Monday October 3, 2022
For National Pony Club updates and information please go to pcuk.org
Hunting

HUNTING MANAGER – Stephanie Corp

Please keep scrolling down for lots of information about hunting

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Please note, apart from Children’s Meets, in order to go hunting children must be escorted by an adult or to hunt alone, they must have obtained their Hunting Certificate. The recommended  age for this is 13/14 years. Anyone wanting to take this test please contact Kirstin 

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When the Wylye Valley Pony Club was first established it had strong links with the Wylye Valley Hunt.  The Wylye Valley Hunt ended in about 1958 and it is now the South and West Wilts Hunt which the WVPC is most associated with and whom our members tend to hunt with.  However, there are several other hunts that hunt in the local area, in particular the Wilton, the Avon Vale, the RA and the Mendip Farmers.

Like all equine interests, hunting is optional and the Pony club’s ethos is to help children learn about the broad spectrum of equestrian disciplines that are available, and have the chance to try as many as possible.  Hunting is fun, exhilarating and exciting. If you have never been before, come and give it a try this season.  Please find below some information on hunting which should help you enjoy and understand your day’s hunting.   All children wishing to hunt are recommended to work towards getting their Pony Club Hunting Certificate (please see link below).

HUNTING PROCESS, POLICY & CERTIFICATE

Please click here to read an outline of the hunting “process” and some more guidelines on hunting

Click here to go to the main PC website – PC Hunting Certificate page

Click here to go to the main PC website – Hunting Policy page

 

TIPS FOR AN ENJOYABLE DAY

1. You must phone and get permission to go out hunting unless you are a subscriber. You would usually ring a Hunt Master or Secretary.

2. Say ‘Good Morning’ to the Master when you arrive at the meet.

3. Find the Hunt Secretary and pay your cap.

4. Say thank you to the hosts of the meet.

5. All children 12 and under should be escorted by an adult and all PC members are recommended to take their Hunting Certificate.

6. Whilst hunting please try to keep your voice down.

7. The Field Master is in charge, always obey him and never get in front of him.

8. When jumping do not cut in front of anyone and always go in a straight line, don’t cut in from the side.  If your pony refuses, look behind you to make sure you do not obstruct anyone else then move swiftly out of the way. Only have a couple of tries and then find a way round the jump.  Always go round with an adult who knows where to go.

9. Bridges – always walk across bridges and then wait until the person behind you has crossed safely before you gallop off.

10. Always offer to jump off and open/close gates/wire. 

11. Gates:  In all cases, slow down to a trot when going through a gateway. Don’t splash the person holding it open. Always shout ‘gate please’ if the gate needs shutting, making sure you have passed the message back to those behind you.  If you are the last person through you must shut it, never leave a person on their own to do a gate, it is very hard to mount a horse when it is spinning round trying to gallop off and catch up with the rest of the field.

12. Always thank passing cars on the road and do not hold up any non-hunting traffic.

13. Always turn your pony’s head towards the Field Master, Huntsman, Whip or hounds when they come past (this avoids them being kicked).

14. If you break a fence, repair it as best you can so it is stock-proof and report it to the Field Master.

15. Keep off crops and keep in single file round such fields.

16. At the end of the day, always say ‘Goodnight and Thank you’ to the Field Master if possible. Make sure whoever is looking after you knows you are going home.

 

PONY/HORSE PREPARATION

1. Ensure your pony is fit enough.  A days hunting can involve several hours galloping across the countryside.

2. Make sure your pony’s shoes are in good condition. It can be very sticky in the mud and it’s very annoying to have to come home early because you’ve lost a shoe in the first field.

3. Make sure you have a strong enough bit as most ponies and horses are much keener out hunting.

4. Practice your jumping beforehand!

5. Your pony should be well groomed and as clean as possible.  Plaiting is optional, but you must do your best to be neat and tidy.

6. Check all the stitching of your tack and ensure your tack is clean. 

7. If your pony might kick, put a red ribbon in its tail or a green ribbon if your pony is young or inexperienced.

 

WHAT TO WEAR

1. You may wear either a pony club tie or stock and you should wear your pony club badge.

2. If you wear a tweed jacket you should have a coloured stock, if a black/blue jacket a white stock. though you can wear a PC stock with either.  If it’s very wet or very cold a plain, a dark coloured waterproof jacket is allowed.

3. Gloves are essential. Girls must wear hairnets!

4. Jodhpur boots and plain black or brown chaps or full length riding boots with beige/cream jodhpurs/ breeches.

5. A back protector is definitely recommended.

6. Stay warm!! Extra socks or a polo neck top worn discretely under your stock, or a thermal vest may be wise!

 

THINGS TO PUT IN YOUR POCKET!

1. Sweets/chocolate (but not things you can choke on!)

2. A piece of paper with your name, age and contact phone number (or wear a medical armband).

3. Mobile phone… only to be used when necessary ie in an emergency or to call your parents when you want to go home.

4. Carry a piece of string and penknife in your pocket for doing gates.

5. A handkerchief.

6. Remember YOU must have your cap (not your parent) – a cheque or the correct cash in an envelope. This should be handed to the Hunt Secretary at the meet.

 

HUNTING GLOSSARY

A few words you may hear and what they mean:

Field master

The person who leads the Field. You must stay behind him and follow him as he knows where the hunt is allowed to go.

The Field

This is all the mounted followers

Gate Shutters

Usually there are two appointed people who follow at the back of the field, shutting gates and mending broken fences. If you are last through a gate, it is your responsibility to ensure it is securely closed.

Gate please

Means this gate must be shut if you are the last one through– otherwise you should pass the message back to the people behind you before leaving the gate.

The Cap/ Field Money

This is the money you pay to hunt on the day. It is given to the Hunt Secretary.

Covert (pronounced cover)

A wood, spinney or other overgrown area into which the huntsman sends the hounds to find a scent.

Draw a covert

When the huntsman puts in the hounds and asks them to cast around to find a scent.

A couple

Hounds are counted in couples, ie 4½ couple of hounds = 9 hounds

Scent

The smell of the trail

Trail

An artificial smell laid by someone on horseback or quad bike which the hounds will later try to find and follow

Speaking

The noise made by a hound when finding a scent

Stern

A hound’s tail

Whip or hound on the left/right

Means look behind you and move out of the way quickly

Goodnight

Is what you say when you go home, whether its morning, afternoon or evening

Hounds

Are NEVER referred to as dogs

Ware hole or Ware wire

Beware of something dangerous ahead of you – you should pass this message back to the people following you loudly and clearly every time.