So.... my mare has made a full recovery again, but there was no way I was getting down to VA for the most recent COTH weekend....
I'm now heading down to for a joint meet with Fairfax next Saturday and I'm hoping to cap with Old Dominion again next Thursday...
Guess who I'm probably taking... Not my mare - no way - no how! Every time she hears the word Virginia she breaks... Maybe my daughter's kick butt little QH, that LOVES, LOVES, LOVES hunting.... I figuring I'll probably take my brandy new little toy!
This past Tuesday I capped with Radnor on a cute little 7 year old buckskin QH that's been out foxhunting a handful of times! We encountered everything imaginable in the hunt field... from slick footing, to steep hills (serious Man From Snowy River flashbacks), a train at 50 yards, ditches, water, llamas, braying donkeys, happy ponies in showing off in pastures beside us, tarps, galloping in tight quarters, etc, etc, etc. This guy was stellar!!!! I'm really hoping he's a younger version of the old guy I bought for my daughter.
I can't wait to get him out again. I'm crossing fingers that we hit the road, and make it down to VA!!!! Whicker - I can't wait to see you again!
So, who will be out with Old Dominion on Thursday??? I'm sure I'll be parked close behind Hunter's Rest on the new guy or maybe the old guy! We'll see how things go over the next few days!
Congratulations on your new guy! If little red pony doesn't make the cut as a foxhunter (down the road) perhaps I'll have to engage you to find one for me. You seem to have the touch!
Have a wonderful time. I hope Monsieur Reynard makes an appearance for you.
I apologize for the lack of posting from me since the Hunt Ball. My computer guru magikally up-graded my computer to a new one to me, old to my DH. It was loaded with the infamous v.9 of windows, and I haven't been able to post until now. Mod 1 and coth techs have been coaching me for a longgg time.
I had a blast at the AVH weekend. After the horn blowing contest, my DH casually asked if he could try blowing a horn. He literally blew us away with his volume and technique. Then he mentioned that he played trombone in the Texas Tech marching band at the Orange bowl.
Now he wants come back next year and enter both the horn blowing and the whip cracking contests. I figure a West Texas fella will do that well, too. He had soo much fun dancing, that he wants to take more dancing lessons. It was fun when our son and date, who are competitive dancers, asked him how to do the twist.
Pleasantmeadow had done beautiful gift baskets with all sorts of goodies. Lovely wine, cheese, cookies, and sparkley body lotion. There were over sized mugs with jars of honey in them on the dining tables around the ballroom. I'm really enjoying the mugs- they are huge!
Dakota, my mount, is the "Perfect Pony". If you ever get the chance to hunt this quiet butler sort of personality, go for it. He does it all for you. Never a foot wrong. The Man from Snowy River slides and trappy terrain were done with comfortable grace. What a Star!
I'm looking forward to having Pleasantmeadow down here next week. Just need to know how many mink lined stalls with chocolates on the pillows to prepare. It is going to be so much fun!
I'm glad you enjoyed reading about my trials and tribulations. Share with me your concerns about hunting as a whole. I 've got to say, my list of I never want to do xyz was long... VERY long. Let's start with you - What's your riding background? If you're terrified, but find it hard to resist - there are options. Absolute newbies in the hunt field are best off hiring a tried and true foxhunter. There are many of us who suffered through the early days praying that neither their mount or themselves would suffer a heart attack in the field.... What part of the world do you call home base?
Hunter's Rest has PERFECT babysitters for those who prefer to hunt with their eyes closed. On her mounts this can be accomplished with panache. Ponies are on auto pilot and prefer it if you allow them to do their job and keep you upright. I too have a saint I lend to newbies from time to time. There are many hunts who have sterling mounts available for those who are willing to take a shot at foxhunting, without having to introduce your horse on the same day.
IF you happen to have a quiet, gentlemanly mount who is happy chugging along on the trails in a group and isn't fettered by horses around him, and the occasional rogue dog hopping around - you are WAY ahead of the game. If this be the case, finding a hunt that allows visitors to come out Roading is a wonderful way to trot along and allow your horse to be in a group at a quiet controlled pace with hounds out front.
Lastly, as you've read.... The COTH hunt group is the most supportive, informative, wonderful support group you could hope for if you so choose to give hunting a try. If you're on the East Coast - I'd be happy to hold your hand!!!!!
Either way - I'm glad you enjoyed sharing my adventure of a life time! Getting ready to head off to the Bryn Mawr hound show to support our wonderful hounds and spend time with some of my dearest friends!
I actually have a horse that with more miles on him would be good in the hunt field. Unfortunately it will be me putting the miles on him. I have little experience jumping. (I have never had a been there done that kind of horse and so it is always a learning experience for me and them.) I was making great progress with him (he's not quite 7) but a couple of weeks ago he dropped me out of the blue. I think he was bitten in a very sensitive area and that provoked the only buck (and it was a big one) he has shown me. I am physically fine but right now my confidence is in the minus column. (It's been years since I came off a horse.)
