Hunting Etiquette

Members of the field should ride according to the honors as given, or by specific invitation of the Field Master. The field should be ranked in the following manner:

  1. Field Master
  2. By invitation of a NHH MFH, Ex-MFHs & MFHs of other hunts
  3. Gentlemen & Ladies with colors
  4. Gentlemen & Ladies with buttons
  5. Gentlemen & Lady members
  6. Visitors & Guests with their sponsor
  7. Juniors with colors
  8. Juniors
  • After hunting has begun, please refrain from all unnecessary conversation and loud laughter-either in the field or in the gate group. The noise makes it difficult for the staff to hear the hounds, the Huntsman, or the horn. It may cause the hounds to become diverted from their work.
  • Do not talk to a hound as this may distract them from hunting.
  • Listen for “Staff, Please” or “Ware Hound” and then make room for the Huntsman or staff, and hounds. Always move out of their path and turn your horse’s head toward them.
  • Never get in front of the Field Master.
  • When following at a fence, do not jump until the horse in front of you has cleared the fence and is a stride away. If your horse refuses the fence, please move to the back of the field.
  • Keep a horse’s length between you and the next horse.
  • Do not pass other horses too close or at too high a speed.
  • Do not circle in front of other horses.
  • Do not allow large gaps to develop in the field.
  • If your horse kicks, tie a red ribbon in its tail and keep clear of other riders by riding to the rear of the field.
  • Do not run into other horses to stop your horse. If you horse is unmanageable, please excuse yourself and take it home.
  • Protocol for a fallen rider or loose horse: If a rider falls, the hunt may or may not stop, depending on the situation. If the hunt continues, in the case of a minor fall, two fellow riders, assigned by the field master, should stop and stay with the fallen rider and assist the situation. The field master will stay with their field in case the hunt moves on. Should it be necessary for the hunt to stop, in the case of a loose horse or injury, riders should stay with their field and allow those who are assisting to do so unencumbered. The hunt will move on immediately, so riders should stay quiet and alert to their field master’s direction. If necessary, the assigned riding secretary or a whoopie wagon will assist the rider from there.
  • Close all fences and gates to prevent livestock from escaping.
  • Do not ride over wet or newly planted fields–keep to the edges even if the staff rides through the field.
  • No one is allowed to ride on hunt country at any time other than a scheduled hunt activity.
  • Remember to show courtesy and consideration at all times to the landowners, without whose continuing support we would not be able to hunt.
  • Should you wish to leave the field, please request permission of the Field Master or the Field Secretary.
  • Be on hand early enough to warm up your horse, as the hunt will move out promptly at the hour designated.
  • Refrain from smoking at all times.
  • All riders and hilltoppers must sign a liability release form.
  • Members of other hunts may have their colors honored by a NHH Master and would then ride accordingly within the field.
  • When riding with other hunts, request permission to wear your colors before arrival at the meet.
  • Greet the masters and staff on arrival at the meet and thank them at the end of the meet for the day’s sport.