Today reminded me of a
perfect perfectly awful day for fox hunting. It was cool and grey and shifted between mist and rain. (Did you hear that?! Rain! I guess I can stop whining about the drought... at least for a few days!) In my youth I participated in a number of hunts, several in weather like today. What fun! I'm not sure I'd relish the chase now with as much abandon as I did then!
Things change as a person ages! I found this set of rules a few years ago in the Aiken (SC) Hunt program and copy it, with permission, for your enjoyment.
Illustration Plate from Hunts With Jorrocks
Illustrated by G. Denholm Armour
- We DO NOT need to show up with our hair combed, make up on and wearing a clean shirt. We do wear hairnets, of course.
- Moaning, groaning and complaining about aching muscles is perfectly acceptable, as is taking Motrin/Alevel/wine or a stiff drink prior to hunting.
- Helping someone on or off the horse does not mean the rider is an invalid. It only means the horse got taller overnight.
- No one will comment about how big someone's butt looks in a saddle.
- Everyone will wait, patiently, while someone dismounts and adjusts equipment. Everyone will also wait, patiently, until that person remounts and is ready to move on... no matter how long that takes.
- When a horse is acting up we will accept that the horse is just having a bad hair day and it is not the rider's fault
- Mentioning it is too hot, too dry, too humid, too wet, or too buggy to hunt is considered self expression, not whining.
- Wanting to be first, last, walk, or just stop does not mean the foxhunter is a wimp. Sometimes it is necessary to teach a horse who is in charge.
- We will take the time during checks, or while hounds are working, for that matter, to discuss the important issues of the day like who is dating whom, who is cheating on whom and any other relevant information which needs to be passed on.
- Not keeping your horse in a frame is not a Federal Crime. With all that is going on today, the FBI has too much on it's plate to follow us around.
- We will acknowledge that horses are very strange animals and sometimes for no reason at all we fall off of them. If this happens to any rider, the other riders will ascertain that the person is okay and then not mention the incident to another living soul, especially husbands and significant others.
- We will acknowledge, without apology, that riding more than two and a half hours increases our grumpy level far more than any ego benefits we may get from hunting longer.