Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Breakfast in the Afternoon?

clarke.andrew.happyAndrew Clarke on his neice's pony, Happy, the latter being the only foxhunter in the photo“As a foxhunter husband, I've never heard why it's called a Hunt Breakfast when it's usually the afternoon when the hunt breakfast is served,” writes a mystified Andrew Clarke from Ontario.

Surely there are many practicing foxhunters equally mystified by this question. For the answer we turned to our resident etymologist, author-editor Steven Price.

Foxhunting Style

boseley1During the off-season is a good time to think about clothing and tack you may be needing next season. Here's one expert's overview of foxhunting style. Specific guidelines may also be found under the Resources dropdown menu above; click on Attire, Tack & Appointments. We'll be talking more this month about some lesser-known yet fascinating aspects of foxhunting attire.

While each equestrian discipline has its own specific requirements for riders’ attire, I am going to desribe the correct terms, style and fit of foxhunting attire. And although specific hunt clubs may dictate individual modifications, there are generally acceptable standards.

Taming the Cannonball in the Trailer

striberry.valentinePaul Striberry on Valentine  /  Erik Olsen photoA reader who we’ll call Easy-Does-It asks Foxhunting Life for advice on how to get her horse to exit the trailer slowly and safely, as opposed to ejecting itself like an equine cannonball.

We went to Paul Striberry, Lilla Mason, and Robinson Duncan for their expert advice. All agreed that this is a problem that needs fixing, yet each individual took a different approach. While the three recommendations are mechanically different, each is sensible, thoughtful, and promises success. Which all goes to reaffirm that there is more than one way to skin a cat! Or civilize a horse.

Foxhound in the House

foxhound and parrotAt home with Cathy and friendCathy Eising has a twenty-month-old foxhound out of her mother’s rescue foxhound, and she works at his training diligently. She writes:

“I am seeking advice on how to raise the foxhound as a family dog, especially off-leash training. Will he ever stop chasing wild things and pay attention to me outdoors? I have done a lot of obedience with him, and all areas are coming well except off leash outdoors. He needs to run and I can't walk fast enough or long enough for him to get properly exercised, so I need to trust that he will come when called under all circumstances (including around deer). I'm very dedicated and work with him every day.”

Lab Techs in the Show Ring?

jerry millerJerry Miller, MFH woodC. Martin Wood, III, MFH

Diane Farrington, a non-foxhunter, has asked an interesting question that we think would stump most foxhunters. She writes, “I have been seeing lots of photos online from recent hound shows. What is the reason or significance of showing the hounds in white lab coats?”

We asked Messrs. Jerry Miller, MFH of the Iroquois Hounds (KY), and C. Martin Wood, III, MFH of the Live Oak Hounds (FL)---members of Foxhunting Life's Panel of Experts---for an explanation. Both men agree that the underlying purpose is simply to protect and keep the show staff’s clothing clean, but going back to the origins of the style leads us to an appreciation of practical solutions!

Connecting With the Shy Hound

peelNigel Peel, MFH, North Cotswold Foxhounds (UK) and member of Foxhunting Life's Panel of ExpertsDulany Noble, MFH of the Carrollton Hounds (MD) has a problem with one of her foxhounds. She writes:

“I have a second year bitch who is very shy around men, just men. I can tell you she has never been abused in any way by any man, staff or otherwise. She just does not like men. The men who come to the kennels work with her every time to get her over it. My worry is that she will get away and none of our male staff members or any guy on the road will be able to catch her. Any ideas for me?”

Many huntsmen would undoubtedly pass over such a hound and draft it to a friendly home, but we thought that any small hunt maintaining a small pack, or for that matter any dog owner with a similar problem would be interested if one of our experts could come up with a solution. And in fact, Nigel Peel, MFH of the North Cotswold Foxhounds (UK) sent us a very interesting suggestion for Dulany.

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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