Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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coopers hillMidnight, a 16-hh black Irish cob at Coopers Hill is everyone's favorite, young and old.

How do I match riders I have never met with horses that will take care of them out hunting? The answer to that question starts with how the animal was gentled into riding and jumping to begin with. That’s the key.

It takes a number of years to get a horse hunting right. Anyone who hunts knows that you can get pullers, stoppers, and downright cranky horses. And then there are the ones that kick, bite, and buck. An odd buck of joy is fine, but the buck that is directed toward the rider’s dismount is coming from a horse that wasn’t respected and won’t give respect.

Down through the years the locals have brought very difficult animals to our yard for breaking. But we like to turn that word—breaking—on its head. We prefer to say we gentle and respect the animal and allow them the time to come to the conclusion that it is okay to accept the bit, okay to be brushed, okay to have their feet lifted up, to be saddled and eventually mounted. Some animals accept sooner than others simply because some trust sooner than others. The manner in which this is done determines the product—the horse—you are going to mount for your day’s hunting.

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# K R 2013-12-15 08:44
Sounds perfect!
# Ciara walsh 2014-01-04 08:32
Quoting K R:
Sounds perfect!

Thanks! :) be sure to check out our FB page for regular updates.
# Olga Danes-Volkov 2013-12-20 10:26
As a new subscriber from the UK, I am interested to know, is it impossible to hunt in the US without jumping? I didn't start hunting until I was 60 with loads of broken bones so jumping would be a very foolhardy option. Here (at least in the South East) there is usually a Field Master for non jumpers as well as jumpers.

Many thankis
# Gretchen Pelham 2013-12-20 15:01
Most hunts in the U.S. have a second field for non-jumpers, and many have a third field that just wish to hilltop. Also, there are hunts in the U.S., depending on the country, where there are no jumps at all (or some countries with very few jumps).

You may be a late starter, but you seem to be a keen one! Forrard on!

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