Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
The Hilltoppers in the Hunt that is in my area - never drive around in cars.
They are all on horseback. Nothing more, nothing less.
There is 1 Huntsman who leads the Hilltopper group and they pretty much ride in accordance to the lowest level of the member in that group. If the lowest leveled rider only walks, then so be it. If the lowest leveled rider is experienced, then so be it - they ride in accordance to the members comfort level who are involved.
We are always out for 2 hours, we ride with no hounds, but meet up with the main group once during the break session where we all stand around and chit chat while our horses drink and cool off, and the hounds cool off and drink - and so do all the members *hint hint*
They gallop, they trot, they walk, they jump, they ride hard, they ride easy. Again, depends on those who are riding with the Hilltoppers.
The Hilltoppers ride in large open fields, gallop over fences, they ride in large wooded area's and do just as much as the main group do, just with no hounds.
The Main Group, are for the very experienced only. I usually ride with the main group, but lately only been riding in the Hilltoppers because of friends who are with me. Not fair for me to ditch them to ride with the main group.
They ride hard, and very hard. This is the most chaotic group as well, due to the Hounds being with this group, the Head Huntsman is as well. He controls the hounds, while there are 2 whips on each side and a tail runner who stays farthest back.
All 4 control the hounds. The Head Huntsman has a special bond with the hounds, and they hounds are most alert to him and his horn and his commands, where the other 3 are just there to make sure none stray off, get lost or left behind *they are sorta like cowboys keeping the herd of cattle in a group*
They go wherever the hounds go, if they catch a scent, off they go. They follow. Regardless of what obsticle is in their way *well, within limits* they ride over it, to stay with the hounds.
The main group is definitely not a group to ride in if you are new to hunting, or if your horse is new to hunting.
Hilltoppers is quite boring for me, it is like just going on a big trail ride with jumps involved.
The Main Group, is where you get a real historical taste to the traditions of Fox Hunting.