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December 10, 2010

North Hills Hunt - Happy Halloween

Oh my goodness did we have FUN today!

In keeping with the spirit of things—it being Halloween—we asked for permission to wear costumes today. What a grand idea! 

We were a little late to start. People were fiddling with their outfits, and it took me at least five tries to get on my horse, with my wild skirt on. How did those ladies way back when ride side-saddle with all those gowns? 

I took a moment to tell everyone about Ron Dudley's passing. We had a moment of silence for the man who loved his wife, his children and hunting. I thought of him throughout the day as we laughed and rode with our friends. It made me count my blessings.

We hunted from the kennels and Huntsman Tyce (aka Austin Powers) headed east with whipper-in Breanna O (ring-tailed pig), Nancy E, Helen S and the hounds.

We had 15 in the field: Me (Sugar Plum Fairy), ex-MFH Mary Lynn F (Wicked Witch), Larry S (official photographer—he had a photo printed in this week’s edition of The Chronicle of a Horse!), Julia S (Sioux Indian Warrior, actually pregnant mommy to be) Dave K (Zorro), Beth S (Master Chef), Emma L (Pink Princess), Samantha M, ex-MFH Mark S (old, beat-up foxhunter), Libby C (Pirate), Tim C (Goose, from Top Gun), Lana L (golfer), Ashley H and Sara M (their horses were bride and groom and they were maid of honor and best man) and Anne M (NHH Riding Secretary).

It was a beautiful day, just the right temperature to hunt in costume and not freeze. I mean to have great hunting conditions, except it was a tad dry, as I will explain in a milli-second.

We had only been in the field for perhaps 20 minutes when all of a sudden Breanna turned back to the field pointing ahead of her and calling tally-ho. Sure as shooting there goes a coyote!

We started galloping, Tyce was blowing on his horn, the hounds were baying, and then they started running heel. Zorro kicked in as a whip when the ring-tailed pig had some faulty costume trouble.

It's too dry to really sustain a scent, and I think that the coyote has his costume on-a cloaking device. He was gone, vaporized. The hounds picked up his scent here and there and worked hard to put it together. They finally found his den in the creek, but he had hunkered down.

Austin Powers collected the hounds and away we went looking for more game to play with us. We didn't have very far to go, and this time we saw another BIG coyote. He stopped and looked back at us as if saying, “Show me what you got!”

Away we went, and we ran and ran and ran, until I was out of horse. The best part about the running, I could feel my wings in the wind and my beautiful skirt (Libby got it for me at Goodwill) flying behind me. Mary Lynn's cape was flying behind her, and the cat she had behind her saddle was holding on for dear life (fake cat).

We passed people working in their yards as we galloped down the roads. I wondered what they thought seeing all these people in costumes!

We were unable to keep up with Tyce, as I had to slow Pistol down to a trot so he could catch his wind. When we caught up with Tyce, he said he had viewed the coyote when he cut in front of him on the run. We’d just run a gigantic loop—about 5 miles.

After that fabulous run, we decided it was time to head home to enjoy some stew. Tyce asked us if we wanted to road home or ride home through the fields. I said the fields, but could we please not get on anything? Tyce carried the hounds towards home when suddenly he stood up in his irons, pointed and yelled Tally-Ho!

I groaned, smacked My Little Pony with my beat-up wand and made a gallant effort to be in the spirit. Tyce stopped and started laughing—false alarm! He got all of us.

We had a meal and some great laughs as we viewed the pictures that Larry took on Tyce's computer. I laughed so much today, my face and my insides hurt.

Have a great week, we are all truly blessed.