Notes and advice
A GENTLE REMINDER TO ALL WHO WOULD GO HUNTING
We are privileged to be able to go hunting, to be able to get on a
horse and go hunting is an even greater privilege, which confers no
rights at all. It certainly does not confer the right to be ill
mannered, rather the opposite, there is a positive duty to be even
more gracious than you usually are. Indeed we have no right to
hunt in the New Forest other than under the terms of the licence
granted to us by the government through their agents the forestry
Commission. Assume that, and act as if, everyone has more right to be
where they are than you. Be pleasant to everyone you meet, if a car
slows down for you, acknowledge their courtesy, it will encourage
them to do so again. If someone opens a gate for you say 'thank you'
even if the 27 people in front of you have already done so. Never
obstruct the Queen's highway, she requires all her subjects to have
beneficial use of it, she does not want you blocking her road with
your horse or your car. There is little that annoys the hurried
motorist more than to find progress impeded by a mass of steaming
horses badly parked cars and chattering humanity oblivious to the
world around them. It makes non-hunting people into anti-hunting
people. Whether you like it or not, and whether they admit it
or not, when you are on a horse the dismounted public will regard you
as a sample of the knightly caste; this will evoke respect from some,
dislike from many others. However unknightly you may feel, it
nevertheless behoves you to behave with the utmost chivalry whilst
mounted. Never allow yourself to offend anyone unintentionally. If
you feel an urge to be rude to somebody, follow the admirable dictum
of Colonel Wintle that 'you should never be rude to anyone under the
rank of full Colonel'. Full Colonels are more than able to give as
good, or better, than they get! - with extracts taken from 'Hunting
an introductory handbook' by R.W.F. Poole.
SOME DO's AND DON'Ts AND HELPFUL ADVISE
IF YOU ARE NOT A SUBSCRIBER (see subscriptions page), PLEASE HAVE THE
CORRECT CAP READY TO GIVE TO THE HUNT SECRETARY, LIKEWISE IF YOU ARE
DUE TO PAY FIELD MONEY. YOU MAY ALSO BE ASKED TO MAKE A SMALL
DONATION OF £2 TO THE CAMPAIGN FOR HUNTING. YOUR COOPERATION IS
HORSES KNOWN TO KICK MUST WEAR A RED RIBBON ON THE TAIL, AND STAY AT
THE BACK OF THE FIELD. YOUNG, INEXPERIENCED HORSES MAY WEAR A GREEN
RIBBON ON THE TAIL TO ALERT OTHER FOLLOWERS TO UNPREDICTABLE
-Everyone who hunts should be a member of the Countryside Alliance.
-Please make every effort to ensure that other users of the forest
are not inconvenienced in any way, particularly by blocking rights of
way or gateways. Please extend them every courtesy, acknowledging
that not everyone is disposed towards hunting. A cheery "good
morning" and a raised cap costs nothing but buys untold goodwill.
-Please make sure all gates are closed after use, unless otherwise
-NO SMOKING IS PERMITTED ON FORESTRY COMMISSION LAND.
-Only designated vehicles allowed on Forestry Commission land.
ENJOY YOUR DAY.
DESIGNATED CAR PARKS:
As a condition of our licence, mounted followers must be aware that
we are only permitted by the Forestry Commission to use the
designated car parks listed above. Furthermore we are NOT permitted
to cross or enter any other car parks on a hunting day. The
Mastership respectfully asks all mounted followers to comply with
QUEENSMEADOW / HIRSTHILL
RHINEFIELD ORNAMENTAL DRIVE
BURLEY ROCKS / MILL LAWN
ALL OPEN CAMP SITES
THESE ZONES MUST NOT BE ENTERED ON A HUNTING DAY - IF IN DOUBT FOLLOW
THE FIELD MASTER.
DRESS CODE FOR MOUNTED FOLLOWERS - YOUR GUIDE:
If you are new to hunting, then you might find the following points
helpful. Please don't let any of the following intimidate you or put
you off joining. Most of all we want you to come out and enjoy your
day. We would particularly not wish you to go to great expense in the
early stages of your hunting, so long as your dress is neat and tidy
and not brightly coloured, you are very welcome to join us. For
everyone else there is no excuse!
