Fox Hunting 101 Blog Series Post 1: Rider Attire
Posted on 12 November 2013
Fox Hunting 101 – The Rider
Hello riders! Hunt season is underway and so is our new blog series, Fox Hunting 101, which will take you through what you need to know for a working knowledge of Fox Hunting 101 through a basic education of the people, places, and practices of the time honored sport.
Whether you are a seasoned member of a hunt or new to the sport and interested in beginning your own adventures in Fox Hunting, you can never know the basics well enough, and this is exactly what we shall be covering in Fox Hunting 101.
Fox Hunting 101 -The Coat
Our first installment of Fox Hunting 101 begins with you, the rider, and how you should be dressed when participating in a hunt. Proper attire for hunting stems from a historic practicality that is necessary for safety and preparedness in the field. A black hunt or frock coat with 3 black buttons on the front should be worn by members who have not been awarded colors. These coats are preferably made from Melton material, which is close to waterproof and comes in a variety of weights, and are ideal for protecting the rider from the cold and wet weather that often confronts hunts during the winter season. During informal or ‘ratcatcher’ hunts in the off season and informal meets during the regular season, cubbing coats may be worn.
Fox Hunting 101 – The Vest
Under your coat it is traditional to wear a vest (Canary or Tattersall in color) over a shirt that is typically white, yellow, or a subtle variation of those colors. It is traditional to wear a white hunting stock or stock tie secured by plain gold stock pin, this stock tie can be used in emergencies as a bandage for you or your horse, stirrup leather, rein, splint etc. The loose ends should be secured to your shirt with safety pins or another method to keep it from looking unruly.
Fox Hunting 101 – The Breeches
Breeches are another Fox Hunting 101 must. Breeches are traditionally tan but canary, different shades of brown such as buff, and rust are also acceptable. White breeches should only be worn with frock coats. Bear in mind that you will be riding in cold weather and make sure your breeches will be up to the job of keeping you warm, it is not uncommon for riders to wear thermal underwear underneath their breeches. Plain, black leather tall boots are the most appropriate for field members and guests.
The most traditional helmets are black velvet safety helmets with the ribbon stitched up. It is a good idea to check the safety standards of the hunt you will be riding with but most require an ASTM approved helmet.
Riders in the field are allowed to carry a brown leather hunt whip (or Hunt Crop) but must not use it unless instructed to do so by their field master.
A Good Fox Hunting 101 tip to remember:
When hunting with an unfamiliar or new hunt, it is always a good idea to contact the Hunt Master or Hunt Secretary to find out what their preferences are when it comes to rider appearance, as it tends to differ slightly from hunt to hunt. For example, some prefer certain colors of breeches or vests, it never hurts to ask!
That concludes our first installment of the Fox Hunting 101 blog series, we hope this helps! You can get fitted out for hunt season by going to this page for Men’s Fox Hunting Apparel and this page for Women’s Fox Hunting Apparel
Safe Hunting! – Get Foxy!