Hunting etiquette, although following tradition, is mainly in place for safety reasons.
We want everybody to have fun, and be safe whilst out hunting.
Horse and Hounds
Please keep your horse at a safe distance from hounds, and always turn your horse to face hounds and hunt staff as they pass.
New or Young Horses
When introducing a horse to hounds, or indeed coming out on a new horse for the first time, remain at the back of the field, to allow yourself space away from other horses and hounds. A green ribbon must be warn.
Horses That Kick
We all know horses are unpredictable and many of us will have seen kick injuries. If your horse is a known kicker do not bring it hunting. If your horse MAY kick then it MUST wear a red ribbon and stay at the back of the field without exception. It is the riders responsibility, that a horse that may kick, is kept well away from horses and hounds.
Do arrive on time, and do say your ‘Good Mornings’. Ensure you listen to instructions given by the Master. You MUST ride where instructed. Damage to crops or farmland could result in us no longer be welcome on the landowners property, and damage our reputation.
Always smile and be polite to all members of the public – even if it is not reciprocated!
It’s vital to the future of hunting that we maintain good relations with everyone in the areas that we hunt.
If you hear a shout of ‘Car Please’ then move into the near side of the road, and always thank the driver and smile.
Please stay behind your Field Master at all times. They will indicate when and where it is safe to jump. Do not take your own line unless you are told to do so.
Please allow plenty of room and space for horses to jump.
If your horse is a sticky jumper, don’t block the fence or ditch by trying to jump again and again. Let other horses through to avoid dangerous bottle necking. Move to the side quickly, and have another go once it is safe to do so.
If you break a jump, don’t worry! Do tell somebody though – so that it can be mended.
If somebody falls then do wait and offer assistance if it is safe to do so. If the horse or rider appear seriously hurt then please ensure you tell someone so that the necessary assistance can be arranged.
Traditionally plaiting is done out of respect or the landowner. Particularly important for lawn meets.
It is not necessary to plait pre-opening meet, but at opening meet and beyond it is usual.
A hogged mane on a cob is of course fine, as is a natural mane on a native pony.
We ask for clean, smart turnout. Without our landowners we cannot hunt – so we do our best to be well turned out for them.
Terms you may hear out hunting
AND may need to pass on
‘Hound on the left/right’ – alert that hound is near you. ‘Ware wire/hole/left/right’ – alert to potential danger ‘Hold hard’ accompanied by a raised hand – indication that you should stop immediately. ‘Gate please’ – means the last person through the gate must close it. If you are at the back then do the shut the gate, or assist someone to do so. There is nothing worse that being left alone at a gate with a horse who is keen to follow! ‘Whip left/right’ – A hound or whip may be coming through the field towards you. Move to the opposite side with your horses head facing the hound/whip.
What shall I wear?
If you are new to hunting then it for the first few times it is acceptable to be clean and tidy for both horse and rider.
Hunting attire is not a small investment, but we would like to think that after a couple of times out that the correct dress could be found.
For Autumn Hunting (pre-opening meet)
A hard hat – of which the current safety standard is strongly recommended
A tweed jacket
Shirt and tie or coloured stock
Black or brown boots, or tidy gaiters and short boots.
For opening meet and beyond
As above – but with black hunt coat, black or navy for ladies.
Hunting tie (stock)
Junior riders may ride in tweed season round.
Raincoats are acceptable if the weather necessitates it!
Visitors from other packs, or military visitors may wear their own hunting livery or uniform.
Do wear a form of body protection that is usual to you, either over or under your hunting jacket.
A clean tidy horse that has well fitting, safe tack.
Plain Numnah – no bright colours or bling!
Plaited beyond opening meet, or hogged or traditional if appropriate.