So we have his inexperience and my inexperience. I'm not young (far side of 55). And then there is the money and time factor.
I will keep plugging away with my boy. I am hoping to one day event him in an amoeba class. Toward that end I spent this week getting him onto a trailer and getting him used to being driven around. We made it to new area to ride but he was quite nervous so I worked him in-hand until he settled then put him back on the trailer and took him home. (I have a great BM who helped me with this all week.)
I need to work on my 2 point and become more solid in the saddle. Lately I've been doing a lot of no stirrup work to improve my balance and my seat. I also plan on doing more trail riding so that we both become comfortable being off property.
Maybe once I've accomplished all this I'll be able to consider hunting, but for now I'll follow your adventures and smile the whole time.
Cheval Convert-I had that experience years ago...my mare who was good as gold and I were hacking about hither and yon when the next thing I knew I was on the ground, holding the reins, while she looked at me with a most startled expression. Then she took off bucking like a TX rodeo bronc across the fields. I trudged after her, hoping DH would not be coming home for lunch and see a wild horse with no rider. :-0 Camilla had gone about 1/4 mile and was standing by a fence where she had gotten "tangled up". (Her way of getting out of this situation :-) )
It took a bit of courage to get back in the saddle and ride home, but I did. I did have a pretty tight grip on the reins and was very very alert. I think she was stung by something-only reason I can think of re her behavior. And YES George Morris, I did NOT have my heels down. 'Nuff said.
Fortunately, I just had some wrenched (?) muscles in my R arm where she jerked the reins out of my hand. I drove my stick shift truck for a couple weeks shifting gears with my L hand. lol
I do believe that the buck was because of some type of insect bite or sting. (Either that or Dune threw the dirtiest buck of any horse I have ever owned.)
We were just walking along. He was relaxed and interested and I was working on being relaxed and having a nice long leg. Then I was on his neck and heading for the ground. After he dropped me he just strolled off in the direction of the barn while I peeled myself off of the pavement. When I caught up to him he was casually eating some grass along the trailside. I picked him up and hand walked him the 5 minutes back to the barn. (I had bounced my helmeted head off the pavement, so I didn't want to get back on. I also thought I had broken my are, but fortunately I just had major bruising on my elbow.)
I don't blame him but I just am a little hesitant about hitting the trail alone again.
Cheval, as we get older, we all get more tossed...by being tossed. I, too, went from trail riding with at least a respectable amount of confidence to a full on weinie after getting dumped several times.
But PMF is right, if you ever decide to try hunting, Hunter's Rest can definitely provide you with the right horse and the right opportunity. Or you can come along and car follow to get the experience from the ground.
All of that work in two point and without stirrups will help tremendously if you decide to try it.
You guys begin mulling if -- when -- you want a return engagement for CotH fall Virginia foxhunting weekend.
Opening cub hunting begins around Labor Day. Most hunts do their formal opening meets around end October.
I believe any week other than the first two of October (Va. Hunt Week dates) would, conceptually, be open and enthusiastically available!
I'm nose to the grindstone kiddie camp (starting today, 8 weeks of it!) but if someone wants to start a fresh chat once we start targeting dates.
Re: Cheval worrying about jumping -- jumping is NOT neccessary in the hunt field. There are several choices of groups you may join while out in the field, and not-jumping is absolutely an option, as is not-galloping, not-running willy-nilly. We can absolutely make it work for you.
That said, yes, a general level of fitness, and, especially, RECENT PRACTICE TIME in the saddle (meaning, one is riding xxx times a week to prep for such an outing) and having a practice ride or 2 with your hunting host so they can assess, give tips, and give YOU confidence in your ability across country - those are vital to the success of the venture.
Otherwise, sounds like you'll be great!
Cheval - you're further ahead of the game than you think!
You've heard from a number of "weinie's" on this thread and it's amazing how far they've come with the support of our COTH friends! Hinderella - You rock!!!
I've been an addict for about... gosh, when did I start this thread.. several years now, and I've only hunted First Flight a handful of times. With many hunts, you'll see just as much action in the Second Field as you will with the First!
It's not about the speed (which don't get me wrong - can be exhilarating once you realize your heart won't burst through your chest), it's not about the jumps (which can be fun too), it's ALL about the view... Of country, hounds, glorious sunrises, the sound of hounds in full cry, and the camaraderie that surrounds you!
Roading is just five short weeks away! This addict is desperate for a fix!
You enablers are going to get me in trouble! I have a few things to settle in my own head and with my own horse but maybe I will be able to try this one day. (I'm also thinking of getting my own truck and trailer in the next couple of years - do you see what Cothers are getting me into???)
For now, I'll keep living vicariously but perhaps in the not too distant future I'll be able to join in all the fun!