The members and staff have been lovely and welcoming, and it is a blast!

                                        My horse thinks that he has died and gone to heaven. He steps off the trailer and there is the jump tack. No dressage.