Tradition and safety, not fashion, governs correct dress in the
hunting field. Ladies and gentlemen should wear a black coat with
buff or cream breeches, black bowler hat or velvet cap, and black
boots. Gentlemen may wear a scarlet coat if they are an elected
member of the New Forest Hunt Club, (or have been awarded the button
of another hunt club) with white breeches in which case a top hat or
cap, preferably other than black, should be worn. Mahogany top boots
with garter straps are worn by gentlemen wearing scarlet. Only
masters and Hunt Officials should have ribbons hanging from the back
of their cap. Cut them off or pin them up whilst hunting!
Skull caps are perfectly acceptable and if worn should preferably be
of the type manufactured with a velvet covering or at least have a
loose velvet cover rather than silk.
Only a white cotton or cream silk stock should be worn with a black
Spurs, garter strap (black with black boots or white with top boots
and white breeches), and a hunting whip are traditional accessories
to hunting dress but are not compulsory.
Ladies should also consider the practicalities of wearing a hair net
and refraining from wearing earings, especially those of the hooped
variety, as they are exceedingly dangerous in a woodland country!
Children should wear a tweed jacket with collar and tie throughout
Ratcatcher (Tweed jacket, collar and tie or stock, and plain brown or
black 'butcher boots'), is worn before the Opening Meet and after the
end of March. N.B. it is perfectly correct to wear "ratcatcher"
throughout the season - you do not have to wear a black coat.
HORSES: It goes without saying that if you have gone to the trouble
of being neatly and tidily turned out yourself. you will want your
mount to compliment you, so try to begin the day well groomed with a
tidy mane and tail and clean tack. It is customary to plait for lawn
SOME DO's AND DON'Ts
A great deal goes on behind the scenes before, during and after a
days' hunting. Don't be afraid to ask if you are in doubt about any
hunting procedure, or are interested to know more about what is going
on. Try to find a more experienced follower who will be pleased to
help answer your questions. Understanding what is happening will lead
to an appreciation of the skill of the huntsman, his staff and indeed
of the hounds, and will greatly increase your enjoyment of your day.
Quietly watching the huntsman and his hounds go about their business
often produce the most rewarding moments of a day.
ETIQUETTE AND HELPFUL HINTS FOR THE MOUNTED FOLLOWER
DO: Try not to be late for the meet
DO: Un-box at a designated car park, never obstruct the highway.
DO: Find the secretary and pay your cap or field money as soon as you
DO: Keep behind the field master and follow his instructions.
DO: Keep quiet when hounds are drawing or hunting. If you have a
restive horse, keep to soft ground so as not to make a noise.
DO: Stop IMMEDIATELY if hounds check or someone ahead holds up their
hand signalling you to stop. Immediately means where you are, not
when you have caught everyone up and crashed into them!
DO: Keep to the back of the field if you have a young horse or one
that is likely to kick. A red ribbon on the tail denotes a horse that
might kick, whilst a green ribbon a youngster. However the
responsibility lies with the rider of the horse wearing the ribbon -
it should not be regarded as an excuse.
DO: Move out of the way quickly if you hear a shout from behind
"huntsman/Whip on your left/right"
DO: Turn your horse's head towards the hounds if the Huntsman has to
bring hounds past you - so as not to kick hounds or horses.
DO: Remember to thank everyone who opens a gate or slows or stops
their car for you.
DON'T: Override hounds, huntsman, whipper-in or field master.
DON'T: Gallop (or canter) past pedestrians, or force them off the
DON'T: Enter a ride with a "Reinstated Ride" sign on it.
DON'T: Cross any car park on a horse other than those car parks
designated that day (see above).
DON'T: Go into any inclosure on a Tuesday where there is a "Timber
operations in progress" sign.
ETIQUETTE AND HELPFUL HINTS FOR THE FOOT OR CAR FOLLOWER
DO: Avoid blocking car parks. This is particularly important, now
there are only three designated car parks per meet for all
DO: Avoid holding up other traffic by trailing in a long line after
hounds leaving the meet.
DO: Park sensibly at ALL times so as not to impede other traffic.
DO; Try to get to a road and slow traffic if you know hounds are
approaching. If you find yourself in this situation slow, but don't
stop traffic, and remember to thank EVERY car that passes.
DON'T: Drive faster than 20mph at anytime when off metalled roads.
DON'T: Take your car through a gate where you could not normally go
unless you have a pass issued by the Master on the day. If you have a
pass please adhere to the printed instructions on the pass.
DON'T: Go into any inclosure where there is a "Timber operations in
Other than that, have a good day!!