I wasn't involved in the friday activities which involved riding and shopping. We had a terrific dinner party at Huntersrest friday night. Mr. Hinderella cooked 3 kinds of beef and I thought the beef brisket was the best! Mr. H is a terrific chef and we are grateful for his help this weekend!
Saturday dawned cloudy, misty and with a light sprinkle so the hunt went on. Like hunting in Ireland! And the scenting was awesome! I car followed and we viewed twice, another carload once and lots and lots of action! 3 hours altho' the sky opened up after 2 hrs and many came in early in a downpour. All smiling, all worn out! They say it was 4 different foxes but we know 2 that ran together. Pack split towards the end. 2 longer runs. Hunt breakfast was gobbled up and then the hunting princesses split up. Some went to Middleburg shopping and I took 3 to the Piedmont Hunt point to point held in the rain. Lotta scratches, small crowd but they could "get the flavor of it" so to speak! Then dash home to get ready for the big soiree/state dinner.
Mr & Mrs Hinderella and Mr.& Mrs. Whicker fixed us turkey & fixin's for our dinner. The Hunting Princess initiation and crowning occurred. This time we specialized in blaze orange feathers on the tiara's !! (so the deer hunters won't shoot them!! ) So a roomfull of horse people with tiara's - ate, drank and was merry after an exhausting day.
Sunday I wasn't there but riding in am and basseting (foot hunting) was on the agenda....how'd it go?!!
Watery Glen lets out a big rebel yell tally ho.....!
It was a marvelous hunt weekend, with good friends old & new, great food and lots of time in the saddle.
I can't thank our Virginia hosts, Hunter's Rest, Wateryglen and Whicker enough. We princesses were wined and dined for three nights in a row, and filled with tales of hunting lore.
HR has described hunting as an extreme sport, and I had a spell where I thought I'd run up against my limits as a rider, as the action picked up speed and I fell behind. But HR and her terrific SO talked me through my fears and got me back on track, and I'm determined to see it as a bump in my road to hunting competence. I have no illusions about hunting expertise, but I believe competence to be a perfectly good goal.
It was Old Dominion's junior meet, and I loved seeing the young riders out in the hunt field! To be honest, I most saw them speeding by me but I loved seeing them still.
The hunting world, or at least this part of it that I have met, has been incredibly welcoming, and fun, and I have learned SO much. It's added an entirely new dimension to my riding life, and many amazing friends to my real life. I thank you all!
Mr. Hinderella, the Master Chef, gives the cooking clinic
Mr. Hinderella really was most gallant in offering to be chef for 2 of the dinners. He is most masterful in the kitchen!
We learned a lot about kitchen craft in his lessons. From the lesson on knives:
The reason for different shaped knives, how to maneuver them, and that they are VERY sharp for a reason. For example, the boning knife was thin and flexible for following the anatomy of the bones of the critter. I didn't know that the handles are different shapes and sizes to fit the hand. It seems to be like picking saddles. The knives were kept in a puncture-proof special bag, like fine jewelry. The next time he teaches, I hope to learn more about the art of sharpening.
The Saturday night dinner at my home was prepared with the assistance of sous chefs Saint Carl and Hinderella. In addition to 2 turkeys, (We had about 30 hungry people coming.), the menu included saffron risotto, and carrots in a ginger glaze.
Mr. Hinderella explained the difference between the different nuances of saffron. We were to choose the saffron that had the most dark red and the least yellow coloring. The intensity of flavor and aroma comes from the red part of the stamen of the crocus flower. Saint Carl had picked up a package of Mexican saffron, which was much cheaper than the excellent variety of Mr. Hinderella's. We now know why. We learned how to make the risotto a creamy, yet succulent consistency. It's a tricky dish. While we made a huge quantity, it vanished quickly as people kept returning for more.
For the gingered carrots, there was a lesson in the different flavors of fresh oranges. The blood orange was chosen for it's balance in the flavors of the glaze.
We had broccoli, for it's soothing effect on muscle cramps. I had learned this one, from my PhD daughter. Her double Masters were in sports strength and conditioning, and nutrition.
Dessert included a delicious cobbler that Janet made, and a large fresh fruit compote that the chefs created.
Thank you so much, Mr.Hinderella, for a glorious gourmet cooking clinic!
I'm up in New York picking up a *future foxhunter* for Riding Again (!!!) but wanted to check in and say how proud and happy I was for the successful weekend.
It really does take a village to create something on this scale, and I wanted to publicly thank all of the above, and more, for passing the flame of foxhunting.
Yesterday, Tuesday, I was out hunting with ODH before I hit the road (shipping OneGrayPony's horse home to Pa. and Jackie S.'s horse home to Mass.) It was **the** most beautiful morning.The weekend rain freshened the landscape (we hunted north of my place, towards Marshall) and a cold front brought in chilly air. There was steam rising from the big lake at the meet and it looked like a painting, huntsman Gerald Keal in his pink coat on his paint horse (the one that matches the ODH hounds perfectly!)
Hounds struck almost immediately and off we went on a lively run, up and down Thumb Run Mountain and all around Winterset.
We were hacking home and the first and second fields were parallel to me and the wee third field. I took a minute to observe, and do a self-check of all my senses -- a couple dozen horse and riders chatting away as we hacked back to the meet along the driveway, among them some of the most legendary horsemen (and women) in America. The hounds trotted alongside Gerald's horse, packed up like a school of fish. My nose was cold but my toes were toasty. The sun (it was noon by now) warmed my back through my heavy formal coat. I could still taste the pear port someone had offered around earlier. I could hear ringing in my ears of the pack in full cry just minutes before (they lost near the lake second-time 'round) and Gerald picked up.
As we jogged along, I realized that it was the sixth sense that makes the most poignant observation. The reason we do this, the reason we share this, the reason we're all here - -either reading about it/dreaming about it/doing it/remembering it, is because foxhunting is The. Whole.Package.
Wateryglen and new princess Majestic Thunder went foot hunting with the Ashland Bassets yesterday and had a blast with some HUGE bunnies and lotsa views!! MT's fiance' got some teeriffick wabbit pictures!
Carry on ladies!!
That's the spirit!! woooo hooooo!!
WG, you know you can't mention pictures and not post a link. Especially since the season is over and we won't get to see hounds chasing quarry(Even if it's a short legged basset after a wascally rabbit) for several more months!!
Photos soon, he is doing a bit of post-processing and I will link! I had a blast. I am so happy to have wandered across this thread, I had a wonderful time at Hunter's Rest and met some wonderful ladies (and some damn good riders!)
Virginia peeps -- Please come to the Hunter's Rest tailgate (space 151) at Saturday's Old Dominion Hounds Point to Point at Ben Venue (16 miles west of Warrenton).
City and Natalie are racing (12:30 post time) and there'll be lots of fun and fare and friends!!
If you want to skip the entrance fee ($20 per car) load up in my van by 10:55 am to head out with me at 11 am, or carpool from the farm and share admission.
My parking space (my car'll be in it) is just "north" of the saddling enclosure.
Invite your friends!!
Hunter's Rest tailgate is going to be the place to be for the races!
It is going to be so much fun to watch our own Natalie and City burn up the course. And learn from Hunter's Rest what goes into the training for steeplechase.
In the earliest races are the youngest riders, frequently on their ponies. It's sometimes like a Thedwell cartoon come to life. I love watch the dreams in the determination of them. (I always wanted to do it. But my Daddy wouldn't allow it. I'm still a bit jealous!)