Monday, September 15, 2008

Foxhunting Fashionista

I have a gotten a few questions about foxhunting attire and so I thought I would pass along what I have learned. I am by no mean an expert, but I am reading everything I can get my hands on as fast as I can.

There are lots of great resources out there about foxhunting. I have several books on order, but I have also found some good information online. I found a good write up on attire which answers a lot of McFawn's questions about boots. It even has a nice attire matrix if you scroll all the way down. If you would like to see pictures of the coats, etc, I like to drool over the clothes here. There is also a nice glossary of terms in case I throw something up here that sounds strange. Finally, COTH has a nice hunting forum and Foxhunters Online has a searchable archive.

As for my clothes, I am still assembling the proper tack, saddle blankets, and attire for eventing (all three phases) and now foxhunting (another similar but very different set of requirements). So my black wool coat is not a true Melton and my canary vest does not quite fit. My show breeches are too green and I need to get a nice set that are tan or beige. And of course, I wear field boots. I need to find some dress boots (without tops for the ladies, tabs sewn in but not sewn down. :) ) I did finally find a fitted saddle pad for my jumping saddle (instead of a square pad), so Brego should be good to go.

All hunts are different and my hunt (still makes me laugh to say "my" hunt) tends to be a little more relaxed with attire. For example, our staff consists of women, but they wear the pink coats and brown top boots. I talked with my fieldmaster on Saturday and she said my field boots would be fine, but I am going to try to get new ones as soon as I can afford it. I am scanning ebay for a proper Melton, but am not holding my breath for something in my size. Still, you can get lucky. I also need to find a proper velvet cap. My Charles Owen show helmet is not offensive, but with the white logo on the front, it's not traditional.

I do have a nice flask with a stag on it... now I just need to fill it. Any suggestions, Stacey? I ask because your consumption of Wild Turkey is legendary. :)

Anyway, I hope that answers people's questions and if you have more, pass them along. I am learning as fast as I can and I might have just stumbled upon the answer!


blogfourfiveone said...

If you are interested in a good set of books featuring fox hunting the series by Rita Mae Brown (Full cry, outfoxed, the hunt ball etc.) are really good mysteries that centre around the hunt and also provide alot of insights into how things work with the clothes etc etc.
The author is MFH for the Oak Ridge Hunt in Virginia.

Anonymous said...

For your flask, I recommend port. That's what I carry.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes I vote Wild Turkey 101!! That's what I'd be bringing :) Actually any kinda whiskey 'cause I know not everyone can step up to 101 and 108. Man, I am jealous. Did I say I'm jealous yet??

Laura said...

Sounds like you have a good start on your attire! Maybe you could get your canary vest altered or something, until you get the chance to replace it. I love the look of the hunting clothes - very traditional. It is nice that the hunt has a more casual time as well - might get too hot in the full gear in the summer.

We have a hunt here as well, and it sounds like the same as yours. I'm in Canada and while the Queen is on our money, we don't have a lot of British tradition left either... Learning to jump better so I can ride with the hunt is one of my longer term goals for my riding - I'll get to that point someday.

Very cool that you went to school in Oxford - I wanted to go to school overseas but never got around to it... :-)

Daun said...

Thanks for the recommendation on the books. I have added them to my wishlist and will get them as soon as I can. I imagine they make good winter reading!

Whiskey and port lovers... I will have to do a small tasting on some brisk morning to see what my palate agrees with. I am afraid I am ruined on beer, but I will attempt to improve my stature in life by enjoying some quality liquor.

And Stacey, I am sensing you are jealous. You really shouldn't be, since you are embarking on a much more worthwhile journey than cavorting through the woods on one fine horse. However! If you make it to New England before Thanksgiving, you can take Brego on the hunt. Promise.

Although not quite an Anglophile, I do love English hunt tradition. Oxford was, um, interesting in its traditional observances. I would not trade the experience for anything, and I often long to return, but sometimes a little progress isn't so bad (especially how women were treated in the colleges). I mean, when "New" college was founded in 1379 or something, that's some serious history!! I fantasize about getting a job outside of London and returning in the next few years. I even interviewed a little bit ago with a company based in London. We'll just have to see how it all plays out.

meanwhile said...

I adored the Rita Mae Brown books, too.... wonderful winter reading by the fire. I was so inspired by reading them last winter, I tried hunting this fall with my new percheron cross gelding. He adores it, almost as much as I do :-) (I bought him mostly for trails and hunter paces... who knew??)
As far as attire, I am digging into showclothes from yesteryear and hope to improve the wardrobe as I go. Especially now that I am hooked and hope to do more next season .
Oh, Sherry is a wonderful "stirrup cup"
Happy Hunting!!

Annie said...

If any one is looking for good hunt clothes check out The Old Habit at

Wonderful good hunt clothes, some used, some new. I live in Colorado but have gotten things from them before and have not been disappointed.

sally said...

Hi there I hunt in New Zealand.Our hunting scene here is extremely strong and very traditional.We hunt hares as there are no foxes here.Our dress is very formal yet loads of fun. We are about a month away from a new season. Port is a winner in the hip flasks and sometimes I like to mix rum and green ginger.