FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What kind of clothing do I need to wear?
A. You can wear any safe and comfortable riding attire you wish. On formal hunt days (Saturday) the staff will always dress in formal attire and hunt members who enjoy and choose to honor the tradition will wear black coats, buff breeches and black boots. On informal hunt days (Wednesdays), you will find riders and staff dressed in everything from traditional clothing to, frankly, whatever was clean that day, or the day before.
Q. Do I have to ride in an English saddle?
A. No, all types of saddles are welcome. Just bring a horse with it. As long as it's comfortable for you and your horse, it is fine.
Q. What is expected of me when I come to a hunt?
A. Guests are always welcome to ride with Grand Canyon Hounds but must sign a release prior to riding. At the meeting place (fixture), horses are tacked up and ready to ride at a specified time. It is advised that you should arrive at least 30–45 minutes prior to the scheduled time of the meet. The staff and hounds set off and riders follow. It is important to be quiet as sounds travel. It is usually not wise to follow the Master of the hunt ;). At the end of the meet, after hounds and horses are put away, members gather at the trailers for an informal pot-luck picnic before heading home.
Q. Who and what are the Staff?
A. "The Staff" is a general term that encompasses the huntsman and whippers-in. At Grand Canyon Hounds, our huntsman, Peter Wilson, is the professional in charge. He can even boss around the Master. The huntsman is responsible for directing and encouraging the hounds in the course of the hunt. Our whippers-in, Amanda Wilson and Jimmy Boyle, are professionals as well. They ride out to the sides of the hounds and their job is to keep the pack all together and assist the huntsman. They keep an eye out for coyotes and point with their hunt caps when they see one.
Q. How fast can I expect the hunt to go?
A. We can and will go at all levels of speed during the hunt. Sometimes a walk or nice trot is all that is necessary to keep up with the hounds. However, we may canter and gallop when the terrain is safe to do so. With guests or new members there will often be a group that goes somewhat slower until everyone is secure with themselves and their mount. We want everyone to have a safe, fun experience.
Q. Is there a fee?
A. The first time is free! Members who join Grand Canyon Hounds pay a modest yearly fee to ride with the hunt from November through March. Later in the summer you may ride with the hounds during their exercise near the GCH Stables, getting your horse conditioned for the upcoming season. Membership in GCH allows you access to the jumping and dressage arenas at the stables for a nominal fee. There is a capping fee for members of other hunts.
Q. If I think I want to give it a try, what should I do?
A. Contact Paul Delaney by email or phone and he will give you the information needed to come join us.