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The risks of hunting

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  • The risks of hunting

    This is a serious question. I have longed to try hunting, but I am getting too far up in years to start anything risky. Maybe this year will be the year, but... seeing how dangerous eventing can be, is hunting on par with the risks?
    Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

  • #2
    I don't know how old is too old. I've met people in the hunt field that are in their 70's and still hunting first flight. There are a lot of risks in the hunt field. I think it would be hard to enjoy hunting if you were thinking about what could go wrong.


    • #3
      Coming from my vast experience of two hunts, third field in the able hands of Hunter's Rest ...... if you go out on a made horse, with an experienced field master to guide you, the risks are certainly no greater than those you take when you head out on the trail on your own horse. In my case, the risks were far less, because the horses were so dependable.

      I certainly encourage you to consider going out with Hunter's Rest when cubbing starts in the fall (or with someone similar who is near you, if HR's too faraway). Certainly anything we do with horses carries an element of danger, but the joyous excitement of hunting, for me, far outweighed my concerns.

      And we won't hear anything of the "age" thing...when I attended the spring CotH hunt, many of us were "women of a certain age", and we all held up rather well, I thought.


      • #4
        Yes we did!

        I was at much less risk riding third field on Remus than I am riding around the indoor on my hot headed horse.
        Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


        • Original Poster

          I appreciate the positive replies! Trying to get the plan going to hunt sometime (sooner rather than later) has been my goal for a couple of years. I will have to travel about 4 hours to reach the club near Tacoma, WA. In the eventing forum was a thread about moving fences. I stupidly looked at the video and have now scared myself about jumping.

          Is there an option to go around a fence if you're feeling things are not quite right with you and your horse? Years ago I went to a hunter pace near Eugene, OR with a friend and every jump gave you the option to ride around it. (I know, I'm a total weeney!)
          Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.


          • #6
            Generally the second field goes through the gates. So, yes, it is totally possible to hunt and not risk your neck over scary jumps.
            Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


            • #7
              It is like any other activity. You make informed decisions to minimize risk. Become informed ! Join you local hunt for summer activities and learn how it works.
              ... _. ._ .._. .._


              • #8
                It's also going to depends on the hunt... I wouldn't go out with *our* local hunt as I've seen a much too cavalier attitude on safety from a number of its members (which is quite frankly the general reputation of the hunt as well), but there are plenty of hunts back east I would love to try going out with.
                "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


                • #9
                  Gestalt, please

                  We would LOVE for you to come out with us! I, personally, would love to have more gentlemen in the field. The spring coth group was started as a thread for a ladies outing. It is open to men of different ages. We actually have a number of gentlemen join us.

                  So plan on a trip east in the Fall! The ODH group is lots of fun and you really don't have to jump. We also have no need for portable fences.... We have GATES!
                  Intermediate Riding Skills


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gestalt View Post

                    Is there an option to go around a fence if you're feeling things are not quite right with you and your horse? Years ago I went to a hunter pace near Eugene, OR with a friend and every jump gave you the option to ride around it. (I know, I'm a total weeney!)
                    Absolutely! At our hunt we require that new riders hilltop at least the first time out. And we introduced a third field for people who don't want to move along as quickly as the first two.

                    You can certainly minimize the risks of hunting and it's wicked good fun!
                    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                    • Original Poster

                      Hunt members is another reason I want to get into the game. You guys have the best attitudes. Ride on!
                      Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.


                      • #12
                        At my hunt we have three flights- first flight which is right behind the huntsman and jumps. Second flight follows at hunting pace but goes through gates. Depending on the territory and time of year (early on the cows are still in the pastures so the gates must be opened and closed) they might be brieftly separated from first flight but they catch up. And the hilltoppers go as fast as the weakest/newest horse and rider combo can handle. Some days they are right on the heels of second flight and other days they are back on the hills walking and trotting along.


                        • #13
                          My dad didn't even take up riding until he was in his 60's! Started hunting and was awarded his colors at the age of 66! He started riding second flight, progressed to first and by the time his second season rolled around, he was sometimes asked to lead second flight on a slow day! Go for it!!!
                          Originally posted by The Saddle
                          Perhaps I need my flocking adjusted.


