Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Foxhunters love to travel! If you have a good travel story, share it with FHL. Click on How to Submit.

Hunt Week at Lowcountry

lowcountry.LoriAuthor and Oz midst the Spanish moss, away down south

This trip was to be the first vacation I have been on for a long time, thanks mostly to our “special” naked cat Alf. With a tendency to occasionally attempt to have sex with a sleeper’s head, hallucinate, or attack without provocation, there are no house sitters lining up for the job of caring for him in our absence. Likewise, no family members or friends. Prozac or no Prozac. That, along with my employer’s— Kaiser Permanente’s—death sentence for time taken off, has us often traveling separately, if at all.

Staying home has not been a hardship since I am happiest at home, but with our horrific winter this year, this nervous traveler headed south on a trip I had watched people enjoy without me for several years. The bastards.

Hedge-Hopping in England

My top moment of any Blackthorn & Brook holiday comes as our guests pull up after a run having encountered their first hedge. They make a fuss of their horse, turn to me and grin.

“I see what you mean about sitting up!” is a recurring comment.

Hedge-hopping is a much discussed feature of our holidays. The subject is met with excitement, trepidation, anticipation, fear, bravado, and everything in between, as it really is an unknown quantity for the majority of our American guests.

With this in mind, we have put together a short video and accompanying blog below, explaining a little of how we prepare ourselves and our horses for popping the hedges in style. What follows is a collection of basic principles that work for us. If anyone has questions or comments—challenges, improvements, ideas—we'd love to hear from you.

A Dream Fulfilled


bb.deb1(l-r) Megan, Deb, and Marti

The inspiration for this trip happened quite by accident. While traveling with cousins in the southwestern part of England in May of 2012 , we happened to stop for a Sunday roast at the pub in the tiny hamlet of Highclere Castle, the home of the wonderful television series, Downton Abbey.

We had missed, by a day, a trail ride on the grounds of the castle. My cousin Marti and I have taken many riding trips and are always looking for a new adventure. We began to dream of a trip in England where we would ride in some of the places that we had read about all of our lives in English novels but had never seen. As we visited the Exmoor and the Dartmoor, the haunts of wild ponies and the characters of Daphne du Maurier, we became more excited. We did not, however, have any idea how to accomplish our vision.

The Golden Age of Hunting?

henry alken.the finishThe Finish by Henry Alken

Foxhunters often evoke the nineteenth century as the belle-époque of English foxhunting. This may have to do with the extensive documentation provided by the famous artists and writers of the time. The efforts of Nimrod, Alken, and friends immortalized an age of rollicking runs across open countryside, dashing horsemen and women, and fine stout foxes flying across hill and dale.

Whilst The Golden Age as it is known has long since provided a benchmark of foxhunting excellence and excitement, we note that today’s foxhunters are blessed with some decided advantages.