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Is a paint "too bright" to foxhunt with?

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  • Is a paint "too bright" to foxhunt with?

    Are paints really frowned upon in foxhunting?

    The club I have joined has several paints/pintos that are regularly out hunting (all three fields plus two of our longest standing whips), as well as a number of appaloosas and other "non-standard" breeds/colors, so I didn't think anything of hunting with my paint (standard black/white cow type print with a dark face, maybe 40% white).

    I was out hunting recently and was told (by a field master) that my horse was "too brightly colored and would distract the hounds". I was pretty taken aback and don't know what to do as I don't have another hunt horse.

    Is this typical in your clubs? Any advice?

  • #2
    I'm trying to work out how to answer this politely.... it is the kind of attitude that puts people off foxhunting and I find it really annoying.

    As coloured horses are common in the hunt field and are ridden by professional hunt staff - even in the stuffiest hunts - in the UK, I most gently and politely suggest that your Fieldmaster is both out of date and ill informed. I shall stop now.

    "A good horse is never a bad colour"
    "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Callie's Mom View Post
      Are paints really frowned upon in foxhunting?

      The club I have joined has several paints/pintos that are regularly out hunting (all three fields plus two of our longest standing whips), as well as a number of appaloosas and other "non-standard" breeds/colors, so I didn't think anything of hunting with my paint (standard black/white cow type print with a dark face, maybe 40% white).

      I was out hunting recently and was told (by a field master) that my horse was "too brightly colored and would distract the hounds". I was pretty taken aback and don't know what to do as I don't have another hunt horse.

      Is this typical in your clubs? Any advice?
      I don't think I've ever heard anything so preposterous. While proper APHA registered Paint horses would not be common in the hunt field in Merry Olde England, "coloured" horses (often cobs, generally what we would call tobiano) certainly are, and I don't think dogs in general (much less hunting hounds specifically) pay the littlest bit of attention to what color a horse is. Perhaps the field master was making a joke and was so straight-faced you didn't notice?

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      • #4
        If I remember correctly back in the early 1960s I saw a picture of Jackie Kennedy fox hunting on a piebald.

        If the First Lady can do it without screams of horror I am sure it is basically OK if unconventional at times.

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        • #5
          I’m going to guess he was joking too, especially since you mention several members and long standing staff hunt paints. Sometimes it is hard to tell people are joking when they don’t crack a smile.

          As long as your horse is clean, well behaved and well turned out, I can’t imagine anybody (including hounds) cares what color or pattern it is.

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          • #6

            Answer: No, dogs are not colorblind in the sense that they see more than just black, white, and gray. However, the color range they perceive is limited compared to the spectrum we see. To put it in very basic terms, the canine color field consists mostly of yellows, blues, and violets.

            You can joke back and say it will only be a problem when you are riding a yellow, blue and violet horse.
            It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.

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            • #7
              He had to be joking.

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              • #8
                Would love to know the name of the hunt and the name of the MFH --using my ivory stationery and perfect penmanship, I would politely remind the Master that clubs exist to provide sport for the members and guests. Any remarks he or she might have on the color of the horse are inappropriate. I would then ask the MFH at the thee hunts I ride with to sign the letter, as would I --a retired MFH.

                And I personally would never ride with that hunt ---on my brightly colored roan.

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                • #9
                  What a peculiar remark! So peculiar I'm not even sure that Foxglove 's fine ivory stationary is required. I'm embarrassed for your Master and I feel certain that attempting to overlook this statement with a polite, if somewhat stiff smile is all the response required.

                  I am quite certain that if I met you out hunting I'd be jealous of your attractively marked steed.

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                  • #10
                    I think my response would have been something to the effect of "Well bless your heart, what an unkind thing to say. A good horse can never be a bad color".

                    I know very little about hunting but in most of the pictures/videos I've seen the horses were a mixed lot. All different colors, sizes, breeds and conformations. The only common factor was they were all nicely turned out and well mannered.

                    And I was not aware that dogs saw enough different colors to distinguish all the various colors horses come in, let alone be distracted by them!😉

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                    • #11
                      I know nothing about fox hunting, but it's always looked like a good time. In the spirit of this conversation I decided to look up close Hunts to my general location and found this group...
                      https://hickorycreekhunt.com/
                      I found it half way funny that the second picture on their main page is a brightly colored leopard app. There is always someone in every group who is going to have a color discrimination. I saw it in the Morgan circuit with my Buckskin, but it didn't keep me from going out and doing what I enjoyed.

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                      • #12
                        Honestly I probably would have said something like “well if my horse’s color is distracting to your hounds I really should be thinking about riding behind a better pack.”

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                        • #13
                          The foxhounds aren't supposed to pay attention to anything once they are on the scent, so this is such an absurd statement that it sounds to me like dead pan "hazing" humor that is expecting a snappy comeback like "well, let me ride in front and that way no one will get lost."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post
                            Honestly I probably would have said something like “well if my horse’s color is distracting to your hounds I really should be thinking about riding behind a better pack.”
                            my thoughts exactly

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                            • #15
                              I truly hope it was a bad attempt at dry humor. The only time a horse should be an issue is if it can’t deal with hounds or is unruly in the field. I have never seen someone care about color or type. The horse can or it can’t.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thank you all for your responses!! Phew. I suppose I will try to hope it was a joke - I did tell my horse "You're being discriminated against!" but didn't say anything to the master as I was so surprised. I would much rather take criticism over my horse's behavior versus something I have no hope of changing outside of a large vat of black dye.

                                Foxhunting is a tough sport to break into already without having to worry about my brightly colored horse (who I might add, was spotless!).

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                                • #17
                                  I am also hoping this was the field masters failed attempt at dry humor. Granted, I haven't hunted in years, and am only familiar with the hunt club I rode with, but I can guarantee you the color, breed, size of the horse was never an issue. Fox hounds have one thing on their mind - following a scent. I doubt they even notice the horses in the field. Besides, they are (for the most part) out in front, so how could a horse "distract" them? Well, unless you slathered your horse with fox (coyote) pee/poop. Now that would be distracting... to more than the hounds!
                                  ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

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                                  • #18
                                    I would argue that if a pack of SCENT hounds were distracted by the SIGHT of a horse, they are not very good at their jobs.

                                    If you are truly concerned about whether or not your horse is welcome in the field, I would find one of the actual MFHs (assuming the field master is not one) and politely ask their opinion. My bet is that you will get a very boggled expression in reply.

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                                    • #19
                                      I would guess he was joking, I belong to a hunt and we have a couple of paints, a palomino, an interesting colored draft cross, and a mule that shows up occasionally!
                                      Good hunt horses come in all sizes and colors!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Callie's Mom View Post

                                        I was out hunting recently and was told (by a field master) that my horse was "too brightly colored and would distract the hounds". I was pretty taken aback and don't know what to do as I don't have another hunt horse.

                                        Is this typical in your clubs? Any advice?
                                        Apparently there are people too stupid to be field masters

                                        ... _. ._ .._. .._

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