                          • #14
                            A "GOOD", "SEASONED" horse is the key to happiness and longevity!! Leave the hot, young, green wannabies to the pro riders. IMO there is no such thing as a hunt horse who is too quiet!! I LOVE my TB's, but would never suggest a newbie ride anything but a packer...any good breed - QH, draft cross will do, but it MUST be a no nonsense packer!! Then it is a matter of finding a good field master. One who knows all the best ways to see the action and stay mounted and confident. We hunt some really rugged country out here in Oklahoma and Kansas, but I have never feared for my life...raised my blood pressure a few times, but have always had a blast...and I've been hunting sporadically for 50 years!! More "bang for your buck" than a lot of equine activities and our hunt people are some of the nicest I've ever met!! Give it a try when your local hunt starts roading and cubbing...those are the saner times. I bet you'll be hooked!! Hope you give it a try.
                            Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                            • #15
                              it depends

                              In some ways, it is more dangerous than eventing; in other ways less; a lot depends on the horse; on my big ( 17 DWB/TBX I always felt very safe; while, on my spindly legged little (16 hand barely )tb mare; i worried constantly; ; out hunting there is no telling where hounds, the fox really, will take you; through uncleared fields with metal stakes marking old fence lines jumps which land you in a mud puddle full of rocks; there is no way to walk the fences before you jump them; additionally, at events you have a judge with a radio for help, should you or your horse need it; out hunting you must depend on someone having a cell phone; and then being able to move horse and rider to an open space where ambulances , horse and human, can reach you; that may take a lot of time; hope that some member of the field will wait with you while, the rest of the hunt continues on; also that, your horse will be content to stand alone; quietly, and wait for help to arrive; that said ; find a friendly hunt, you feel comfortable with; a made field hunter who, fits you ; remember, they may not be a show hunter but, like an suv/ atv can/ will carry you safely over varied terrain; in all kinds of traffic; possibly get “dinged in the process; yet still bring you home safely; those horses are worth your weight in gold; find someone with a program like Jan reutzs’; a foxhunting school with made field hunters to learn on; then, you might want to consider the inflatable vests the eventers wear; and definitely a good helmet; if your hunt allows it; there are now good, safety helmets in a variety of styles; prepare yourself and go for it and have fun
                              breeder of Mercury!

                              remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                              • Original Poster

                                Yikes CA, you gave me chills when you mentioned jumping into rocks! I took a breath and then went and read the club's website, they sound tamer than other groups. They only do drag hunts so you pretty much stay on a set trail.

                                And they say you usually have the option of going around a fence. I'm going to do it. This summer/fall is my time to go for it. My first goal is to send my somewhat greenie to a trainer for a couple of months to see if he will "hack" it.
                                Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.


                                • #17
                                  I'm so glad you're going to give it a try. Be sure to keep up with posting about your progress and your experiences!


                                  • #18
                                    I'm game to try this for the first time this Fall. Who's with me! I'm thinking of going through HR and using one of their horses and hill topping (I'm not feeling jumps anymore). I'm losing my mind But there it is! I'm in gosh darnit!

                                    Now...what do I need to do first?

                                    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                                    • #19
                                      paulaedwina- PM Huntersrest and she can set you up. If you let everyone know a little about yourself and your experience, they can give helpful advice for what to do to prepare.

                                      I guess we will be passing the Kool Aid again!!



                                      • #20
                                        Allright! How cool is this!

                                        I've been riding English on and off since I was a kid (8 years old) in Trinidad. I'm 42 now, and just started Dressage this past Fall (let me tell how different that is). At 41 I must have hit some midlife crisis because now I'm seriously riding, actually looking for my first horse, and am game to try all kinds of wacky things. Right now I ride 4 days a week; one dressage lesson, one equitation lesson, and I exercise horses for my equitation trainer.

                                        Funny thing about HR; I went to the site when it was referred to in a post and absolutely fell in love. I am not one for vacations - I get easily bored, and don't see the appeal of sleeping in hotels and amusement parks, and heck I'm from the tropics so I've done the beach and I live in the woods so I don't need to "get away from it all" and then I went to HR's website and saw my vacation! I mean can you beat going to a B&B, riding horses, and getting a tune up on your training!!?

                                        For sure the first time I'll use one of their hunters, but I see myself taking my future horsie there on vacation

                                        I will PM HR.

                                        BTW a friend of mine was playing with her camera at my equitation lesson last week and took some pictures of me on my fav draft cross school horse. Lilly is 18 years old, a Perch/TB. She was my trainer's hunter back in the day and now she's the best baby sitter for the kids and the disabled riders and still rips and tears around with me. http://www.flickr.com/photos/52967336@N00/5602198910/

                                        He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).