Here you will find the most common questions we are asked.
Please contact the Joint Hon Secretaries if you are still not certain about any aspect of DragHunting with us.
Please see Contact page if you have any questions not answered here.
Please ensure you have carefully read and fully understood our Code of Conduct before you come out DragHunting with us.
Fox Hunters often say they ride in order to Hunt. With DragHunting, we DragHunt to ride…
Riding with DragHounds is a thrilling sport which should not to be confused with Fox Hunting/Trail Hunting which uses a human trail layer on a random course to simulate a live quarry. With the DragHunt, a pack of hounds follows a scent laid by a human over a pre-determined route to take advantage of the best opportunities for jumping offered by the land crossed. These include all the types of obstacles one might encounter : hedges, rails, ditches etc.
The meet starts at 12.30pm so you need to arrive in plenty of time to be mounted and ready to ride at 12.30pm and if it is a Lawn Meet drinks will be offered by the host. Before moving off, the Fieldmaster will inform the followers (the ‘Field’) of anything they need to know about the first line and the day in general.
You should find out who the Fieldmaster is (you should not go in front of this rider). The Hounds will then move off and when they pick up the scent and start to run, the rest of the field follows jumping the fences along the way. At the end of the line, there will be a fifteen minute break to allow the horses and riders to recover before the second line begins. A normal meet has three or four lines covering up to six or more miles but riders can miss out a line if they feel it will be too much for their horses. At the end of the day there will often be tea at the host’s house or in a local pub.
WHAT SORT OF HORSE DO I NEED?
All sorts of horses and ponies come out DragHunting. You don’t have to have a fast horse, but you do need one capable of jumping at least 2’9″. However generally, none of the fences are mandatory and you may be able to have a great day without jumping at all. Meets vary in the difficulty of the fences offered and the terrain and it is easy to see from the meet card and any Facebook posts those which are suitable for novice horses or riders. You should make sure your horse is fit before coming out and put a green ribbon in its tail if it hasn’t been DragHunting before so other riders know it is inexperienced. (If you have any concern that your horse might kick, you should always have a red ribbon in its tail.)
WHAT DO I WEAR?
A hacking Jacket and tie with buff breeches is perfectly correct at any time during the season. But to be completely correct wear a black or navy (for ladies) jacket with a white or cream stock, black boots and spurs. Red coats are only to be worn by hunt officials and those with either red or blue collars are members of the hunt who can help you with any questions. As with any cross country riding, you should make sure you wear the best crash hat available, with a dark cover and back protectors are advisable. Ladies hair should always be neat in a hairnet, long hair can be put in a bun. Horses should be plaited after the Opening Meet unless the meet card says otherwise.
WHAT SHOULD MY HORSE WEAR?
Well fitting, plain tack of good strong leather with a general purpose or jumping saddle. A good comfortable numnah that is breathable such as wool or technical fabrics as your horse may sweat a lot and you will be in the saddle for several hours. Use a stronger bit than you would normally ride your horse in. It’s much safer for all concerned and far better mannered to be able to stop or turn your horse quickly if there is a check or change of direction. A breastplate is a good idea to ensure the saddle does not move but brushing boots may become loose or wet and filled with mud which could chafe your horse. Coloured saddle cloths, sparkly or coloured browbands may look good for dressage or showjumping but they are not correct for dragging!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
There are various and flexible ways that you can pay for a days DragHunting ranging from a single Full/Day Cap to a year’s Subscription that enable you to be out every time the Hounds are.
Please see our Subscriptions & Caps page for further & full details.