Thursday November 30, 2023
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Hunting etiquette can be considered under three main headings:

Safety, good manners and turnout. Of these, the first two are more important, but the third is the one that everyone worries about, so here goes…..


As a novice, you can forget about red coats, gold foxhead pins and other fabulous images you may have from Old Pictures and the TV! You are aiming to look tidy and inconspicuous.

A tweed jacket, fawn breeches, a white or cream shirt with a Pony Club Tie, black boots and a velvet cap or jockey skull cap with dark silk will be just fine.  If you wear a stock then it should be coloured (maybe the Pony Club stock) not white or cream.

Do not wear jewellery or make up, but if your hair is long have it plaited or tied back with a hair net to keep it tidy.

Remember you are representing your Pony Club and by looking smart you are honouring the generosity of people who have invited you to ride over  their land and the skill and hard work of the hunt staff.

This is also known as “Rat Catcher”.


People over the ages of 18 are allowed to wear a hunting jacket which is a Black or Navy Wool Jacket with a white stock, do not get this mixed up with your Black show Jacket which is unsuitable for hunting. Hunting Jackets are much warmer and hardier for the purpose of being out in the hunting field all day. When Spring Hunting begins from March 1st, Everybody returns back to Hacking Jackets and are no longer required to plait.

Now that you are looking respectable, let us think about  safety.

Always allow yourself masses of time to find the meet, if possible follow somebody who has been before and park your trailer in a safe place, not blocking any access to other road users.   Before you set off check your equipment,  most people travel their horse/ponies tacked up as it is difficult to tack up on the side of the road with others riding by, but bring spare tack in case of breakages on the way.

If you or your pony/ horse is new to hunting tie a green ribbon to your its tail, if your pony/horse kicks out tie a red ribbon to its tail and ride at the back, if required tie both!  This warns other riders not to get too close to you, in case your pony does do anything silly.

Make sure your pony/horse is fit to ride, shod and well. And remember to bring suitable rugs,haynet and water  for when you return, your pony will be tired and sweaty and you need to keep him warm and hydrated.

Good Manners

Always say “Good Morning”  to the Masters, Huntsman and hunt secretary to whom you  must hand your cap ( your fee)  and try to have the correct money to give .

Be as polite and helpful as you can whilst out hunting and remember at the end of the day or when you have decided it’s time to leave always say “Good Night” to others  around you, not only because its polite to do so, but  so the hunts master  knows you have left the hunt and that you haven’t got lost !

Helpful Tips and Advice !

* Start with Cubbing, this begins around September it’s a time when you can go for a slower paced hunt, no need to plait the pony,  just  wear rat catchers. Most beginners start here and you will  receive an email from the DC to let you know what date this will be. If you let us know you want to come, we can arrange an experience person to buddy you and guide you through your first day! It’s a great way of getting your pony used to the hounds being around him.

*Don’t over horse yourself! Ponies and horses react differently when hunting, it’s exciting, its fast! Make sure you know your pony and that you have the correct bit in, you will need to be able to pull your pony up from a gallop.

*Don’t overtake the Field Master (Red Coat) and always listen to his instructions.

*You don’t have to jump, only do what you feel you and your pony are capable of. There is normally a gate as an alternative.

* It’s a long day, have a big breakfast and take plenty of chocolate in your pockets to keep your energy levels up!

*Likewise for your pony, make sure he’s in tip top condition as you are expecting him to keep you going all day and keep you safe!

*Expect to get muddy and be prepared for lots of cleaning when you get home!

*Most of all have fun with your friends!

Parents : please be aware that your child is not covered by Pony Club insurance for hunting and therefore it is strongly recommended that you invest in an additional policy with the Countryside Alliance – it is not expensive and details can be found on their website