Last year I hunted a QTR mare new to hunting. She had a big engine and never "got" hunting- the toys in your attic kind of horse. During a Joint Meet late in the season I watched a Master from the host hunt lope her horse across the plains on a loose rein and at that point I knew the mare I was on wasn't a good fit, at all.
One night in late March while eating out with girlfriends one of them mentioned a couple horses for sale that were at an eventers barn. I went and took a look and ended up buying one- a 10 year old mare who had done nothing much in her life other than being broke to ride and used a few times a year as a Mom horse.
Today that mare has just finished her 8th hunt of the season and I am in heaven. She was done hilltopping after 4 hunts and glides along in second field now. All three gaits are so comfortable. And today she was cantering along down the hills on a loose rein. At checks she watches and listens for the hounds. We hunted just under 13 miles today and neither my legs, back or arms are sore, yeah!
Had to share this likeminded folks. Anyone else starting out a new horse?
That's wonderful news. She's the Connemara, isn't she? My barn manager/trainer breeds Connemaras, and they're wonderful horses.
As a real newbie, I'm still a way from actually starting my own pony hunting, but I look forward to hearing everyone else's stories and getting some pointers. Meanwhile, I'll keep buying those Lotto tickets so I can get a trailer.
Yes, she is the Connemara. I bought the book "Shrouded in Mist" and it was fun to see her pedigree dive straight into the original blood without too many generations removed. There is a half sister of hers for sale over in New England and if $$ was free that half sister would be living here with me.
I hope you get to start hunting soon! It is so much fun.
I've got one I'm starting this season. Only have had her out once hunting so far and she was great. 5 year old paint mare. Took her out roading once too and she was great. I'm going to take her tomorrow. Hope its good again.
Set youself apart from the crowd, ride a paint horse, you're sure to be spotted
Took one of our CANTER horses out yesterday for his first hunt. He's a really cool 9yr stakes horse who raced up until last year. I have been paper chasing him and doing a bunch of trail rides so I thought he would excel at hunting and he didn't let me down. Blog post about his first hunt here- http://dixierumble.wordpress.com/201...es-foxhunting/
He's a really cool horse and besides not wanting to stand still at the check's he was perfect. I think the standing will come with time.
The new horse arrived Monday morning, via Brook Ledge, as promised. And a handsome lad he is! Sorrel and white paint, think sorrel on top, white on bottom with some small jagged white places on each side, fairly even. His head is big, as in, I had to let The Big Horse's bridle out 2 holes Everywhere, big, but he has a lovely soft, kind eye, nice neck, stands correct. Big old feet. Very obedient on the ground, walked off the trailer like he'd only been on it 20 minutes, cool as could be. Stood great for the vet, nice in his stall. Does not care that he's the only horse.
And the BEST thing?? As I'm walking him up the hill from the front pasture last night, he is not pulling and dragging and being an ass. He just strolls along like a big St Bernard.
He rides just like he is, kicking quiet, compliant. Balanced. His trot, however, is huge! I'll have abs like a 12 year old gymnast by the end of the season.
Yep, went for a hack at darn near dark. We looked, but did not spook at, the herd of bounding deer, the big orange traffic cones in the middle of the runway, the three waving windsocks on each side of us about head high, the truck that blew a tire and "thump,thrummpTHUDddddddded" to a stop about 40 feet from us. Gooood Booooy.
Then we went trotting right up to DH who was standing there watching with a big smile on his face. He gave him a big face rub, a pat on the neck and watched us happily go on down to the barn.
I now remember the "I can't wait to get to the barn to go ride" feeling.
Hunted yesterday, just hilltopped as it was our first hunt together, and I haven't jumped in a while. He was foot perfect, even led a junior on a "I'm not going into the big water" pony down a bank and across a wide stream over his knees, with the pony bouncing around being a twit. Stood quietly at checks, did get a bit strong in the bridle, called the guy I got him from that says he whips in with a slow twist, but when he's in field he probably needs a Pelham just to remind him he doesn't need to be in the front. He has a huge ground covering trot, his canter is pure bliss. Did need a bit of persuasion getting on the trailer to come home (didn't want to leave his new buddies) but once on, stood quietly eating his hay.
I skipped the after-party, since it was a little warm. He came out of it good, and was fine and happy this morning.
I have a grey 14' 2" pony that is able to find mud to grind into his mane no matter how dry the conditions are.
He is body clipped and kept covered as much as possible. I went and bought a rain sheet and a turnout blanket with high neck covers to keep from having to bathe in the dead of winter with no hot water. UGHHH!!
But aside from the color draw back, he is one ROCKING hunt pony!
I never intended for him to be my hunter, but he is.
I keep saying over and over again (each time I bathe him) "I. DON"T. EVER. WANT. A. GREY. AGAIN." We'll see how it works once I'm on the search for another horse.
I am so happy for you, so happy!! Riding a horse shouldn't be complicated UNLESS you enjoy complications.
My newbie breezed through Opening Hunt with no problems. Like the Easter and Christmas services at church, Opening Hunt is filled with many non-regulars on horseback. My old Episcopal minister said that offering the communion chalice to a woman obscured under an Easter hat was always a challange, especially if she was one of those "twice a year" church goers. Opening Hunt has it's own challanges to our equine buds so bouquets to the green beans who can handle it!
P.S. My new one is a black with a white star. Can you say "clean up is a snap??"
New horse, 3 weeks later, HUGE personality change!!
So the horse that was Mr. Compliant, Whatever, with sort of a flat affect personality wise (meaning he really didn't have one) is now turning into Mr. Agressive As***e. Big time. Won't load without a fight. Won't let you halter without a fight. Tried to squish the guts out of a 3 month old kitty that followed me out to catch him last night. Damn near knocked me over as I was about to put the lead on, chased the kitty 100 feet and tried to stomp it with both front feet up against the run in shed, there was one little gap at the bottom, Kitty found it and I threw the leadshank at the horse's head, snatched up the kitty and got the hell out of there.
I'm completely sick. I've spent years at the track and handled every rogue, nasty bastard there is. I know what I'm doing. This horse meant it. And yes, some animals don't like cats, but to pin it up against a wall and repeatedly bring both front feet down? To run over me to get to it? I don't think so. He's quite food agressive in his stall, my theory on that is "I feed you. Don't think for a minute I can't come back in here and knock some dirt off". He's worse daily, everything is now an argument.
My vet suspects he's had a 30 day tranq, and that may be his regular routine.
I called the guy and he claims it must be me, horse has never been bad, etc, ad nauseum. I of course said my attorney would be in touch. He offered to keep him for the hunt season for free and 'try to sell him". He offered to "swap me out".
He then said since even though he brokered the deal, sent videos, emails, ect, since I paid the owner directly he couldn't be sued. Nice. Incorrect, but...
So, tox screen is tomorrow. And then what? I still own him. I can't sell him, and it seems, that if I don't give him the same little cocktail, I won't be able to let anyone else handle him.
I'm screwed, no flowers, no kiss.
But my entire immediate family is full of lawyers and I have two corporate lawyers on the payroll. And one of them eats DC fat cats for lunch.
But really, I just wanted a nice quiet horse to hunt.