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Hunting w/ Piedmont - possible for a newbie?

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  • Hunting w/ Piedmont - possible for a newbie?

    I got an invitation from one of the MFHs to go out with Piedmont. Would I be completely out of my mind to attempt an outing with this hunt as a first-timer? I'm sure I'm already sounding very naive so please excuse me...

    I'm not concerned about the horse's fitness though I'm concerned that he will build over the excitement of it all. Would it be unrealistic to think we could keep to a walk/trot with some cantering, or should I basically be prepared to gallop all morning? Also, would it be acceptable if I asked to be paired with some more seasoned riders/horses that would be welcoming of a new comer?

    Last question...would it be acceptable for me to go thru the motions by getting ready and showing up to a hunt, warming up etc, but not actually go out with them?

  • #2
    Originally posted by curiousgirl View Post
    Would it be unrealistic to think we could keep to a walk/trot with some cantering....
    See below.

    or.... should I basically be prepared to gallop all morning?
    This. Peidmont is a fantastic hunt and I always had a wonderful time while out hunting with them. However, they are normally very fast and get great runs.

    Last question...would it be acceptable for me to go thru the motions by getting ready and showing up to a hunt, warming up etc, but not actually go out with them
    If you are going to haul there and go through the trouble of getting ready to hunt you really should. Otherwise, come as you are with no horse and just meet for the stirrup cup. Maybe tag along with one of the drivers and watch the hunt via car.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by curiousgirl View Post
      I got an invitation from one of the MFHs to go out with Piedmont. Would I be completely out of my mind to attempt an outing with this hunt as a first-timer? I'm sure I'm already sounding very naive so please excuse me...

      I'm not concerned about the horse's fitness though I'm concerned that he will build over the excitement of it all. Would it be unrealistic to think we could keep to a walk/trot with some cantering, or should I basically be prepared to gallop all morning? Also, would it be acceptable if I asked to be paired with some more seasoned riders/horses that would be welcoming of a new comer?

      Last question...would it be acceptable for me to go thru the motions by getting ready and showing up to a hunt, warming up etc, but not actually go out with them?
      Piedmont is a beautiful hunt. They are very friendly with very nice riders, everyone always turned out in their best hunt attire. I like to arrive at the meet (via car) to watch Tuesday's hunt go off because I live in the Tuesday territory.

      They do go fast, jump decent fences (some big, some bigger), and the field is only 1st Flight except for times when they have a "Landowner's Group" (2nd Flight) on some weekends (but not all). So you will need a horse that can jump 3'6" at least, unless you go on a day they have the Landowner's Group.

      You might want to look over the riders and see if there is someone you might want to follow, then ask if they mind if you park your horse behind them. Most won't care, and if you are polite, and your horse well behaved, they will be happy to be your lead.

      Keep in mind that when the hounds are running, the field must keep up. The Field Master will set the pace - walk, trot, canter, or gallop. Usually you will have all four, plus a lot of standing around if the scenting is poor.

      If you want to bring your horse out to "see" the start of the hunt, but not actually go out hunting, there certainly shouldn't be any problem with that. You will be expected to pay the cap, however.....that's rather an expensive "show and leave".

      Hope you have fun!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thought so--thanks! Maybe I'll stick with following in my truck

        Originally posted by sar2008 View Post
        See below.



        This. Peidmont is a fantastic hunt and I always had a wonderful time while out hunting with them. However, they are normally very fast and get great runs.



        If you are going to haul there and go through the trouble of getting ready to hunt you really should. Otherwise, come as you are with no horse and just meet for the stirrup cup. Maybe tag along with one of the drivers and watch the hunt via car.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          So no slower group for these guys--the best I can hope for is a "landowner's group". I'm definitely not going to want to jump big with this horse. So no gaits, huh? Maybe I'll just go watch them move off with my coffee cup in hand. Or I could ace myself and make a go of it

          Originally posted by gothedistance View Post
          Piedmont is a beautiful hunt. They are very friendly with very nice riders, everyone always turned out in their best hunt attire. I like to arrive at the meet (via car) to watch Tuesday's hunt go off because I live in the Tuesday territory.

          They do go fast, jump decent fences (some big, some bigger), and the field is only 1st Flight except for times when they have a "Landowner's Group" (2nd Flight) on some weekends (but not all). So you will need a horse that can jump 3'6" at least, unless you go on a day they have the Landowner's Group.

          You might want to look over the riders and see if there is someone you might want to follow, then ask if they mind if you park your horse behind them. Most won't care, and if you are polite, and your horse well behaved, they will be happy to be your lead.

          Keep in mind that when the hounds are running, the field must keep up. The Field Master will set the pace - walk, trot, canter, or gallop. Usually you will have all four, plus a lot of standing around if the scenting is poor.

          If you want to bring your horse out to "see" the start of the hunt, but not actually go out hunting, there certainly shouldn't be any problem with that. You will be expected to pay the cap, however.....that's rather an expensive "show and leave".

