Want to know how to go hunting? It’s trail hunting nowadays, with hounds following a scent laid by a runner or quad bike, and it’s enormous fun! Horse&Rider magazine has all the advice first timers need, from hunting etiquette to how to ride your horse at his first meet. So get on the trail now…
In the October issue of Horse&Rider magazine, Horse&Rider’s Editor Alison Bridge plus experts from the Surrey Union Hunt, answer common questions about hunting.
How can I tell if hunting is for me? “You’ll be riding fast in company, up and down hills, and jumping rustic fences and hedges,” says Alison. “It’s exciting and exhilarating, though you do pause from time to time while hounds cast for a scent, and you can avoid jumping on many hunts.”
Surrey Union Hunt Master Alice Dunsdon adds: “If you have been to sponsored rides, competed with the Pony Club or riding clubs or done hunter trials and local shows, feel safe hacking in a large group and your horse has been well behaved and sensible, I would advise giving hunting a try. Most hunts have a Newcomers’ Day which is specifically aimed at first-timers.”
How do I know if my horse is suitable?
Alison says: “I hunt my cob, Harry, who is 19 years old and loves it – after all, cobs were originally bred to take the parson hunting!” A certain level of fitness and controllability are important, but as Alice says: “I know all types of horse who go hunting, from ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds to Suffolk Punches, but I prefer Irish Draught x Thoroughbred.” Hunt Secretary Henri Mulnier believes “every type of horse is suitable. It’s part of being in the herd and whether he’s a front-thruster or a back-follower, some horses really take to it and will do it all for you by following the one in front!”
Tempted? To find out how to go hunting safely and in style, buy the October 2013 issue of HorseandRider magazine.