Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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andy bozdan.carla babcock.smallCamargo Huntsman, Andy Bozdan / Carla Babcock photoI guess I shouldn’t be surprised that some folks think of the staff horse that the huntsman or whipper-in is riding as just another horse. So before all the ‘egg spurts’ chime in, let me explain a little about the staff horse. Just imagine getting a jumping racehorse fit and ready for a race—weeks and months of preparation and hardening plus schooling over fences until the day arrives and the horse is off to the races.

Now think about getting a horse, if not racing fit, then pretty darn close to it, and not having one big race every couple of weeks but going out maybe twice a week and running for four to five hours. And in all weather, fair or foul. In the case of the huntsman, keeping up with hounds no matter the obstacles faced; in the case of the whipper-in, staying with or even getting on ahead of hounds in the ordinary course of the job. The staff horse puts in many more miles on a hunting day than does the field hunter. That is what’s required of it. No options.

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Comments   

+2 # Dr. Steven Thomas, MFH 2019-11-15 13:08
Amen
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+2 # Guest 2019-11-17 20:10
yes, and they must be so reliable to ride that the huntsman or staff member can concentrate on their job, not the horse or the footing.they need to stand still then run , then stand again, even if the whole field goes blasting by, they need to work off your legs and seatbones, stand tied, let you get on after that gate you had to unwire, or unlatch , open and shut a good gate ( love the division ranch gates) without dismounting, they need to go alone and in a group first or last. I do not believe there is a sport that requires a more rounded darn good at anything you need ,type horse, than a staff horse for foxhunting. I thank God for the good ones in my life. Lucy Hirsch fort Leavenworth hunt.
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+2 # Guest 2019-11-21 09:13
Very well laid-out Lucy. I laugh every time I read a classified ad for horses that are obviously not suitable for eventing or jumpers but are advertised as ..."excellent field hunter prospect" :D Apparently these folks have never hunted!
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