It is every rider's responsibility to bring a horse
to the field that is capable of doing the job. Any horse
that is not capable of entering in the sport should be retired for further training.
There is never any excuse for a rider not to hold his horse. A runaway endangers others and interferes with the pack. If you have a horse that kicks, you must tie a bright red ribbon near the root of the horse's tail as a warning to those who may find themselves behind you. It is your responsibility in these circumstances, however, always to ride at the back of the field.
An accident will spoil both the injured party's sport as well as everyone else's. From time to time our hunt will cover some rugged territory. Riders should never feel disgraced if they must turn their horses away from an obstacle or path that the horse cannot negotiate safely. Riders are expected to help each other. When you see the field stopping or turning sharply ahead, raise a hand to signal the rider behind ( and save yourself some trouble!). The word "ware" should be used to alert other riders to a hazard. The cry "ware hole", "ware wire", or "ware bog" can save a fellow rider a good deal of grief. Such a warning should be passed back in a voice suitable to carry only to the next rider. Watch for the hazard and as you pass it, point to it and sound the warning. The next rider will warn those behind.
The SYVH maintains both a first and second field, each with its own Field Master. The first field is for seasoned horses and riders who are willing to keep up with the pace set by the huntsman and the pack. Some jumping will be expected in the first field. The second field is for beginning riders and for riders with green horses. Riders in this field do not have to keep up with the pace set by the huntsman; the primary goal of second-field riding is viewing the sport from a distance. While occasional jumping is allowed with permission of the Field Master, there will always be an open gate for the second field.
Riders should stay with the field they choose. Riders who desire to change fields must secure the permission of the Field Master first. Similarly, riders should inform the Field Master if due to danger or exhaustion they feel they must leave the hunt altogether. Remember that unlike a trail ride, there is no planned route in hunting. The speed and terrain may become extremely difficult at times. Riders should keep safety in mind and never push their mounts past their limits.
Never approach a jump until the previous rider has safely cleared it. On the other hand, do not delay in approaching a jump; the field must move on.If your horse refuses a jump, go to the rear of the line, unless invited by another rider in the field to take his place. We are not riding a steeplechase, and if ever there is a place for good judgement, common courtesy, and horse sense, it is around fences.
There will always be a way around jumps in SYVH country. Such a route may be the long way around, but it will always be there. Sometimes it is necessary to ride single file, e.g., around a planted field, and sometimes it is proper to ride abreast,e.g., when in top of a hill, watching the hounds work below. Watch for signals from the Field Master.