Horses & Turnout for the Hunt Field
Great hunt horses must love the sport of foxhunting and be trusted loyal partners with their riders. As well, a good foxhunting horse must be:
- Athletic, well-conditioned and fit enough to spend several hours in the hunt field.
- Sure footed and able to negotiate territory including various types of footing (rocky, soft, hard, tall and short grass, dirt, brush) and terrain (hills, twisting trails, open fields, water).
- Well mannered in the company of other horses. A horse that kicks, rears, bucks or runs off with it's rider is not suited for the hunt field. A hunt horse must be obedient, have a good temperament, be calm at a check and not get nervous around other horses.
Turnout for the Hunt Field
The key to proper turnout for the horse and rider is to be make sure both look they are going to enter a "best turned out competition."
The horse, rider and equipment must be immaculate and properly turned out, including:
- The horse should be exceptionally clean, well curried and well brushed.
- The horse should have a well trimmed/clipped muzzle and ears.
- The horse should have a short, well-pulled mane, which ideally should lie on the right side of the horse's neck.
- The horse should have a combed and trimmed tail, with no shavings or other residue.
- The horse should be clipped of winter hair growth in cooler weather, to prevent overheating and excess sweating.
- Tack must be clean and polished.
- The saddle pad should be shaped, square saddle pads are never allowed in the hunt field.
- Equipment, including bell boots, brush boots etc. must be clean and appropriate for the horse. Boots should be black and well fitted. For safety purposes, such equipment should be familiar to the horse and rider and not tried for the first time in the hunt field. Polo wraps are not appropriate in the hunt field, and can be dangerous when they are wet or unravel.