Just how saintly are these hunt horses, HR? In my mind I'd love to try it but in reality, I'm a big weenie after a really bad fall/injury a few years back. I rarely venture out of the arena but can w/t/c and jump teeny stuff in the ring. I will, however, freak if the horse is at all spooky or nervous! If I could be assured a packer saint of a horse I may be interested.
What would the (ballpark) cost be? And what sort of dress would be required (formal hunting attire or "other")?
I would love to come join you all. I have airline miles to use, and was going to contact Hunters Rest and JSwan to see what might be happening in Feb/March, so this is perfect timing! Any weekend would work for me, just would need to know what activities will be involved so I can plan accordingly. As in getting my lazy butt on a horse over the next few months, if it ever stops raining here.
I can personally attest for HR's tried and true mounts. I'm a capable enough rider, but I will admit - getting on a new horse and just going gives me the heebie jeebies.
I was fortunate enough to try a mount at HR the day before hunting. I made her PROMISE me that I would be on a safe, sane, well hunted - absolutely perfect hunt horse. Her horses are ridden in a style different than I'm used to (dressage), but once I figured out that all I had to do was sit there and let my mount do his job I was ELATED. Point & shoot on the buckle hunting is a wonderful experience.
My following visits, I didn't hesitate in the least when being handed a horse to hunt without hopping on him first. I have complete faith in her horses. My last visit to HR (just a few short weeks ago) had us out in a blizzard on not ideal footing... regardless of what we encountered - horses were absolutely perfect!!!!
As HR states, if you can walk/trot/canter and hold on to a martingale when traversing up/down hills and have faith that your mount will get you where you need to be safely - you'll love every minute out on one of HR's horses... any of them!
That being said... I might have to join in on the outing!!!!! Sometime in March you say?
Narrowing down to March 19 weekend.
Say, Thursday afternoon arrival/lesson/ride, dinner at the pub that night, 2 rides/lessons Friday, shopping at Horse Country/Middleburg/Sporting Library/whatever midday, dinner party at Whicker's Friday night, hunting from Hunter's Rest Saturday morning then Warrenton Hunt Point to Poitn in the afternoon,, supper at HR Sat. night, another ride-out or hunter pace or basset hunt on Sunday. Optional stayover Sunday night with rideout Monday if you wish. Optional early arrival - as early as you wish, really. ODH hunts Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays.
One year WH races were snowed out, and occassioanlly there's poor weather. In which case we'd shift to the following week (Piedmont/Bull Run races' weekend.)
I am in NJ now (delivering horses/brought students for a Xmas camp at my friends' farm) and she (my friend) wants me to book her 2 weekends in March for *her* students, so .... CotH gets first choice (and alt. date first choice.) But let's go on and pipe in and see if March 18-20 works for all/most with March 25-27 as a good alt. date.
Hunt horses are saintly, but, more importantly, you'll have me and many other riders/hunters looking after you with helpful hints.
There is nothing, **nothing** more well-rounded than a good, experienced field hunter. No other discipline of horse even comes close.
I would be interested if I can coordinate it with a visit with a friend. Would there be stabling available? I have foxhunted (first season this year), first flight but would love to try out VA and meet fun folks...
Let me know the details as they come together. I will be coming from snowy New England!
I just checked and Mason has that time for Spring Break. Hopefully he can fly back from Washington State and join us. My gourmet chef extraordinaire, DH, has not booked real work yet, so I can block his dates for us. Bradley will be in charge of the wines and I hope will be ready to hunt by then. This soiree is going to be so much fun!
(Maybe the beam in the barn won't break for the occasion)
Now we have to coo to Hinderella's fabulous DH to work magic in the kitchen with mine. They had a great time at the last one. I still dream of the paella!
This thing is liable to over-fill for my place/horses but I know there are plenty of places to stay (or we can do campstyle to a certain extent.) I know a few other horses available, but ... I encourage everybody who's even remotely interested to come and see - follow in a car, on foot, whatever. Foxhunting is an intellectual pursuit - such fun and really interesting.
There is unlimited room to cartop, and to party with us, and to go to the races etc.
So, don't hesitate.
I want to come. I think it'd be great for my confidence if I can do it and survive. My bad fall happened while out in a field hacking (horse bolted while I was walking on a loose rein) and I'm seriously scared to ride outside the ring, but if I'm on something that is 99.9% guaranteed to behave, I'll be fine. I've always wanted to hunt, my trainer's barn when I was a junior was on Deep Run's trails and we rode them all the time and jumped all their jumps, but I never actually hunted.
I'd probably arrive on Fri. and do an introductory ride so if I have a nervous breakdown it won't be in front of the whole hunt!!!
Now to tell hubby he's horse sitting for me... ha ha... he owes me anyhow because he goes off trout fishing once a year with his boys and I have to take care of the whole farm.
I sent Whicker a PM with my name, number and email addy's.
Still need to know about attire, I don't have boots that fit and don't think I have a jacket that fits either. I do have black paddocks and black half chaps, but the chaps have blue piping up the side. I'm sure I can beg/borrow/steal if necessary to be properly outfitted but let me know so I can start working on it now!
Ok, I just re-read that post and I'm (sorta) kidding about the nervous breakdown comment-- don't want HR and Whicker to think I'm a total idiot. I'm not terrified of riding, and I do take at least one lesson a week (when the weather's not crappy, right now I haven't ridden for two weeks.) I even surprise my trainer by jumping 2' occasionally. (I do, however, always wear a XC vest since the bad injury was a broken back.)
I hope I can make it work again. I sure did enjoy the ODH hounds and the Ashland Bassets and the races and the dinners and...oh my how much fun can you have in one weekend!!
I would be bringing my own mount and only need field boarding.
I believe the last weekend in March is my own hunts ball, so mid March would be better for me.
Just a note for those who have not hunted and are thinking of bringing a horse who hasn't hunted, I wouldn't advise it. It is way too much to take in and enjoy. Come and soak up what hunting is about, enjoy yourself. Decide if its a good fit fir you and then start training your horse for hunting before you bring them out.
That rate is for horse+rider. Rider only is less.
I will not allow first time horse + first time rider.
Show attire is fine. Half chaps are fine (to a point.)
No one notices attire, really. What they notice is mouth shut, eyes and ears open and a smile on your face.
Last edited by Hunter's Rest; Dec. 29, 2010 at 06:39 PM.
I sent you a p.m.
Betsy is super at bringing people back from injuries! If you recall, The Fall coth hunt was my first after I broke my back 5 years ago. I was riding my green dressage diva mare on her first hilltopping hunt. It was wonderful!!
Since then, Betsy has let me hunt one of her saints. That was the frozen hunt that Pleasantmeadow was talking about. That horse never put a foot wrong. He was soft and light over our little obstacles, stood and followed with interest the fox and hounds. Lovely gaits. Sigh.... I'm still amazed that it was all so easy for me to relax and feel that I could trust him. He was so gracious to me, when I made mistakes, too.