What to wear when hunting during the main season
Every hunt has two seasons: autumn hunting, sometimes known as cubbing, and the main season. The Main Season starts in November and runs through to March. ‘The Meet’, as it's known, generally starts mid-morning and finishes in time for people to get back to their horseboxes in good light.
Tips on what to wear
Dress to keep the wet and cold weather out as this will make your day more enjoyable. Also bear in mind that you're going to be in the hunting field not the competition arena, so all of your attire must be plain. Show jackets can be worse than useless at keeping the cold and rain out, so if you intend to hunt regularly, consider investing in an alternative.
Tips on what to avoid
As you may have gathered, wearing correct or appropriate clothing matters to the hunt and it can be frowned upon by some when the dress code is not followed. So here are a few pointers on what to avoid:
* Hats with reflective strips
* Fancy/sparkly stock pins
* Bright coloured hat silks.
What to wear
Beige breeches or jodhpurs are usually the preferred choice for those that hunt although white is sometimes acceptable. The Noble Equestrian Winter Softshell Knee Patch Breeches tick all the boxes for hunting: they're beige, water resistant, windproof and breathable. If that isn't enough, they also have a fleecy lining which will keep you warm out in the field.
Many riders who hunt also event, and many will be familiar with Equetech equestrian clothing. The Equetech Hybrid Foxhunter High Waist Knee Patch Breeches are specifically designed to be worn on the hunting field. They're hard-wearing, and made from a cosy and stretchy brushed fabric, with a high waist to stop your hunting shirt from becoming untucked!.
In the past a knee patch breech has generally been worn hunting. This was because the fabric used for the full seat restricted movement in the saddle which, in hunting, is obviously essential. However nowadays, the fabrics used are so soft, this is no longer an issue. Now many are choosing a full seat breech over a knee patch.
Ideally a Hunting Coat should be worn, but these can be expensive and are generally worn by riders who event once or twice a week. A dark blue or black show jacket will suffice providing all the buttons are done up - one of the smaller points of hunting dress etiquette for you!
During the Main Season, the weather tends to be colder. So go for a long sleeved shirt, especially if you suffer from the cold. Take a look a the Equetech Ladies Foxhunter Shirt. Made from luxurious soft cotton fabric that stretches when you move, which you'll inevitably be doing a lot out hunting!
The stock can be plain white, check or polka dot. The Dublin Hunting Stock is timeless and will look great with any jacket. Self-tied, it's available in three sizes and is reasonably priced too.
The Equetech Pin Spot Stock looks very smart with a dark jacket for the main season. Self-tying, it comes with full instructions to help you do this if you haven't done it before. Remember - practice makes perfect!
All footwear needs to be black, clean and polished! Spurs can be worn if necessary.
- Safety Wear
While a skullcap is not a traditional type of velvet hunting hat, it’s the safest type to wear and many hunts often recommend it. The best selling Gatehouse HS1 Jockey Skull is the preferred choice of many. Go for a plain black or navy silk. If you wish to wear a traditional velvet hat, you’ll need to sew the ribbons up - only Masters and Hunt staff wear the ribbons down so that they can be recognised from behind.
Many adults and most children now wear body protectors. It's probably a good idea to wear yours under your jacket rather than over it as it looks so much better!
Do invest in a good pair of gloves! Leather is always good for grip but not great when it rains! Treat yourself to a waterproof pair, they’ll be worth every penny! These waterproof gloves from Woof Wear are just the ticket! The technically advanced fabric of Tredstep's Eventer Glove ensures the right amount of grip in wet conditions and makes it perfect for hunting.
Many people will carry a hunting whip. This is not essential however they are extremely useful for holding tricky gates open!
Remember: no flowing locks. If your hair is long, it needs to be neatly tied and preferably in a hair net. A little make-up is fine but glamour pusses need not attend! Bear in mind that you may be riding through woods with low hanging branches, so it may be best to remove any long or hooped earrings if you want to keep your ears in one piece
If you’re in any doubt whatsoever about what to wear hunting, check with the Hunt Secretary. I'm sure he or she will be very happy to help.
Want to know what to wear Autumn Hunting?
Read our previous blog post in this series, which describes what hunting attire you need for autumn hunting.
Take a look at our collection of hunting wear.