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Finding a Hunting Unicorn

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  • Finding a Hunting Unicorn

    Does anyone have any suggestions for where to find a hunting unicorn in the Northeast? Or, if not the Northeast, is there a place or places in the mid-atlantic where I would be able to look at a number of horses at one time, in one area?

    I don't want to post specifics, because I'm not sure if that would violate Forum rules or not. My biggest limitation is, unfortunately budget (think 4 figures, not 5). So any suggestions for super pricey would be out of my reach.

    Feel free to PM me!

  • #2
    "Made" or prospect that has some of the basics? I grew up hunting in the Mid-Atlantic, I thought all hunts were the same before I started hanging out on this board. BIG differences depending on regions. .The hunts I have gone out with run and jump, tricky terrain, long runs at times. river, stream crossings, Ditches, gullies, big and small jumps of all kinds.

    Do you hunt 1st flight or 3rd. Most hunts I know don't have non jumpers.

    I am in the Unionville Pa area, Cheshire Hunt country. But I am from Maryland, Elkridge, Green Spring Valley Hunts.

    A decent horse can be found for under $10,000 depending on things, needs.

    I don't do PM, find it to be a PITA to work with. Prefer email. I can be emailed at larryensor AT gumtreestables DOT com. I can give you a couple of contract numbers.

    Hunter's Rest on this board would be a good person to look up and contact. She is based in Va.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by gumtree View Post
      "Made" or prospect that has some of the basics? I grew up hunting in the Mid-Atlantic, I thought all hunts were the same before I started hanging out on this board. BIG differences depending on regions. .The hunts I have gone out with run and jump, tricky terrain, long runs at times. river, stream crossings, Ditches, gullies, big and small jumps of all kinds.

      Do you hunt 1st flight or 3rd. Most hunts I know don't have non jumpers.

      I am in the Unionville Pa area, Cheshire Hunt country. But I am from Maryland, Elkridge, Green Spring Valley Hunts.

      A decent horse can be found for under $10,000 depending on things, needs.

      I don't do PM, find it to be a PITA to work with. Prefer email. I can be emailed at larryensor AT gumtreestables DOT com. I can give you a couple of contract numbers.

      Hunter's Rest on this board would be a good person to look up and contact. She is based in Va.
      Hi Gumtree,
      Thanks for taking the time to respond. I'm looking for something to go 2nd flight. It doesn't have to be Made, a prospect with some of the basics would be just fine. I'll send you an email.

      Comment


      • #4
        There’s a Facebook group called “Foxhunters on Facebook” that requires all horses posted to have hunting experience. There’s a pretty wide variety of price points so may be worth checking out.

        I would also suggest networking with your local hunt. They may well know of someone selling an appropriate horse.

        Comment


        • #5
          *Buying* horses on this website (asking about buying horses, I mean) isn't a violation. Selling them is a violation.
          Please fill in the values of what constitutes a unicorn to you so we can help!
          My unicorn surely isn't the same as your unicorn!
          * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Hunter's Rest View Post
            *Buying* horses on this website (asking about buying horses, I mean) isn't a violation. Selling them is a violation.
            Please fill in the values of what constitutes a unicorn to you so we can help!
            My unicorn surely isn't the same as your unicorn!
            Hi Hunter's Rest - thanks for the response!

            I'm looking for a suitable hunt-type horse for low level eventing (BN and below), hunter paces, trail rides, riding out 2nd field (Hilltopper) with the local hunt club. I'm an adult amateur, early 40's, searching for a long term partner to enjoy and dabble in fun things. Horse will do mostly ring-work 4-5 days a week, as I work weekday business hours and time is limited.

            Looking for something a little hardy, like a part-draft or a larger stock horse breed. I'm 5'8", average build (150lbs) and tend to look too big on anything under 16h, especially if it has a lighter build. I do like a forward-thinking ride; does not need to be a complete dead-head, kick ride.

            My budget is mid-high 4-figures. I have excellent current references (Vet, Barn Owner, Instructor, Farrier) and can provide an excellent, long-term home, if that is a concern. I lesson regularly and like to improve, but am past the point in life where I am a serious competitor.

            My biggest challenge is location; I'm in Southeast New England, but would consider/am considering a Mid-Atlantic trip, that would allow me to look at a few prospects, and maximize my travel.

            Let me know if there is anything I can answer, or if there is anything I may have left out.

            The trouble I am finding looking online is that I do find interesting potential horses to look at, but they're scattered all over. And I find social media (Facebook) hard to search. You can't filter your criteria. And you can lose/forget where ads are posted if you belong to multiple groups.

            Comment


            • #7
              I actually found my unicorn field hunter on equine.com. I had been looking locally for a prospect, tried a couple, put out feelers down in VA/MD/PA...nothing was right...

              Was bored at work one afternoon and started searching online. She was about 2 hours away from me, so I decided to go take a look--worst that could happen is that I wasted an afternoon.

              She was smaller, older, and more expensive than I wanted, but I got on her and knew this was the one. No one cares if you feel big on a horse out in the hunt field.

              Comment


              • #8
                Don't knock a possible mount due to size, age, or any other reason. The pony (14.1 1/2 on a tall day) in the photo was 26 years old at the time the photo was taken and was still rocking first flight with me.