          Hope you have fun!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by curiousgirl View Post
            So no slower group for these guys--the best I can hope for is a "landowner's group". I'm definitely not going to want to jump big with this horse. So no gaits, huh? Maybe I'll just go watch them move off with my coffee cup in hand. Or I could ace myself and make a go of it
            Why not call the secretary and ask when they are going to have a Landowner's Group? You'd enjoy 2nd Flight - they will go slower, use the gates rather than jumping, and you will have fun hunting without having to face the fences.

            Again, Piedmont is a really nice hunt, and they always give great sport.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by gothedistance View Post
              Why not call the secretary and ask when they are going to have a Landowner's Group? You'd enjoy 2nd Flight - they will go slower, use the gates rather than jumping, and you will have fun hunting without having to face the fences.

              Again, Piedmont is a really nice hunt, and they always give great sport.
              But remember, cappers are usually not permitted to ride in the Landowner's group unless they are there specifically with a member who is riding in that field.
              Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles

              Comment


              • #8
                "If you want to bring your horse out to "see" the start of the hunt, but not actually go out hunting, there certainly shouldn't be any problem with that. You will be expected to pay the cap, however.....that's rather an expensive "show and leave".

                Very good to know this - I was clueless - and is this applicable only if you are dressed to hunt? Several times I have nearly taken greenies to a next door hunt to unload them and let them have a first look at hounds and riders etc. and then box them up and go home as soon as hounds left. (I had even thought if they were quiet I might hop on them and stay at the outskirts of the activity until hounds moved off). Of course, this would only be done with prior permission, but if a cap is due, (again, I would be in jeans and a Barbour and definitely NOT hunting), then I will not even ever be asking (and embarassing myself!). What a shame if it is a no no for it is a good way to introduce horses to hounds.

                Thanks for any input.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tantivy, to my knowledge, that is usually up to each hunt to decide whether they will A) allow it or not, and B) make you pay a cap fee or not for doing so if they allow it. So it would be a "call the Secretary/MFH" kind of thing.

                  I do think that the Sec/MFH will be more likely to say "yes", and then not charge you, if they know you pretty well, and more likely to say "no" if they have no idea who you are or if you have any hunt experience.
                  Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks for all the great suggestions and input everyone! I may also try to hook up with a hunt that's better suited to a newbie like me. The last thing I want to do is get out there and be completely overfaced

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by curiousgirl View Post
                      Thanks for all the great suggestions and input everyone! I may also try to hook up with a hunt that's better suited to a newbie like me. The last thing I want to do is get out there and be completely overfaced
                      Yes, if you and your horse have never hunted, Piedmont would not be the place I'd start out.
                      Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tantivy1 View Post
                        "If you want to bring your horse out to "see" the start of the hunt, but not actually go out hunting, there certainly shouldn't be any problem with that. You will be expected to pay the cap, however.....that's rather an expensive "show and leave".

                        Very good to know this - I was clueless - and is this applicable only if you are dressed to hunt? Several times I have nearly taken greenies to a next door hunt to unload them and let them have a first look at hounds and riders etc. and then box them up and go home as soon as hounds left. (I had even thought if they were quiet I might hop on them and stay at the outskirts of the activity until hounds moved off). Of course, this would only be done with prior permission, but if a cap is due, (again, I would be in jeans and a Barbour and definitely NOT hunting), then I will not even ever be asking (and embarassing myself!). What a shame if it is a no no for it is a good way to introduce horses to hounds.

                        Thanks for any input.
                        I would say...if you came dressed to hunt, it is implied you are going to hunt, whether you decide at the last second (still at the trailers) not to...or go for a short bit then go home. You pay for the privilege of being invited...and your money goes to help support the hunt and hounds. That's a good thing!

                        I (personally, even being a landowner) would never bring a non-hunt horse, in hand, put to a carriage, or otherwise, to a meet without the express, prior permission of the Master. Besides the hunt's highest priority being the safety of the hounds (only wanting the horses around them to be hound-broke), it is their party, hosted on private land for their members and guests only.

                        Not directed to Tantivy because I know she knows this already, but to anyone who doesn't know: Most of the hunts around the No. VA area allow public introduction during their summer hunt trail ride season where hounds are also walked. Controlled, hounds protected, yet green horses can see and watch and interact in a safe manner. That is the best time to take a greenie. These rides are well publicized on hunt websites and in other public horse forums/calendars online.

                        My guys get enough hound experience watching Piedmont's hounds race around and past and through and near and far around our farm, and our locale, on Tuesdays during hunting season. Lots of music (those hounds can SING!) lots of horn, lots of galloping horses. I can always tell exactly where the hounds are (when they aren't singing) by looking at my hunt pony. He's better than a champion bird dog for pointing the way!
                        Last edited by gothedistance; Oct. 7, 2010, 09:12 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          just my 2 cents!

                          I suggest Loudoun Hunt as a good first hunt experience if you live in that area especially. Just up the road!
                          Also Loudoun Hunt West would be good too!

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