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After Hunt Horse Care


I was wondering what others do for post-hunt horse care?

TIA :horse:

At our hunt club, each member has a stall in the club stable (there are 80 available --used for horse shows in the summer. At some point each member sets up his/her stall. Some more than others. My horse doesn’t lie down after hunts, so I eschew shavings. I do keep a bucket in his stall for water filling it each time. I bring him a full hay net from home to occupy him while I am in the clubhouse after a meet. I keep two coolers in the trailer --one goes on hot horse immediately after unsaddling, the other is put on before trailering when I take off the wet one.

After the hounds have been collected, it is generally a mile or two back to the club --some young folks gallop back, but most of us cool off our horses with a quiet walk. Mine is generally breathing normally by the time we reach the club stable. One can wash a horse there, but mine prefers to roll in the soft outdoor arena. Then his cooler (muddy mess sometimes but easy to wash when I get home). He goes into his stall. I put his saddle, bridle, and pads away --then check to see if he still has water. One more trip to the trailer to put on my hat-to-hide helmet hair, lip gloss, and I’m off to the club for the social mingle at the bar (I don’t drink because I have a 90 min drive home) and then a huge meal. By the time I come out two hours or so later --horse is dry --I change out the cooler and put him in the trailer with a dry cooler on. Then we head home. At home he’s fed and turned out with his buddy.

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Our horses are untacked, rinsed off or rubbed down, offered water and are usually tied to the outside of the trailer in front of a full hay net, while the riders take care of themselves and maybe spend some time at the tailgate.

Tailgates are usually brief and informal, then we load up and haul home.

We’re lucky to have a short ride home. The horse gets turned out for grass and a good roll and I make sure he has fresh water. When he comes in he gets a curry or bath as appropriate and a good check of legs and shoes. If it was a harder day for a particular horse, he gets bute and robaxin for dinner. This is especially good for the Tb/poor back types. I don’t wrap unless there is a wound. The next morning legs get another close look. Anybody who worked hard enough to get meds hunt night gets two days off to make sure they’re good.


Depending on the temperatures, my horses is bathed and then put up on the trailer with water and hay. If it is hot, his fans are on. When we get home, he is fed lunch and then turned out for a couple of hours. Usually gets a scoop of bute with dinner and then gets turned back out for the night.

Most in my old hunt just untacked, then tied their horses to their trailers and left them there while they spent the next hour or so drinking, eating dinner, and socializing inside the club house. We hunted at 3 PM so all this took place after dark. I thought this was hunting normal horse care so I am very pleased to see that it is not from the above posts.

Wow! Hunting is not a thing here in Italy (at least in my area) but you guys seem to have a lot of fun! I often look to your videos and some youtube videos and I think you are also really brave galopping with so many people and horses and jumping/passing all those obstacles. Also the social part after the hunt sounds very nice. Can I ask you how long last and average hunt? Your post hunt routine is very similar to mine after long trail rides

Three hours and up for my hunt.

No socializing after the hunt. Box up (with rugs) or hack home. Wash off the horse with warm water and Hibiscrub (disinfectant) and check for any injuries. Check feet. Put on a wicking rug to both dry the horse and keep him warm. Ensure plenty of water available. Feed a recovery mash with his normal rations. Go home (or to socialize). Next day, check very thoroughly for any injuries (thorns in particular) in good daylight. Check shoes. Trot him up to check movement. Turn out the horse into pasture were he can move any stuff muscles. Rest for a couple of days. This is based on a horse who is fit, has regular shoeing and hunting several times a season.

ETA hunting being a winter thing, it often ends in poor light and it will be dark by the time one is home. Working with lights on is OK but daylight is better to see small cuts or thorns. Thorns are puncture wounds so may cause problems.


Usually we have a walk home that allows the horses to cool out. Back at the trailer, horses are offered water and bathed and have an appropriate sheet put on, anything from a scrim in hot weather to a fleece cooler in colder weather. The horses are offered more water and given a fresh net of hay. They stand and relax (either tied or on the trailer) while we socialize and then pack up for the trip home. At home, the horses might get a second more thorough bath in hot weather, and have their tails combed out for ticks (hot weather) or burrs (later in the season) and get checked over once again for any cuts or issues. If the horses have sweated a lot, we will give electrolytes with the evening feed. I try to get the horses turned out as quickly as possible as what the horses really want to do after hunting is have a nice roll and drink from their home water source.


I carry water with me in the trailer, one large jug for sponging off (has liniment added) and one for drinking. Horse gets fully sponged and scraped, fly spray or scrim or cooler put on, then on the trailer with a full hay bag while the socializing happens. At home she gets her legs washed very thoroughly, feet packed with hoof packing, robaxin to keep the muscles soft, and turned out all night. Always has the next day off.

Exactly. Agree. We will bring them in after a period of turn out and a roll for a more thorough grooming and going over, but after a long day, it’s lovely to just unload, take the halters off and let them go for a roll.

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