2022 LAPACC HUNTING ETIQUETTE – YES…it matters and it’s why we are out here!
• Hounds always have the right-of-way. When hounds are released, when packed up, or at a check, try to keep your horse’s head facing toward them so that you don’t accidentally step on them. Please wait for them to finish watering before you water your horse.
• Once the hounds have been cast, please refrain from talking in the field. The purpose of our day’s sport is to find our quarry and have a fantastic run. Even whispering can cause the hounds to lift their head and miss an opportunity.
• Please do not speak to a hound. It is never acceptable for a field member to give instruction to a hound. Only staff and the huntsman may speak to the hounds. Please make way for the hounds, but do not interfere with their movement in any way.
• When hounds move through the field, please acknowledge them to the field with “hounds please,” as you would for other hazards, such as a “ware” warning.
• Begin the day by finding the hunt secretary or a Master to get introductions and complete the necessary paperwork. The Check in is 10 am to 11 am ONLY. All LAPACC staff positions are voluntary and honorary, so we appreciate the efforts everyone takes to provide a fun day of good sport. If you have questions, a good resource is a member, especially one wearing colors.
• Always ride in a field and stay grouped together, facing and moving your horse in the same direction as the hunt.
• Please do not pass the field master. As a foxhunter, you are expected to control your horse. If that isn’t possible, you may be asked to go to the back of the field or be dismissed from the field.
• Please leave plenty of room between you and the other horses. If you can’t see the horse’s heels in front of you – you might be too close. We’re in the West! We have the luxury of wide-open spaces so you may ride parallel to, but behind the field master, providing you stay grouped together, and the path or trail is wide enough.
• When crossing steep canyons, descend at a walk, stay single file, face straight downhill (not sideways – so if the horse slips, he will land on his rump, not your leg), and wait at the bottom for the person behind you before proceeding uphill, which should be ascended at a walk. Do not lunge up hills. (This is good practice, even when it’s icy, as it prevents the horse behind you from running downhill to catch up.)
• Please be courteous to other riders and especially conscious of young/green riders and horses.
• If your horse kicks, place a red ribbon in your horse’s tail and ride in the very back position of the field.
• LAPACC currently has no required jumping while hunting. Elsewhere, if you are not prepared to jump every coop or if your horse tends to refuse, please refrain from riding in first field. The field master’s job is to ride to the hounds and cannot stop to assist, nor is it fair for other members to stop and assist repeatedly. Second field may be a better choice, given that all jumps are optional.
• When queuing up for a jump, please leave at least four horse lengths between you and the next horse. Following too closely is dangerous. If your horse refuses a jump, go to the back of the line and try again – do not continue to school your horse at the coop and do not prevent others from taking the jump and following the hunt.
• Should you see an individual who needs assistance, please offer your help. It is always our goal to extend a helping hand and help everyone to enjoy great sport. We never leave a person out alone while hunting in Middle Lion.
• If you must leave the hunt, please ask permission of the field master, and find someone to ride back to the meet with you. Please stay in your field and should you wish to ride in a different field, ask permission before doing so.
• Juniors are allowed to ride to the front of the field if their ability and mount are appropriate.
• You may not ride with a whipper-in or huntsman unless given advance permission. If you do, please make sure you ride behind them, give them room, and ride on the opposite side of the hounds – so they can be closest to the hounds. Lastly, please refrain from talking. Often, they are listening for hounds.