I used to train fox hunters at a well known facility, and I've been on high speed chases for hours. Ill never agree with that kind of negligent riding. That horse is lucky you didn't break him. It's never sensible to use the excuse "I'm a fox hunter" for reckless riding. I've seen people broken by that sort of "I'm a fox hunter" mentality (and my old boss knew of people who died) and I saw two horses destroyed because of that sort if riding on the hunt.
The fox is never that important. And for the record, the facility I worked for held one of the highest catch counts in the USA for game. We took it very seriously.
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I would also like to add that I have seen people dismissed from a hunt due to reckless riding and kicked off of guest horses. Fox hunting is dangerous enough while riding smart, it's deadly when you don't use the caution you need to. All of our kills were obtained while riding intelligently, not carelessly.
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Well, there is a big difference between hunting in the UK and USA.
I have never killed a horse following hounds - although I have had one drop dead under me when he suffered a fatal aneurism - at the time we were just moving off from the Meet so he had not been stressed.
Nor have I ever been 'kicked off' for reckless riding.
I have never Fox Hunted in the USA but have followed hounds in VA and NC. All seemed far to organised with little jumps and no real cross country riding.
I am not going to turn this into a discussion on hunting or reckless riding. I wrote what happened. Doubt I would have the bottle to do such a thing nowadays as I am older (by lots) and stiffer. The thrill is not riding thoughtlessly but of being able to follow hounds in a direct line as possible. Many a time I have stopped on a hill watching hounds work whilst the rest of the Field follow, knowing that (and hoping I am right) that the fox will swing around and come back up the hill, thus saving the horse from extra work and, if I am correct, being right up the front on a horse that has regained his second wind.
As for having to 'know' a horse or the country you are riding, that is rubbish.
I have made more hunters. horses that are good in the hunting field, stand, open and close gates, can crack a whip on them and ride among hounds without them kicking or getting fussed - you do not get that if you are riding dangerously or carelessly.
I can assure you when you hunt around here the hedges are often over 5' high and twice as wide - you need to be a bold, confident rider to encourage any horse to keep popping fences like these.
I get on a horse and expect it to do as I want. I am not
a 'yes but' person. I do not
over ride any horse, I would not
expect a green horse to know more than it does but I would
be able to assess a horse's ability within minutes of riding it.