                He easily kept up with the TBS on runs and still had gas in his tank at the end of long days hunting (6 1/2 hrs and over 20 miles). The only time he refused a fence with me was when he thought there was a go around. As soon as I let him look at the woven wire fence, he jumped the coop. Bonus points for never needing shoes!!

                I'm 5'8" around 140 lbs, he's not stoutly built for sure, but he carries his rider safely through a hunt. And yes, he's still at it. 32 years old this year. He hunted 2nd and 3rd flight last year. He can't do the long hard gallops anymore, but don't tell him that!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by jawa View Post
                  Don't knock a possible mount due to size, age, or any other reason. The pony (14.1 1/2 on a tall day) in the photo was 26 years old at the time the photo was taken and was still rocking first flight with me.

                  He easily kept up with the TBS on runs and still had gas in his tank at the end of long days hunting (6 1/2 hrs and over 20 miles). The only time he refused a fence with me was when he thought there was a go around. As soon as I let him look at the woven wire fence, he jumped the coop. Bonus points for never needing shoes!!

                  I'm 5'8" around 140 lbs, he's not stoutly built for sure, but he carries his rider safely through a hunt. And yes, he's still at it. 32 years old this year. He hunted 2nd and 3rd flight last year. He can't do the long hard gallops anymore, but don't tell him that!
                  Jawa, that is really impressive! What a pony!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OP, if you can manage time off for a short trip, I highly recommend going down to visit Hunter's Rest. You can ride out on her horses so she can see your riding, and discuss your needs. There are a series of hunt trail rides with Old Dominion hounds in August that you might be able to participate in and network a bit to see if anyone down there can point you in the direction of a suitable candidate.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Hinderella View Post
                      OP, if you can manage time off for a short trip, I highly recommend going down to visit Hunter's Rest. You can ride out on her horses so she can see your riding, and discuss your needs. There are a series of hunt trail rides with Old Dominion hounds in August that you might be able to participate in and network a bit to see if anyone down there can point you in the direction of a suitable candidate.
                      That is a great suggestion, and definitely not out of the question. I'm chasing down some local leads - have reached out to 4 or 5 hunt clubs, some local eventers and a also a kid's summer camp with a great reputation for turning out well-rounded horses with excellent cross country experience.

                      I'm just beginning my search, but am definitely considering organizing a trip to the mid-atlantic area, where I could hopefully look at a number of prospects (to maximize ROI for the cost of the flights, car rental and hotel fees).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If you come a little further south, there is a lady with Bull Run Hunt that seems to sell a few, can't think of her name at the moment, but I'm sure if you reach out to the BR secretary they would be able to point you in the right direction.

                        A little further south than that...Sarah Greenway has a few nice fox hunters for sale occasionally. Her farm is Levermont Farm. She gets a few in as sales horses, but also brings along a few young ones as well. She hunts with Deep Run.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I just went through a long search, and found Facebook to be the most useful for finding leads. There is a Foxhunters on Facebook group, as well as experienced fox hunters hunters and prospect field hunters groups. Mimi Schmitz (MD) and Kristi Willwerth (Picturesque Farm in VA) both seemed to have a lot of horses come through their barns, both can be found on Facebook. Also might be worth asking your huntsman, they often have lots of contacts and can track something down for you.
                          I suggest looking at a LOT of sales videos now, the more you can figure out what you like and don't like on video the less time you will waste on unsuitable trials.
                          I ended up with a pony and have been having the BEST time with him, definitely worth looking outside the box to find the perfect match. Good Luck!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Check out BayHill Farm in PA. Well bred Cleveland Bays and CB crosses that are well started and have excellent hunting bloodlines. I know she has a few available now in various stages of training/experience. I’ve ridden quite a few of hers and they are all really sensible and athletic! http://www.bayhillfarmcbs.com/

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              I'm still ISO my hunting unicorn. Searching locally has proven to yield few results. I thought I found one, but he didn't pass the PPE

                              I'm starting to consider that I may have to look further afield, such as the Mid-Atlantic area. I really, really wanted to stay local so that I could use my own vet for the PPE. At this point, they know me so well!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                There are lots of good vets in the central Va NOVA area that I'm sure people would be happy to give you recommendations to use when vetting in this area.

                                Horse shopping can be very frustrating and to add to it having to broaden your area just makes it worse.

                                A good hunting horse is truly a unicorn.

                                I wish the best in your continued search.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Do any of your hunt friends like to attend joint meets or similar? It seems anytime I've gone to a joint meet or hound trial there are a number of horses for sale and you can watch them go in the field. If you've got any hunt friends that travel to such things, hand them your wish list and tell them to bring back info on any that look like they would suit you

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    As for vetting from afar, if you get X-rays done have them sent to your trusted vet for review. They are all digital now so it is very easy to have another vet give a second opinion. I had the flexion tests videoed and texted to me as well. You could also have your vet do a consult by phone with the examining vet. It all gets to be expensive, but it does offer peace of mind to have your vet involved.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Mimi Schmitz in the Baltimore area is a good one to contact, also try Colebroke Farm in Upper Marlboro MD. Right now Colebroke has some nice looking OTTB hunters.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I am also looking and have found the right hunt horse to be elusive. You might also contact your local pony club or clubs. I have friends who have purchased all around "ranch" horses, typically QHs and trained them to fox hunt and they have worked out well. Typically good brains, and are already used to riding cross country under various conditions, crossing water, etc.

                                        Comment

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