Hunting etiquette and safety

WHAT TO WEAR

Autumn Hunting

  • Ratcatcher (tweed coat with coloured stock or tie)

Opening Meet and after

  • Black or Blue coat
  • Stock shirt and cream or white stock
  • Pale breeches
  • Black boots
  • Spurs with black straps
  • Gloves – preferably pale
  • Hunting cap or hat or skullcap with cover to match colour of coat – you should consider a hat or skullcap and/or body protector meeting current standards

YOUR HORSE

  • If you are unsure, play safe with a stronger bit.
  • Dark or sheepskin numnahs, following saddle shape.
  • Boots if required.
  • Plait from Opening Meet onwards.
  • Coloured ribbons to be used to indicate horses that might kick or horses that are inexperienced.
    – Red – if kicks.
    – Green – young horse or horse inexperienced to hunting.
  • Clean Horse!
  • Clean Tack!
  • Always turn your horse’s head towards hounds when they come close to you so that they do not have any chance to kick a hound.

PRIOR TO THE MEET

  • If you wish to attend a meet and you are not a member please contact the secretary prior to the meet to let them know you are intending to attend.  If you are inexperienced at hunting please point that out during the conversation and they will be happy to pass on any relevant guidance.

AT THE MEET AND ON THE DAY

  • If you are a visitor, or not hunting regularly, please find out who is the Hunt Secretary out on that day, and introduce yourself to them. In particular if you have been unable to contact the secretary prior to arriving at the meet please introduce yourself to them at the meet and if you are inexperienced then please point this out to them and they will provide you with guidance.
  • At the Meet please enjoy the hospitality of our host and listen and pay close attention to any instructions given by the Master
  • Throughout the day obey instructions given by the Master or Field Master at all times
  • Hounds will be kept to one side at meets and should not be approached without the huntsman’s permission.
  • If you see a stray hound whilst out hunting please let the huntsman know. Never turn hounds unless asked to do so by a Master or Huntsman. Never interfere with or encourage hounds.
  • When hounds are at fault, pull up your horse, stand still and be quiet.
  • When a Huntsman is casting his hounds, stand still and quiet.
  • Do not ride in front of the Field Master nor ride close behind hounds or Huntsman
  • If you find a hound who is stuck in brambles, or trapped in wire, do not approach them but let a member of the Hunt staff know.
  • We will endeavour to clear the trails of hazards prior to the meet but if you spot a hazard whilst riding like a hole, low hanging branch, stray wire or broken rail point it out clearly to the riders following you and pass it on to the other riders if it is pointed out to you.
  • If the Master feels you are a danger to yourself or others they may tell you to go home.
  • Do not jump what you are not confident to jump
  • Always close a gate if you cannot see anyone behind you; never leave a person alone when they are closing a gate.
  • Always wait by a horse when a rider remounts
  • Never gallop behind sheep, cattle or horses in a field so as to diver them onto hounds
  • Avoid riding on mown grass, verges, or doing unnecessary damage to crops.
  • You are responsible for your own Health & Safety and that of those around you.
  • Although use of mobile phones are not encouraged during hunting we advise you to bring one with you in case of emergency and have emergency details on your person.

CHILDREN

  • We welcome children to all our meets; we hold a walk, trot meet for children at the start of the season and a children’s only meet once a year in the school holidays.
  • Before attending a meet with us for the first time parents or guardians of children and persons under age of 18 must contact the secretaries.
  • Children under 5 years of age should be on a lead rein
  • All Children aged 6-13 to be supervised by an adult rider. The nature of the supervision and the number of children to be supervised by an adult to be determined by that person based on the age, experience and competence of the children concerned.
  • Children aged 14-17 may ride unsupervised provided that they hold the Pony Club C Test or an equivalent qualification or have demonstrated their competence by previous experience. Here is a link to the Pony Club C Test
  • Children who are to be on a lead rein with a responsible adult should be at a maximum ratio of 1:2 of adult to children.
  • Children off the lead rein who are being supervised by a responsible adult should be at a maximum ratio as decided by the adult depending on the experience of the children, the experience of the adult and the nature/experience of their mounts.

HORSE BOXES AND TRAILERS

  • When parking, do not block the highway, or the entrance to any field, yard, or other private property.
  • Do not park in the car park of a public house without the prior consent of the Landlord.
  • Park well away from the Meet if possible.
  • Ideally, park on private property with the owner’s prior permission.

Page updated: 25 October 2016