Yesterday I Shadowed our Huntsman- Still Grinning (and picking bugs out of my teeth!)
Yesterday we had a very small first field, but were having a great day - a cold, clear day, good footing, some snow on the ground (high desert in CA), lots of fast runs. Unfortunately the master's horse pulled up lame about an hour in and he had to head back to the trailers. The rest of the field decided to drop back to 2nd, but the MFH (who was hunting the hounds) asked me if I'd like to ride with the huntsman, who was serving as a whip that day. Um, YES!!
WOW. It was like first field on steroids. I didn't know my horse could gallop that fast. And turn that fast. And then turn again and then gallop again. and then hard stop. and then gallop. And I was right behind the huntsman when we came out of the brush onto at least a 6-7' drop. by FAR the biggest drop I've EVER gone down, and probably at least a few feet higher than I'd have ever considered doing in a saner moment. His horse dropped right down and my horse didn't even hesitate and followed. I didn't even have time to process the "holy sh!t" of it all before we were down and galloping away! Afer we were done I couldn't stop grinning, thanking the Master and huntsman.
It was incredible. I want to start training as a whip this coming summer, and this was just a small teaser taste of it.
I'm quite sore today however! My suberb mare though walked out completely sound this morning and we had a nice long stretchy walk hack. She is simply amazing.
Fun times! It's amazing how much you can learn and how quickly your horse will learn when put in a situation where you have no option but to GO! Having a Huntsman as your boss puts you in that situation 100 times a day.
Have fun learning to whip in. It's definitely a different perspective. Start learning the hounds now if you don't already know them all.
Well, this happened to our first field today! The hounds took off after something at right angles to our trail and the huntsman told the first field leader to go round one way and he would go the other and they'd cut the hounds off on the next trail over. Our first field leader took off like a maniac and we didn't stop until over a mile later when the trail was blocked by a fallen tree. I was prepared to give this a go but she aborted and in the sudden stop, I came off. Back on and off we went again. Damage assessment, leader had bloodied hand, I had split lip and the tab on my boot was torn free at the top, and the numer 3 rider actually had one contact lens ripped in two!