Read more about hunting

Useful tips on how to give children a happy introduction to the hunting field.

  • Find the right pony– one that will stop when everyone else stops and won’t go wild at the first sight of a hound
  • Buy the right kit – lots of thermals or jumpers under coats, good gloves and plenty of pairs of socks
  • Choose the right day – the cream of the country will not necessarily suit a novice
  • Get them out autumn hunting as much as possible when there’s more of a chance to see what’s going on

On the day

  • Hack to the meet if possible to steady everyone’s nerves
  • Put snacks in your young charges’ pockets and, if possible, a grandparent in a car with extra supplies
  • Stay at the back, away from the fray
  • Keep them interested – explain what’s happening, what to do and when, and try to make it fun
  • Stay calm. Children sense fear as sharply as they can smell chocolate
  • If possible, try to let them hook up with some friends their age out hunting
  • Take care to leave before they get tired. Leave them wanting more
  • Always carry a mobile phone

For the full article on taking children hunting, see the current issue of Horse & Hound (27 October 2011)

Find out more about hunting for beginners