What kind of horses are used in English fox hunts? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-24-2020, 07:03 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Hildreth, FL
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I hunted for about 12 years with Iron Bridge Hunt in Maryland and 2 years (when I moved) with Marlboro Hunt in Maryland.

In those years of hunting we never killed a fox. What would we hunt the next week if we killed our fox? I have seen many foxes while hunting and have never seen one panicked. The fox outwits the hounds in many humorous ways. In the old days, it was called "riding to hounds" and that is precisely what we did. Our foxes had many holes in which to "go to ground" if they had had enough.

With the horns ta-raaing, the hounds barking, the bits jingling, no fox that didn't want a run for his money would come out. But they usually did feel like a nice chase, and came out. The master of the hunt frequently led us, "the field," to a place where we could watch the fox, and then later, the hounds work.

I've seen some clever ruses that the fox laid on the hounds, like crossing a log halfway over a creek, then jumping into the water and swimming for a bit. Once, the hounds were going crazy circling around a heavy bunch of brambles and brush. Suddenly the fox burst out of the thicket, jumped across the backs of the hounds and took off away. As @RMH said, there is a lot of fun socializing, a bit of dangerous riding and jumping, and enjoyment seeing the fox and hounds try to outwit one another.

When the fox gets tired of the game, he just goes in one of his holes, and the chase is over for that day. Then we'd ride to another fox's territory and try for that one. Many hunts, including ours, had 1:00 foxes or 4:00 foxes--certain foxes would be waiting for the hounds to show up so he/she could have a romp with them.

If you saw the foxes, you would know they were enjoying themselves. The word I would use is "jaunty." That's how they moved.

Perhaps because the hunts I rode with were in Maryland, but we did not cross any roads and kept away from people's property.

Both Iron Bridge Hunt and Marlboro Hunt were not clubs for rich people. Our Hunt Master owned a small town hardware store. Our Field Master was a truck driver. About half of the hunt field were young people and mothers looking after their young people. The hunters were teachers, students, farmers (lots of farmers), and small business owners.
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-25-2020, 04:35 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: UK
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In my opinion chasing any animal to it's death is just wrong. In the Uk fox hunting still exists, they pretend to lay drag trails but everyone knows it is just for show.

I keep chickens but still rejoice if I see a fox in the field. My chickens are safe as I keep them safe and that is my job, it is not my job to complain if the fox kills them because my defenses are inadequate.

Back to the original question - any horse or pony can go hunting, they just need to be fit enough and able to keep up and sane enough not to gallop off and ahead of the Masters.
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-25-2020, 11:50 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2012
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I believe many hunts in the U.S. try not to kill the fox. I watched a t.v. show on one of the breeders of Foxhounds. They emphasize that any dog that doesn't fit with the program is sold. They only want dogs that can live happily in the pack, that are well socialized with people, that are okay with horses, and don't go off chasing deer. They want dogs that will chase the fox without killing it.

This reminds me of the Labrador my neighbor had. One of my ducks flew the coop into my neighbors yard. Their dog grabbed my duck, brought it back to me, and handed it right to me. My duck had not a single scratch or injury. My neighbors totally ignored their dogs, so this wasn't training, this was good breeding for certain traits. My grandmother had a dog with the same instincts. She brought me a baby bunny and handed it to me unharmed. My grandmother wasn't so pleased, because in her mind, rabbits in the garden get shot. Well, not that rabbit. My grandfather and I gave it to a rescue.

I had a dog catch a squirrel. He immediately snapped it's neck. He's the same one that was so determined to get those rabbits, he dug a 4 ft trench in the 95 degree heat, and surely would have heat stroked. Talk about strong willed determination and stubbornness.
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