Hunting

The Wilton Pony Club has strong ties to the Wilton Hunt. Hunting is a good way for you and your pony to go cross country, forming a partnership, improving your riding and meeting like-minded people of all ages. Hunting is extremely good value for Wilton Pony Club members.

Escorted Hunting

During the hunting season (Nov-March) we put on escorted hunting for our members.  These happen about once a month and are an ideal way for members new to hunting to come and try it out.

We have many parents of ex members, who hunt with the Wilton and understand what hunting can do for a childs confidence.

Contact Fran Lockyer for more details

Hunting with the Wilton Hunt

If you want to have a day and see how you and your pony get on, then it is just £20-35* per day (except Pony Club meet) and £15-£25 for Autumn Hunting (before Opening Meet).

If you know you and your pony enjoy hunting, you can pay a subscription of £150-£275* which covers as many days hunting as you wish to do during the season.

More details on the Wilton Hunt can be found on their Website www.wilton-hunt.co.uk

* depending on rider age.

Hunting is fun, exhilarating and exciting. If you have never been before, come and give it a try this season.

To maximise you and your pony’s enjoyment of your day’s hunting, here are a few helpful hints for those of you who are new to hunting:-

Getting your pony prepared for a day’s hunting

1. Your pony should be as fit as he would be to attend camp.

2. Ponies tend to be stronger out hunting than they are out hacking at home so it is advisable to put in a stronger bit than you would normally use.

3. Make sure all your tack is in good order.  No cracks in the leather, the stitching is good (especially the stirrup leathers)

4. If your pony wears shoes, are they in good order. Losing a shoe or (3) the tack breaking will mean going home early!

5. Plaiting is traditionally correct but is not compulsory. You should do your best to be neat and tidy. Tack should be clean and your pony well groomed and as clean as possible.

6. If your pony might kick, put a red ribbon in its tail. A green ribbon means ‘beware it’s a young horse and might do anything.

What to Wear

1. You may wear either a pony club tie or stock.

2. If you wear a tweed jacket you should have a coloured stock, if a black/blue jacket (over 18yrs) a white one. If it’s very wet or cold a plain dark coloured waterproof coat over your jacket is advisable. Body Protectors are a good idea over your jacket and they keep you warm.

3. Gloves are essential, put a spare pair in your pocket.  Dry gloves a luxury on a cold wet dry.  Hairnets for girls with long hair.

4. Jodhpurs boots and chaps or full length riding boots with beige jodhpurs/ breeches (or dark plain colours)

5. Stay warm!! Extra socks or a polo neck jersey worn discretely under your stock, or a thermal vest.

What to put in your pocket

1. Sweets/chocolate (not things you can choke on).

2. A piece of paper with your name, age and contact phone number, in case of emergencies.

3. Mobile phone… only to be used when necessary ie to call your Mum when you want to go home.

4. Carry a piece of string and penknife in your pocket for doing gates.

5. A handkerchief.

6. Remember YOU must have your cap (not your parent). A cheque or correct cash in an envelope. This should be handed to the secretary, at the meet.

General Guidelines

1. If you are not a subscriber, it is correct practise to ring/email and get permission to come out. Contact Wendy Combes (details on Wilton Hunt website, not necessary for Pony Club meet)

2. Do not unload at the meet. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have a field to park in when it’s dry. Try to give yourself a half mile hack to the meet as it warms your horse up. Leave your trailers parked off roads, not on mown verges, not in gateways, and not on private land unless you have permission. Arrive on time. The meet is 11am, Being late is not polite

3. Say ‘Good Morning’ to the Masters and Huntsman (only if you pony is good with hounds) when you arrive at the meet.

4. Find the secretary and pay your cap (money).

5. Say thank you to the hosts of the meet.

6. Have respect for the adults as they pay far more than you do!

7. All children 14 and under must be escorted by an adult. Organise one before the day, don’t put upon the first adult you see at the meet.

8. Keep conversations in the field quiet, and chatting and texting on your mobile is not polite.

9. The Field Master is in charge. Always obey him or her and never get in front.

10. When jumping do not cut in front of anyone and go in a straight line, don’t cut in from the side. If your pony refuses, look behind you to make sure you do not obstruct anyone else then move swiftly out of the way. Wait until the end to try again, only have a couple of tries and then find a way round as you will cut up the farmer’s land. Always go round with an adult who knows where to go.

11. Bridges and narrow gateways. Always walk across them and then wait until the person behind you has crossed safely before moving off.

12. Always offer to jump off and open/close gates/wire. The adults are stiffer than you and usually have a much taller horse to get back onto!

13. Gates: try to slow down to a trot when going through a gateway. Don’t splash the person holding it open, it might be the landowner. Always shout ‘gate please’ if the gate needs shutting, making sure you have passed the message back. If you are the last person through you must shut it, never leave a person on their own to do a gate, it is very hard to mount a horse when it is spinning round trying to gallop off and catch up with the rest of the field.

14. Always thank passing cars on the road.

15. Always turn your pony’s head towards the Field Master, Huntsman, Whip or hounds when they come past (this avoids them being kicked).

16. If you break a fence, repair it as best you can so it is stock proof and report it to the Field master.

17. Keep off crops and keep in single file round fields.

18. At the end of the day, always say ‘Goodnight’ and ‘Thank you’ to the Field Master if possible. Make sure someone knows you have gone home otherwise we might start looking for you!