Introduction to Foxhunting Clothing & Tack

Published June 13, 2022 | 01:50 PM

Proper hunting attire is rigidly conventional for two reasons.  First, over the years, a form of clothing has developed that comes closest to the most practical under the weather and terrain.  Secondly, some of the pleasure of those watching, including the landowners and families, comes from the feeling of tradition.  We also understand that gathering all the appropriate items may be difficult.  Some allowances will be made for new and guest riders, so feel free to contact any member, and we can put you in touch with someone to borrow clothing from.  Also, some used clothing can be purchased locally, from sites such as Fox Hunters on Facebook and in Virginia.   


  • Hunt saddle, with clean white or cream-colored fitted saddle pad.  Tack should be cleaned and cared for like a Marine's rifle.; Be sure it fits your horse as you will be on it for much longer than in a show ring. Leathers of excellent quality with the safety catch holding the leathers open.  Your stirrup irons should be clean and well-fitted for safety.  The breastplate, if used, should be plain.  Inspect and clean your tack after each ride for safety. A simple crop is acceptable. An ear bonnet in a subtle color is ok.

  • Hunt bridle should be plain (without “bling”) and should have a nose band. Most horses require more bit while out hunting.


  • Other than these conventions, use as little tack as necessary but whatever is required to control your horse.  Wire cutters, for emergency use only, should be available by at least one rider in your field.



  • A safety helmet is mandatory. Ideally, this should be black velvet for formal, but it can be brown for the informal season. Women: Hair must be up, secured, and imprisoned in a hairnet.


  • Optional, sandwich cases for women or a flask for men can be attached to the saddle.


Informal Season (“Ratcatcher” Attire)

Mid-August to Mid-September

Men & Women 

  • Hunt coat should be subtle plaid, brown or gray tweed with no bling or obvious zippers, cut in the center rear.  A colored or plain stock tie with a stock pin. A shirt and tie or choker collar with a pin are acceptable.


  • Tan, buff, or light brown breeches

  • Black or brown plain or field boots, polished
  • Hunting whip may be carried but not used on hounds by members.  It is to be loaned to staff in an emergency.  Note: Avoid dark green hunt coats, as Hunt staff wear them during the informal season.

Formal Season

Mid-September - End of Season

Without the Right to Wear Colors
Men & Women

  • Black or navy hunt coat of suitable weight for current weather, frock, or traditional hunt coat.

  • White stock tie with 2½ inch (women) to 3½ inch (men) plain gold safety pin.

  • Canary or tattersall waistcoat (optional)
  • Plain black boots--no laces and no tan or patent tops
  • Beige breeches
  • Gloves should be crochet, black or brown leather

Right to Wear Colors


  • Black hunt coat with hunt buttons and hunt colors on the collar and beige breeches

  • Canary or tattersall waistcoat.

  • White stock tie and plain gold 2-1/2" stock pin.

  • Black boots with patent tops.

Men & Staff 

  • Scarlet hunt coat with brass hunt buttons hunt colors on collar and white breeches.

  • Canary or tattersall waistcoat.

  • White stock tie and plain gold 3-1/2" stock pin.

  • Black boots with a brown top.

After January 2, winter boots, breeches, parkas, ear muffs, balaclavas, and neck gaiters are allowed.