A fear of blackthorns — and 24 other signs you’re addicted to hunting

  • If your heart sinks as the days get longer and the sight of diamante brings you out in a cold sweat, you may well be addicted to hunting...

    1. In autumn you buy a mass of gin and pick as many sloes as you can.

    2. You are hacking but you still shout ‘gate please!’ when walking through a gateway.

    3. Never mind Chanel, Gucci or Louboutin it’s all about Patey and Bernard Weatherill.

    4. Your natural riding seat is feet forward and body slightly behind the vertical.

    5. Your breeches are a lot more baggy than any competition breeches.

    6. Any sight of diamante or patent leather brings you out in a cold sweat.

    7. You don’t care whether your horse is on the bit or what leg it’s on, but it is important that it is still underneath you and enjoying it as much as you are.

    8. Your idea of a perfect holiday is a trip to Ireland to go hunting.

    9. There are a lot of red coats, hedge jumping, hounds and beautiful country scenery on your Facebook news feed.

    10. Six hours consistently on a horse seems comfortable.

    11. Your visual map of Britain is not divided into counties but hunt countries.

    12. Jumping fences that are less than five strides apart sounds very technical to you.

    13. More daylight hours only means one thing — the season is drawing to a close.

    14. Calcutt & Sons is your favourite shop.

    15. It’s tricky to see out of the back window of your car for all the pro-hunting stickers.

    16. Your diary has so many meet cards slipped into the back, you struggle to shut it.

    17. You have a fear of blackthorns.

    18. Any hedge or obstacle you drive past by is anaylsed on a basis of whether it would be jumpable out hunting.

    19. To go home before the hounds is unthinkable.

    20. Ten denier tights are bought not to wear with a dress but under your breeches.

    21. The ring tone on your phone is the noise of a hunting horn.

    22. When purchasing new tack, aesthetics doesn’t come into it; you’re looking for the most hardwearing and comfortable bits of kit.

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    23. While other people’s arenas are full of showjumps and a few portable cross-country fences, yours is full of bullfinches, barrels and gates.

    24. You find recognising people off a horse without a hat on is quite hard — and vice versa.

    25. Puppy shows are enjoyable enough — but as soon as it’s over you think it’s time to get out hunting again.

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