Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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jerry_millerJerry Miller, MFH“Is it proper or permissible to wear plain, conservative sunglasses while foxhunting?” asks Vicki Reeves from South Creek Foxhounds (FL).

We put this query to two of our American experts, both of whom I consider to be conservative and traditional. In my view, their opinions cover the subject and its ramifications quite well. As always, the views of our readers, expressed in the Comments section, are invited. In the end, as with many such questions, the Master of your own hunt will have the final word for turnout in your field.

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+4 # Cathleen Springer 2011-08-09 06:41
It has been my experience on more than one ocassion to sustain cuts and abrasions of my face while hunting in thick, trappy country. Wearing eye protection - sun or clear glasses, goggles, whatever - seems only good sense. Thankfully, the MFH's I've ridden with did not question my choice to protect my eyes and none asked for a prescription.
I'd have been quite put off about the prescription request. Cathleen A. Springer
+1 # Marianne Sobchak 2011-08-09 09:14
What happens if you fall and the sunglasses break? I think you would miss too much hound work with sunglasses. Marianne Sobchak
+2 # Nancy Ambrosiano, MFH 2011-08-09 12:46
Here in New Mexico's high desert, sunglasses might more often be considered de rigueur. . . otherwise one's eyes are seriously dazzled by sandy ground and sunshine in the cloudless blue sky, and one has to navigate between the cacti by Braille. Yes, they look a bit tacky, but they serve a purpose much like tall boots and proper long stock ties. Safety first!
+2 # Allison Crews 2011-08-09 13:04
I vote for no sunglasses, but I'm an attire stickler, too. Sunglasses mess up "the look" and yes, it is safer to wear them, but it is also safer not to ride after hounds at breakneck speed with holes in the ground and all sorts of "suprises" throughout the day...ah well...
+1 # Cheryl Microutsicos 2011-08-09 13:19
I personally don't wear them because they bug me, but I know a couple friends who have sensitive eyes and can't ride during sunny days without them. I don't personally like the look, but as Nancy said, safety first.
+5 # Gene Gartner 2011-08-13 10:27
I wear prescription sunglasses when I hunt on sunny days. My eyes are pretty light sensitive and without them I'd be subject to fairly severe headaches. As far as being able to watch the hounds, I'd make the argument that I can see them better in my polarized, anti-reflective prescription sunglasses than someone who is squinting into the glare.
+3 # Joseph Bills 2011-08-25 04:39
I have mixed emotions on this issue. Sunglasses do take something from the look of the traditional hunt dress. But as one who is often bothered by glare on sunny days, especially if there is snow about, I really need them for a clear view. There are times I have missed action because I could not see past the glare.
+6 # Hildreth McCarthy 2011-08-28 14:08
Good shatterproof, polarizing sunglasses not only protect the eyes but also improve vision. For people wearing contact lens, sunglasses or google protect also from the flying grit that can bring them to a standstill until removed. It is not "the look" seen in old prints, but looks evolve, i.e., saddlepads, boots on horses, Mikmar bits, and trailers at the meet site.
+1 # Guest 2015-08-06 14:48
I personally don't like wearing sunglasses because I hunt in the woods and go in and out of light but when I hunted in Montana they were necessary. I think people should do whatever makes them the most safe. I've found people that are so concerned with the attire aren't all that concerned with the hunting. I don't care what people look like I go hunting to hunt.
# Guest 2015-08-06 18:06
My sunglasses are prescription and I couldn't see to ride without them. They also deflect a lot of branches that would have whipped me in the face!

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Panel of Experts

Hugh Robards, ex-MFH

Huntsman, Author

Dr. Roger Scullin, MFH

Veterinarian, Foxhound Breeder

Jerry Miller, MFH

Huntsman, Foxhound Breeder

Paul Striberry

Foxhunter, Horseman, Trainer

Nigel Peel, MFH (UK)

Hunstman, Breeder, Judge

C. Martin Wood III, MFH

MFHA President 1990-1993
Huntsman, Breeder, Judge

Steve Price

Author/Editor of 25 books, including The Whole Horse Catalog and 1001 Best Things Ever Said About Horses

C. Martin Scott, ex-MFH (UK)

Foxhound Breeder, Judge, Writer

marion thorne

Bill Gamble Photo

Marion Thorne, MFH

Huntsman, Foxhound Breeder



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