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First Field Etiquette Question- Passing "higher ranked" members on runs

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  • #21
    Now that I've got a few seasons under my belt, I am really trying this season to start understanding the finer nuances of hunting. I'd really love to start whipping, so any and all aspects of hunting I can learn, the better
    One thing that will help if you get lost is knowing the Huntsman's horn calls. Let's say you (and whoever else you are with) have lost the Field, and your horses are just as clueless (rare, but it does happen). You had found a vantage point high enough to hear carried sound from a distance...but there is no sound from the hounds. Just peace and quiet, birds chirping in the shrubbery, a stray breeze across your face, a gentle squeak of leather as someone shifts in the saddle, and your own breathing. Nothing else.

    Just then you hear, ever so faint, the sound of a hunting horn. Everyone sits up straight, ears straining. The horn music drifts across your ears again. Hooray! You've found the Hunt.

    Question is: do you know what that horn has told you, and what you need to do next? Did it say the huntsman was casting his hounds, or calling them in, or calling the whips in, or picking up hounds to move to the next cover, or encouraging the hounds to honor a hound that has found a line, or cheering a "gone to ground"? Any one of those calls will tell you what you need to do. To either sit tight, come in slowly, or come in fast.

    Next hunt ask your huntsman to educate you on the meanings of each horn tune. It can make all the difference in when and how successfully you find/ rejoin the hunt without interferring with the hound work, and will certainly impress your Field Master and your fellow "lost-ees" with your knowledge of the finer art of hunting.

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    • #22
      The MFHA website sells a recording of horn calls.

      Might be a nice gift for the newbie hunter. hint hint.
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling

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      • #23
        Now one thing that drives me nuts with the POC's is that when the hounds are running and they get passed, that they immediately insert themselves at the front of the field at the next check. Which means when the field moves off again, you have to go through the passing thing again. Also, POC's have a tendency, when they catch up at a jump, to put themselves back at the front of the queue.

        At our last hunt there were three of us with colors riding the tail end of the first flight with young horses and staying way back just to avoid the POC's.

        It's not a crime to admit that your horse is a VW instead of a Ferrari.
        A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

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        • #24
          http://www.nwhsa.org.uk/horn.html

          I know the site posted is a anti site, but its free and the description and horn calls are very good.

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          • #25
            Like Otterhound, I hunt in NZ, so very interesting reading all about how it works in other countries. Hunting in NZ sounds much more informal. My hunt doesn't award colours (other NZ hunts do, I was ever so disappointed to learn I could just do it myself), so it's more based on who can keep up.

            Our hunt has big fields (over 100 is normal on a weekend) and the countryside has a LOT of jumping (much of it lowered so around 3´ in dairy fences so often not an option to jump somewhere else) so it's really frustrating if someone is trying to be in the front and stopping. It can jam up the whole field. Normally people are pretty polite and if they are having problems will drop back. Sometimes you'll get stuck behind someone trotting/cantering in a raceway (fenced track) when everything is galloping off into the distance and politely asking to pass and safely doing so is fine, but not always easy to do.

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            • #26
              Who do you hunt with Feliz?

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              • #27
                If I own up to this then you have to believe me that the stereotypes aren't true, ok? I currently hunt with the Pakuranga (using the term loosely as I'm currently travelling and horseless. Back in Jan so should be able enjoy this coming season). Hunted 2 seasons with Dannevirke a few years ago - fabulous country.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Feliz View Post
                  If I own up to this then you have to believe me that the stereotypes aren't true, ok? I currently hunt with the Pakuranga
                  I'll give you the benefit of the doubt

                  Just brought one of our bitches home from Pakuranga kennels 2 weeks ago after putting her to one of Guy's dog hounds.

                  Ever come up our way?

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                  • #29
                    Just adding my .02 which is very similar to several posts. When hounds are running, all foxhunters are created equal. Of course 'any' riding in a group bears consideration of safety and etiquette, but the question is more rhetorical- if you have room to pass (i.e. NOT a single file track through the woods) you politely indicate, I'd like to pass on your (left or right). And then you do so. Doesn't matter whether you have colors or not, are member or guest, senior or junior. As has been noted, the MFH, hunt staff, and field master WANT you to keep up and enjoy the sport, that's why everyone is there! And keep in mind- people who HAVE their colors should not have been awarded those colors unless they KNOW this piece of etiquette! They are also supposed to have the riding skills necessary to not only keep up, but to know the land and the landowners and be able to perform tasks as assigned by MFH or staff or field master.

                    Indeed, when 'that' run is over, one reassembles as per the colors first.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by otterhound View Post
                      I'll give you the benefit of the doubt
                      Thanks It's really not bad, there are some great people and it's not what I thought it would be like at all after hearing years of stories about it. My only complaint about it is that the country keeps getting smaller and more fenced - but that is entirely understandable due to the location, and I'm so grateful that we can hunt at all. Some of our hunts are on excellent land too.

                      Which hound was it? I only know a few by name though.

                      No, I haven't hunted up north at all. What area do you hunt in? Actually I haven't headed up past Whangarei in over 10yrs - terrible! Long overdue for a trip to the wonderful north.

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by hey101 View Post
                        Based on what I've learned, I've realized... the only solution is for me to get my colors pronto!, because my horse and I like to ride bold and fast and trotting meekly along in the back isn't where we want to be, especially in first field!
                        I have limited hunting experience, but at one point I was riding a horse that belonged to our MFH. The horse had limited hunt experience too, and was bold and fast but got a little anxious at checks. I knew that as a newcomer, it was most appropriate for me to stay in the back and let other members go ahead, so that was what I endeavored to do. For about five minutes, until the MFH said, "No no no, you come up here with me so we can gallop and jump!" The first flight was quite small, and I guess he didn't want to be up there alone!

                        I'm not sure any hunting experience will ever match getting to ride right in the master's pocket, by his express invitation/direction, for those hunts! (We got to go REALLY fast and jump REALLY big!) Looking back, I think it might have been his way to ensure I was completely hooked on hunting. I guess that's more proof that each hunt is different, so it's best to ask how a situation should be handled! Happy hunting!

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Feliz View Post

                          Which hound was it? I only know a few by name though.

                          No, I haven't hunted up north at all. What area do you hunt in? Actually I haven't headed up past Whangarei in over 10yrs - terrible! Long overdue for a trip to the wonderful north.
                          We put our Mischief to Pakuranga's Enter.

                          Partner is huntsman for Northland, so we hunt from Whangarei to Dargaville, and up north as far as Mangonui (for a weekend hunt). If you ever want to come hunt up here with us, you're welcome to stay at the kennels =)

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                          • #33
                            Outside line: that's exactly what happened to me at my first hunt with Pakuranga. My old mare was being a hot idiot standing round and the Master told me to stop mucking about and ride behind him (I did know him). Fortunately mare goes fast and jumps anything, and yes, it helped get me hooked again, couldn't believe I'd stopped hunting for so long!

                            Otterhound - I don't know Enter, I'm afraid, but fingers crossed for a good match (or whatever the correct hunting term is).

                            And that is a very generous offer - thank you, I would love to come up and hunt with you. Now all I need is a horse *rushes off to re-new trademe addiction*

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