About Horseback Hunting
A horse was one of the most ancient assistants to human hunters, second only to the dog. It helped keep up with the quarry that was much faster than a biped, approach an animal put to bay by dogs before it could get away, or get close enough for a shot. Apart from riding at full gallop, wily hunters would also stalk birds and beasts by walking to them so that the silhouette of a human was covered by the body of the horse. These types of hunting are seldom met with these days, but the use of horses afield is far from over. A great advantage of a horse is that it can go where no wheeled vehicles can. This can be invaluable where you have to cover lots of ground over broken terrain. In countries like Kirghizstan, hunters would ride the sturdy local steeds from one spotting place to the next; as soon as the game is spotted, though, the horses would be left behind under care of one of the guides, and the hunters would stalk the animals on foot. There’s no such thing as a born rider, and if you are considering a horseback hunt you must take a few lessons to learn (or refresh) the skills. When you go to a riding school for the first time, you may be surprised that your lessons begin and end with caring for the horse. It’s not obvious for many city dwellers that a horse is not a machine. It can get tired, hurt, lazy, excited, or frightened, perhaps by your own unexpected movement or shout. If you want your ride to be safe and enjoyable, you need to establish rapport with your horse, and the key to that is care and attention - something that a horse needs just as much as a human. And although caring for horses is one of the responsibilities of the guides, you must at least offer to lend a hand. Read more...
Most hunts listed as “horseback” imply that the hunters use their four-legged assistant to take them deep into the wilderness which you can’t access with the help of motor vehicles. Mules are often used to carry loads, and horses for riding. Horseback hunting offers an additional challenge as well – animals need to be cared after, and stories of city hunters being thrown off their horses do happen occasionally. However, the romance of the old days, and the inimitable feeling of camaraderie not only with humans, but with animals, that horseback hunting implies, more than pays its way. Hide details
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