with Horse and Hound

Entering Young Hounds

What follows is an excerpt from the author’s excellent book, Letters to a Young Huntsman.

3hounds.leesFoxhounds of the Orange County Hounds (VA)  /  Douglas Lees photo

We would start roading (mounted hound exercise) around the middle of July. I really wanted the youngsters off couples by this time as a couple wrapped around a horse’s leg can be an ugly thing. Once puppies are used to going out with the horses, then it’s time to start introducing them to things like sheep, deer, cattle, etc.

This should be done as low key as possible; the worst thing you can do is make a big deal of it. If you have staff swinging whips and speaking loudly to the hounds, it’s only going to jazz them up. If you stay relaxed and cool, the hounds will pick up on that and remain cool themselves. Theses are things that they will see every day out hunting and everyone has to act accordingly.

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