Friday April 19, 2019
Hunting
 
Just a reminder that  All PC Members should be supervised by an adult whilst out Hunting.  Members who have not passed their hunting certificate should be accompanied at all times by a mounted adult.  For more information on taking the hunting certificate or any other aspect of hunting please contact Lucie on 07971 145022
 

 UPDATED

Pony Club Hunting – Thursday 25th October 2018 – 11am
The meet will be at Bullymores Farm, Brigstock. This is the home of  Charlie and Kate Reynolds.  There is plenty of hard standing to park at  the meet.  For those of you who do not know Bullymores Farm it is the farm next door to the Painters at Hillside.  There are a pair of houses against the road between Hillside and Brigstock village, you turn in the drive at these houses and follow the track to Charlie and Kates.The Hunt meets at 11am which means that you should be at the meet on your pony and ready to go before 10 am.  .I am just going to run through a few do’s and don’t’s that you may or may not find useful.  If you hunt regularly please do not be offended by any of the advice I offer but some people have not been before.  Do not panic if you cannot remember all this, help will always be at hand.Turnout

Your pony should be plaited for hunting (if you can).  It should be clean and neatly turned out.  It does not have to be clipped. Your tack should also be clean (at least when you leave home) and in good repair.  I always take my ponies tacked up ready in the lorry as it can be tricky to tack up when you pony is excited, but if you do not normally travel your pony tacked up then remember to leave extra time to tack up when you arrive. You should do what you think is best for your pony and you.

Pony Club children should ideally be in hacking jackets with a shirt and pony club tie, cream jodphurs,  jodphur boots and chaps (optional).  Girls should wear a hairnet or have their hair neatly tied up.  If you have only long boots that is fine but to be correct long boots and black/blue coats should not be worn on the hunting field until you are 17.  Again if you do not have a hacking (tweed) jacket then so long as what you wear is not a bright colour it will be fine.  Correctly fitting hats and back protectors should also be worn, again no bright colours.

If you are coming without a parent mounted on a horse it would be really helpful if you have a responsible adults mobile phone number in your pocket in case of an emergency.  I always have my phone with me.

If you know that you pony kicks other ponies you should wear a red ribbon in its tail.  I use red electrical tape wrapped round the top of the tail (not too tight!).  If you pony is young and inexperienced and could kick or buck or you are not sure you should use green ribbon or tape.

To be well turned out shows respect to others including the farmers and landowners whose land we will be crossing.  You are also representing your Pony Club.

Format of the Day

When you arrive at the Meet you should say “Good Morning” and make yourself known to the Masters.  The Masters of the Woodland Pytchley are Luke Wheeler, Paddy Sumner and Victoria Ferguson. During you time out hunting they should be addressed as “Master” whatever you call them at other times!  If you feel it is safe to take you pony close the hounds you should also say “Good Morning” to the Huntsman and Whipper in.  Lastly you should make yourself known to the Secretary, and pay your dues.  Mark Ferguson is the Woodland Pytchley Secretary.

Do not worry if you do not know who these people are I shall introduce everybody to you, and the timings may slip in order that everybody is ready.  Do not panic – we are here to make sure you all have fun.

Before setting off the Field Master who is the Master in charge for the day will make a few announcements and thank the Hosts.  The Huntsman will then blow his horn and the day begins.  George Whittaker is the Woodland Pytchley Huntsman and in charge of the hounds,he carries and blows the horn to give the hounds instructions.  Kate Pegrum is the Whipper in, Kate is George’s assistant and is often not seen much during the day as she is the look out.

The Woodland Pytchley conduct their days hunting within the law.

The first to leave the meet are the Huntsman and hounds closely followed by the whipper in.  The rest of us then follow the Field Master and we are known collectively as “The Field”.  It is very important that you stay behind the Field Master as they know where we are allowed to go and where we are not.  It is not always in the same direction as the Hounds to start with.  The Field Master will try and give us all a thrilling time but it does not always work out as planned.

Sometimes the hounds will follow a trail very quickly and sometimes they will not be able to smell much and we will go slowly – we never know which it is to be which is what makes it exciting.  Hounds hunt using smell only and different ground conditions and different weather produces different scenting conditions, it is all very unpredictable.

