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First hunterpace and hunt

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  • First hunterpace and hunt


    I've been on one hunterpace and have hilltopped once before, but I'm going to a hunterpace on Sept 11th, and then a hunt sometime in October. I will be riding my mare who has done neither before. I have a few questions:

    1. I currently ride my mare in a french link eggbutt snaffle, and she goes well in that in the ring and on hacks, but I think it would be wise to use something stronger for the hunterpace, and especially the hunt. What do you suggest?
    I do have a pelham that I have tried her in. She was very respectfull of that bit... almost too much. My concern is using the two sets of reins during my first time hunting. I didn't have a problem with the reins at home when I was trying out the bit to see if it might be suitable for the hunterpace and hunt, but I would rather just use one set of reins while hunting. And I think using a converter for a single rein would be too much bit for my horse.

    Or I was thinking I could use a running martingale with her regular bit and she how she goes in that at the hunterpace. If she is a bit strong, then I can just suck it up and use the pelham with the two sets of reins for the hunt.

    Any suggestions?

    2. I should be fine dressed in fieldboots, breeches, and a tucked in polo shirt for the hunterpace, right? And for the hunt would a huntcoat, and white show blouse, with a stock tie do?

    Any other helpful advice would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks for your help!

  • #2
    On attire, I would contact the hunt secretary. Some hunts require more formal turn out for hunter paces, and depending on you hunt the dress code for cubbing could be anything from a polo to rat catcher, to the more formal black coat.

    As far as the bit....it will take some experimenting on your part. I would agree that having too much bit can be as much of a problem as not enough. If she is over bitted, she may have a hard time relaxing. Especially if you use a converter on the Pelham.

    Try her at home with the running martingale to make sure she won't flip out about it.

    You could also check and see if you horse would prefer A double jointed Pelham and learn to use double reins. It is not that hard. That way you can use the reins with separate intensity for good and bad behavior.


    Best of luck, and I hope you will report back!


    • #3
      You might want to experiment with a Kimberwicke. Not sure you'd need it for the hunter pace, but if the Pelham is a bit much the Kimberwicke might be just the ticket. One set of reins - even with the Uxeter Kimberwicke.

      Have a wonderful time.
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling


      • #4
        I second the Kimberwicke. Or perhaps a single twist eggbutt snaffle, or a baucher. They're all a bit of 'bite' but more mild than a pelham.

        As to attire: Check with the hunt secretary. What you described would be appropriate for a hunter pace with the hunt I ride with, but as someone else mentioned, it could be different where you're going.
        Rural Property Specialist
        Keller Williams Realtors

        Email Me for Horse Property!


        • Original Poster

          Well we went to the hunterpace today and had an absolute blast! This was my homebred mares first outing and she behaved like a perfect lady. You would think she'd been doing it for years. She stood like an angel at the trailer; went to a halt after a gallop and stood quietly on the buckle. She even went into a small lake for a drink, and water has been a bugaboo for us for awhile. Not bad for a "crazy trakehner."

          I decided to go with the kimberwicke since I already had one (don't know why I didn't think to use it) and I would've had to go out and buy a running martingale. I like to economise where possible, and I prefer my horse to have full use of her head and neck should she ever take a stumble.

          So I'm quite excited for the hunt. The hunt was giving out a voucher for a hunt with no capping fee. So I will use that when the hunt meets at the barn I'm boarding at in October. The barn owners are new landowners with this hunt. What's better than a day of hunting? Free hunting!


          • #6
            So glad everything went well for you and maresy!!

            Looking forward to hearing about more escapades!!


            • Original Poster

              Oh I have a few questions. At the hunterpace there were signs posted as to what the hounds were doing during the hypothetical hunt.

              What does "the hounds are feathering" mean?

              The hounds are recast?

              hmm there were a few more terms/things the "hounds" were supposed to be doing, but I can't seem to remember.

              thanks for your help.


              • #8
                Feathering (or feathering the stern): wagging the tail

                To cast: to send the hounds into a covert to scent for the quarry


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by mildot View Post
                  Feathering (or feathering the stern): wagging the tail

                  To cast: to send the hounds into a covert to scent for the quarry

                  Now how could I use this info for a hunterpace ie. trot, walk, canter? Some spots were obvious as to where to walk (rocky trail through a forrest), other places were not so obvious (in forrest, but on good footing with no branches in the way).


                  • #10
                    "Feathering – A hound “feathers” when he indicates, by actions rather than by voice, that he is on a line or near it. The stern (rear end) is waved and activity is concentrated and intensified"

                    When you're Hunting and the hounds are feathering, you will be waiting for the pack to find the line. In our Hunt it means we're standing around, watching hounds figure things out.
                    Alison Howard
                    Homestead Farms, Maryland www.freshorganicvegetables.com


                    • #11
                      If hounds are feathering or being recast, I would expect you to be walking or to stand around for a bit. No talking and horses stock still as to not distract them from their work.

                      Afterwards, if they were to open on the line, you may trot or canter along the path. Or you may just stay in your location and listen as the quarry circles around you.