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Rules & Attire

Informal Season

Dress is casual. Polo shirts with collars, brown or black field boots, chaps or half-chaps can be worn. Helmet with harness is required. Red color is reserved for staff.

Formal Season

Gentlemen with colors wear a scarlet coat with white breeches, or black coat, canary vest, white shirt with stock tie, tan, buff or yellow breeches, plain black, waxed calf (Blucher) boots, and helmet with harness.
Ladies with colors wear a black coat, canary vest, white shirt with stock tie, tan, buff or yellow breeches, black boots and helmet with harness. Hair should be contained in a hairnet. Please, no earrings other than studs.
Adults and Juniors without colors or visitors wear the same as the members with colors, a plain black coat. Guests with colors from other hunts may wear their coat with colors.
Juniors with colors wear the same as adults with colors.

On Weekdays during Formal Hunting, it is acceptable to wear “Ratcatcher”, the traditional informal dress of the foxhunter. This includes a riding coat other than black, shirt with choker, necktie or turtleneck, brick, tan or buff breeches, a helmet with harness, brown or black boots. Black parkas, black vests or other outer clothing are at the discretion of the Masters in challenging weather.
For additional information on hunt dress, contact the Joint Masters.

Hunt Colors

The official colors of the LLH hunt are buff collar with gold piping and LLH buttons. The privilege of wearing the colors of the Long Lake Hounds is awarded at the discretion of the Joint Masters to members in good standing, on the basis of the following criteria:

Regularly and competently riding to hounds and observing all hunt rules and etiquette.
Turning out at meets appropriately dressed, on a clean horse with clean tack.
Willingness to work, build fences, and clear trails.
Conscientious maintenance of landowners’ good will.
Attendance at meetings and events.
Helping exercise hounds.

As a general rule, colors are not awarded to members until they have ridden with the Hunt at least two full seasons or more, and are only very rarely awarded to Juniors before their 16th birthday.

Field Rules

We ride at the sufferance of the landowner. Without land there would be no hunt. Please treat others’ land as you would your own front lawn. Most riders are new to the sport. In Minnesota, much of our hunting is during the crop season. Edge fields unless otherwise instructed. Accordingly, for the general enjoyment of the sport, the safety of riders, horses and hounds, and the fair and respectful treatment of the landowners, your Board of Directors has adopted the following rules of procedure in the hunt field.

  • Always be at the meet on time. If hacking to the meet, always come by road to avoid crossing the drag line.
  • The Field Master is in charge of the field and has full control. The field will follow the Field Master, keeping close behind, but NEVER getting ahead. Riding separately or taking short cuts is forbidden and riders must not straggle behind.
  • Members with colors have the privilege of riding in front according to seniority. Those having their colors the longest go first, unless they give permission to a more recent member with colors to ride ahead of them. Juniors with colors, appropriately mounted, may ride next. Adults who do not have their colors but have willing horses, follow. Next are the Juniors who do not have colors. They must be supervised unless given special permission by the Masters to ride independently.
  • Your horse: It is necessary to have an appropriate mount. Even the quietest horse might have a change of personality when hunting. An unmanageable horse is a danger to the rest of the field and spoils sport for others. Take him home. If your horse is a kicker, put a red ribbon on its tail and keep him away from other horses. In the event he kicks and injures another rider or horse, you may be personally liable even though your horse has a red ribbon on his tail. We encourage riders to put a green ribbon on the tail of their inexperienced/green horse. Stay off the heels of the horse in front of you, maintaining a safe distance between your horse and the horse ahead of you at all times. Use the universal signal – a hand behind your back – if the horse behind you is too close.
  • Do not cut in front of another rider while approaching a jump. Form a clear and distinct line of approach so there is no question as to whose turn is next. If your horse refuses, go to the end of the line or wait for another suitable opening upon invitation of another field member. Horses up in front are expected to jump all obstacles. Before approaching a jump, wait until the rider ahead is cleared and has gone on. If you choose not to jump, pull out and go to the end.
  • In the case of an accident, two volunteers will stay to help the fallen person and a third will ride to notify the Field Master. The rest of the field will ride forward and keep up with the Field Master. A safety protocal has been instituted and all members are encouraged to become familiar with its procedures.
  • Never ride between the Huntsman and hounds. Hounds always have the right of way. When staff or hounds are passing, or at a check, turn your horse’s head towards the hounds, keep his heels behind. At a check, or when a cast is made, please be quiet so that the Huntsman will have the full attention of the hounds.
  • A raised hand and a call of “Hold Hard!” requires you to stop where you are, stand still and be quiet. When you see a hazard, such as a hole or wire, point to it and pass the warning back by saying “ware hold,” “ware wire,” or whatever is appropriate. This needn’t be called out by every rider, as it is often overdone.
  • If you find a gate open, leave it open. If it’s shut, please shut it. Any questions, ask the Field Master. When a rider dismounts to open or close a gate, or to lower or fix a fence, a rider shall remain with the dismounted person. Be sure wires are replaced over gates or jumps. Report all damages to crops or fences immediately to the Field Master.
  • Never gallop past a fenced field of horses or a herd of livestock. If you see anything out of order regarding livestock, report it to the Field Master immediately.
  • When crossing a road, the whole field should do so simultaneously.
  • Do not block roads with vans or trailers. All vans and trailers must be parked on the same side of the road, over as far as possible to accommodate school buses and emergency equipment.
  • Show new riders and out of town guests every courtesy and assist them whenever you can.
  • If you need to leave the meet early, or wish to change fields, request permission from the Field Master. If you leave early, the Field Master may wish to direct you so that you will not interfere with hunting or cross the line on your way home.
  • At the conclusion of the Hunt, thank the staff and wait to be excused by the Masters before leaving for your trailer. If hacking home, walk your horse until you are well away from the meet.

Please note: The definition of “Larking” is any riding on LLH trails outside of hunting days. This is discouraged UNLESS you have personal permission of the landowners. The jumping of fences on non-hunting days is also discouraged unless you have permission. “To lark is deplorable practice.” Alexander Mackay-Smith

Photos Courtesy of Cynthia Fleishman

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