Whatever the scenting conditions it will perhaps be a new experience for you or your pony to be going fast in a large group of other ponies.  IF YOU ARE UNSURE OR SCARED AT ANY TIME DO NOT WORRY – SHOUT   OUT AND SOMEBODY  WILL HELP YOU.  If you would like to go on the lead rein for a bit that is  no problem,  sometimes people who can ride really well and never normally  go on the leading rein need leading – it is not a bad thing and you have  not failed if it happens to you.  It is better that you are safe and enjoy it – there is nothing more frightening than feeling out of control.

There may be some jumps, there may be some jumps you do not want to jump. If you do jump try and go one at a time and give the person in front of you some room in case they refuse.  If you do not fancy jumping there is always a way round through a gate.

If the Masters decide that on Thursday it is not safe to jump we have to respect their decision.  It can make it quite dangerous jumping out of deep mud.  You  may see George or Kate jumping but that is because they may need to get to  the hounds quickly.  It also can make quite a mess in the farmers crop which is never a good move.  It is important that you always listen for the Field Masters instruction.

If we go through a gate at any time during the day it should always be shut after the last person through it.  If you are not sure whether a gate should be shut or not SHUT IT.  As the Field passes through a gate you may well hear people in front of you shouting “Gate Please”  this means the last one should shut it. If you are near the back do not let the last person struggle on their own to shut the gate, stop and help it will get done a lot quicker.  On some hunting days there is a Gate Shutter out, this is a member of the Hunt who take it in turns to be the Gate Shutter, they are mostly responsible for making sure that gates are shut securely but if you see an open gate it is always safer to shut it yourself.  Try to go through gateways slowly, they can be slippy, and make sure the person behind you is also through safely before galloping off.

If we jump a ditch during the day, try not to gallop straight off but wait and check the person following has got over it safely.

When we go into fields sown with arable crops you will be told to go in “single file” – this means go one behind the other and keep in to the side of the field.  Occasionally the Field Master will ask us to “tramline” – this means to follow the tramlines made by the tractor tyres where the crop is thinner.  If you are not sure ask somebody what to do.

There are several warnings that are sometimes called out when the first person goes past a hazard, please call the same warning out to the person behind you.  For example it may be “hole on the left” or “wire on the Right” – these are to help everyone get past the hazard without mishap.

Finally when you are ready to go home, you do not have to stay to end of the day, it is really important that you say “Good Night” to the Field Master.  Firstly he will know that you are not there and we do not need to send a search party out for you – sometimes we are in big woods and we can get separated! – and secondly he can advise you which is the best way to go back to your lorry/trailer.  It is not always possible to go the shortest way, sometimes the farmer does not want us in a particular place and sometimes it is just where the next trail has been laid.

Hopefully you arrive back at your lorry/transport having had a fantastic time.  Just remember who gave you the ride of your life and sort your pony out before you see to yourself.

 

It very much is a personal matter how you manage your pony at the end of day, but by the time you leave him to go to your hot bath he should be dry, warm, have had a good drink and a tummy full of hay. If you have electrolytes tonight is a good time to put them either in their water or hard feed as they will have sweated and the body salts need to be replaced.  It is also important to check him for cuts and grazes, in particular, blackthorns as they can turn nasty. Run your hands down eachleg and make sure there are no hot spots.

Some ponies will “go hunting again” later in the evening – this is when they relive the days hunting and sometimes they will break out in a sweat again once you have got them dried off.  Whether you wash them off or leave the mud and brush it off when dry, you or your parent should go back and check your pony late at night after a days hunting.  They will have worked hard and if they sweat up later and get cold it can make them quite ill with a chill or worse still colic.  Most ponies are relieved to be home and tucked up in their usual bed.

If you are ever unsure about anything it is fine to ask somebody.

The next day you should check your pony again for cuts and thorns you may have missed and take him for a gentle walk, it is ok to ride him but unless he is very fit do not expect too much.

Hopefully you will all have a fantastic day on Thursday.  I hope I have not bambuzzled you with too much information.  It is all about having fun.

If you want to come hunting again after Thursday my mission will have been accomplished.

But please do remember that Thursday is being put on especially for the Pony Club and I cannot guarantee that every days hunting will be the same. Sometimes it is alot faster,  with alot more horses and people out and it can be scary even for the seasoned hunters. It is really important that if you do come out on another day that you have a responsible adult on a horse with you as people pay alot of money to hunt and as much as they love to see the children coming out, they do not necessarily want to be the baby sitter.

If I can help I will always do so but even I am not superwoman!!

Happy hunting

Lucie Burges-Lumsden
07971 145022