On July 8, Shakerag Hounds (GA) welcomed the local Pony Club members to visit our kennel and learn about foxhunting. The DC of the Hilltoppers Pony Club, Christie Hanson, and I had this event scheduled for awhile. On the day, ten or so kids, with their parents in tow, showed up at the kennel for an early morning hound exercise at 7am. Some of the families had to drive over an hour and a half to get there!
Meeting the hounds up close and personal was a highlight of the visit.
Once everybody had arrived, I gave a brief description of the type of hound we have at Shakerag and also the reasons why hound exercise during the summer is a good idea. I also pointed out a few hounds and their names, and told the kids there would be a quiz on it later (this was just a joke to be sure they were paying attention!).
After a 20 minute discussion on those topics, off we went for our walk through the hunt country. We discussed hounds being scent animals, as well as pack animals, and how those things really add up to a lot of fun out hunting. At the end of the walk, I am not sure whether the hounds or the kids were more tired! We stayed out for about an hour and a half.
Huntsman John Eaton explains use of the horn to the attendees.
Once we got back to the kennels and the hounds were settled back in the hound yard, we brought the kids into the kennels where I had some "tools of the trade" for them to see. I had out a tracking collar and receiver, a radio and of course a whip and two types of horns. After describing what each was for, the kids got to take a hand at blowing the horn and cracking the whip. They were really quite good! I am already recruiting future whippers-in!