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Hunting Sketches Anthony Trollope

How to Ride to Hounds

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But, whenever it be possible, let the hounds themselves be your mark, and endeavour to remember that the leading hounds are those which should guide you. A single hound who turns when he is heading the pack should teach you to turn also. Of all the hounds you see there in the open, probably not one-third are hunting. The others are doing as you do, following where their guides lead them. It is for you to follow the real guide, and not the followers, if only you can keep the real guide in view. To keep the whole pack in view and to ride among them is easy enough when the scent is slack and the pace is slow. At such times let me counsel you to retire somewhat from the crowd, giving place to those eager men who are breaking the huntsman's heart. When the hounds have come nearer to their fox, and the pace is again good, then they will retire and make room for you.

Not behind hounds, but alongside of them, if only you can achieve such position, it should be your honour and glory to place yourself; and you should go so far wide of them as in no way to impede them or disturb them, or even to remind them of your presence. If thus you live with them, turning as they turn, but never turning among them, keeping your distance, but losing no yard, and can do this for seven miles over a grass country in forty-five minutes, then you can ride to hounds better than nineteen men out of every twenty that you have seen at the meet, and will have enjoyed the keenest pleasure that hunting, or perhaps, I may say, that any other amusement, can give you.

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Hunting Sketches
Anthony Trollope

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