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identifying a fox hunter?

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  • identifying a fox hunter?

    I am not a fox hunter and was wondering how do you decide which horses are better that others without actually riding them? What type of horses fit this discipline?
    Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
    Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
    "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"

  • #2
    Car follow a live fox hunt?

    I don't know any other way to "know" for sure. There is nothing like fox hunting.

    Moving at speed with a group, keeping a safe distance from the horse in front, not minding if the horse behind hasn't kept a safe following distance, over natural terrain, with a pack of hounds moving all around you, standing perfectly still after a run.

    It would be hard to replicate the above without actually doing it.


    • #3
      Without actually riding them in the hunt field, or without riding them at all?

      If you have a horse you can trail ride politely with a group of others at the canter without having to lead or drag way behind, that will easily cross obstacles like water and downed logs, and is more of a bold or inquisitive type than the spooky nervous type, he or she is probably a good candidate.


      • #4

        Almost any breed can hunt. And you identify them by the halo over their heads.....yep! Thats all there is to it!


        • #5
          Let's see...

          When you're out doing trot sets in the large open hay field next to your horse's pasture with all of his buddies and the BO comes out on a 4 wheeler to "round them up" to the gate for dinner, causing a mass stampede and he doesn't mind, you might have a foxhunter on your hands.


          • #6
            Would never think of buying field hunter/fox hunter without riding and jumping unless the prospect was in the hands of someone I knew and respected. Horses for courses as the race saying goes, hunters for hunts. No all hunts are the same. Our hunt, Cheshire, is lucky to have a lot of great territory to work with. All of it pretty stiff, lots of jumps, and a run can last for hours. I would say the majority of horses in our field are Thoroughbreds, especially in the first flight. They have the stamina and agility. I would guess the same in Maryland and Virginia. I wouldn’t say there is a particular look or type per-se but that’s just my opinion. Our hunters are ex-racehorses. Some have run over timber. Some have been hurdlers also. Though you would want to get that “style” of jumping out of their system especially a first flight horse. “Barn” temperament and good manors are always a plus but aren’t necessarily indicative of what they will be like in the field. The first thing we do when re-schooling an OTTB after the usual “let down” period is send them over some logs and go from there. In the summer we hound walk prospects. This is the acid test IMO. We usually know from day 1 if they will be worth the effort.
            I would venture to say that the majority of fox hunters are bought from people like us who have the facilities, horses and back ground to start them off and hunt them before offering them for sale.


            • Original Poster

              Great info... Thanks
              I always dreamed of hunting but as I have gotten older the yellow stripe up my back has gotten wider! Heehee... I think it is so much fun to watch and hear the stories...
              I was just wondering how you pick a hunt horse
              Thanks again
              Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
              Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
              "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"


              • #8
                Hmmm, my two hunt horses might not pass that test!

                I see lots of different horse out in the hunt field. Our hunt is nothing like Cheshire in terms of the territories (fences are smaller, hunts are shorter). We have a variety of breeds with draft crosses common and many TBs.

                My first hunt horse was a Trakehner; my current is an OTTB. My Trakehner loved to hunt from day 1 -- he was pretty unflappable and very curious. He loved to watch the hounds work and was very bold to fences.

                My OTTB I wasn't sure would be a hunt horse because when I got him, he had to always be first or he would throw a tantrum. However, with patience and perseverance he's turned out to be a blast and now that he knows his job will go anywhere in the field. He's very smart, loves the action and watches the hounds all the time. He's pretty brave but not like my Trak. However, he's much more nimble and sure-footed.

                If I had a choice, I would certainly prefer to buy a horse who had been started hunting by someone who knew how to train 'em. I started both of mine and while the first one took to it right away, I had to put a solid year or so of training into my OTTB before I felt he was ready.

                Originally posted by Heliodoro View Post
                Let's see...

                When you're out doing trot sets in the large open hay field next to your horse's pasture with all of his buddies and the BO comes out on a 4 wheeler to "round them up" to the gate for dinner, causing a mass stampede and he doesn't mind, you might have a foxhunter on your hands.
                Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                • #9
                  When I sell a horse as a potential Fox Hunting Prospect. The things I look at are.

                  A horse who is completely comfortable w/ himself and not herd bound. A horse who doesn't care where his pasture buddies are or go and fine alone or in company.

                  horse who moves thriftly across any terrain and knows here his feet are.

                  Has to jump well not only from canter but also from a trot.

                  Unfussy horse who will stand and not fidget especailly when there is activelty.

                  Horse who has no problems standing in trailer and will load and unload anywhere.

                  Good feet a must and decent bone

                  Color sex breed height conformation is up to buyer and sometimes terrain of hunt....


                  • #10
                    Having a horse suitable to the hunt is a biggie for me. We've had people show up with horses that couldn't keep up and expected the hunt to slow down for them. That's not going to happen.
                    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.


                    • #11
                      blood shot eyes, smelling vaugely of liquor,saddle soap and a macdonalds Egg and cheese biscuit

                      oh wait...you mean the horses?

                      Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                      I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
                        blood shot eyes, smelling vaugely of liquor,saddle soap and a macdonalds Egg and cheese biscuit

                        oh wait...you mean the horses?



                        • #13
                          Since you are a *newbie*... I would recommend you look ONLY at seasoned horses.

                          Here is a website that has some-- in full detail and verified by the hunts themselves.


                          The site is inclusive of firrst, second, staff, hilltoppers and even Childrens horses!~ -- each section fully explained.
                          There are pictures, information about each horse, their abilities, Where they have been hunting -- and of course...prices.

                          This would be a good horse to review>

                          and this one ---
                          IN GOD WE TRUST
                          OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.


                          • #14
                            There is a huge variation from one hunt to another. Our hunts rarely exceed two hours due to the size of our fixtures. All jumps are optional, terrain can be a bit rugged with ditches, rocks, hills etc. I can only think of one TB in the entire hunt. Most are QH types and draft crosses. Levelheadedness ( if that's a word) is a great quality as is surefootedness. Civilized manners another huge plus. I am particular about their manners at the trailer as well. My horses will stand without the halter on while I bridle and unbridle and they will stand tied to or on board the trailer as long as needed (I always leave them with a big hay bag and a bucket of water).

                            At the bare minimum I would want to take a prospect on a group trail ride but hound walking would be a much better test. Good luck in your search.


                            • #15
                              My horse is an eventer... I never in a million years would have thought she could hunt. She pitches hissy fits in the dressage warm up if a horse looks at her and can be equally as persnickety in the stadium warm up. And she is the spookiest thing out there!

                              At home, she is herd bound but if "forced" will hack out alone without too much fuss. If, like in an example above, she was in an arena working and a herd of horses took off or were being brought in, she would not be well behaved.

                              In a hunt, will gallop forever in first flight, stop on a dime, pick up immediately if need be, will patiently wait if a hound has to pass, will let a newbie run up her buttocks without a fuss and will jump anything in front of her.

                              At a check, she'll stand for as long as necessary... stand, not graze.

                              The only thing that she needs is a good first gallop. If the field is slow, she might get a bit bouncy...

                              The Huntsman, my barn owner, made the suggest to give it a try after an eventing clinic was canceled. I said, "why not?" And have been addicted ever since!!!!

                              And, hunting has improved our eventing immensely!

                              With all of that said, I knew my horse. I knew how to ride and well! It was the best decision I ever made!
                              Live, Laugh, Love