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UPDATE: Hunter's Rest

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  • UPDATE: Hunter's Rest

    I know multiple people on this forum have recommended Hunter's Rest in Flint Hill, VA. I wanted to post and thank them for that recommendation and heartily second it. I just spent two days there. My goal was to hack out in new country, and move on and jump a little more than I usually do at home. In truth, I wanted to revisit a previous decade when I was thinner, fitter and more able and there was tons of open country around me to ride over. ;-)

    Betsy, the owner of Hunter's Rest, paired me with an absolutely lovely horse, a big Irish Draught gelding who absolutely knew his job and was a delight to ride. I would have cheerfully taken him home, or either of the horses Betsy rode out with me. Or pretty much anything in the barn.

    The country we rode over was gorgeous horse country. I hand galloped and jumped and laughed myself silly, and the hospitality was extraordinarily gracious.

    I didn't want to leave. I will probably go back early this spring and actually hunt rather than just hack out. Truthfully, I'd go back just to browse through the Hunter's Rest library, probably the best sporting library this side of Middleburg.

    I often suggest that new fox-hunters ride an experienced field hunter out hunting a few times before trying to hunt their own horses; Hunter's Rest is the magical realm where that is possible. This is also the place where you can hunt your own horse with an experienced, sympathetic guide or the hunting box where you can board yourself and your horse and ride out.
    Last edited by alternatesideparking; Oct. 22, 2018, 09:36 AM.
    Ain't nothin' better than riding a fine horse in new country. - Augustus McCrae

  • #2
    I am so glad you had a great experience. She has lovely horses and beautiful country to be able to ride over. I do hope you will go back in the spring and actually hunt. ODH has fabulous hounds to follow.


    • #3
      Thank you for posting! As someone who has it on her bucket list to learn to hunt (I've evented through Training with my old horse, but have a new one now, and I'm totally out of shape!), I've looked at the Hunter's Rest webpages longingly. I see retirement glimmering like an orb in just over a year, and one of my first treats to myself will be some time there. Well, maybe after getting two new knees.


      • #4
        And did we mention, Betsy's rates are really, really reasonable for a B&B with hunting horses, in that part of Virginia? Hunter's Rest is a great place to do your first hunt.
        HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever. blog:


        • Original Poster


          Neither of my knees are original equipment, and I have several other after market modifications. ;-)

          DO IT.


          Agree, agree. The prices are crazy reasonable for the level and quality of service offered.

          Also, Betsy is the energizer bunny of horse people. The first day I was there, her schedule was something like: morning chores, cub hunt, lunch, greet guest, ride out for 2 hours, bring horses in for clients, evening chores, cook dinner for guests.

          Next day was morning chores, ride out for two hours, meet farrier, body clip hunting horse, clean tack, lunch.
          Last edited by alternatesideparking; Oct. 22, 2018, 09:24 AM.
          Ain't nothin' better than riding a fine horse in new country. - Augustus McCrae


          • #6
            Sounds like an amazing experience!


            • #7
              Good gosh, you guys. Thank you for the kind words.
              There is nothing I enjoy more than sharing these lovely older horses that have been entrusted to me, and sharing the love of foxhunting and nature and the countryside.
              I was on here to browse and see if anyone had a report on the Virginia Hunt Week hunting and I find this.
              What alternatesideparking didn't mention is that she rides beautifully, very educated, and the horses loved her. Like most good riders, she sells herself short.
              * -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.


              • #8
                Sounds like a fantastic weekend! I always loved the hunting princess weekends ! On my bucket list to go visit Hunter Rest.

                A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!


                • #9
                  I am so glad that you went and that you had a good time. I hope you take the opportunity to return and hunt. A day out with the third field (or a faster field, if you choose) is not to be missed. However, I think I have dibs on that Irish gelding, should Hunter's Rest ever choose to part with him LOL....


                  • Original Poster


                    I confess I'm a little obsessed with getting back out hunting now.

                    If we're talking about the same large, grey Irish Draught gelding, please be advised that if he ever leaves Hunter's Rest, he's coming to my house, and if you think you have dibs, you'll be in for the fight of your life!
                    Ain't nothin' better than riding a fine horse in new country. - Augustus McCrae


                    • #11
                      If it's the one my husband rode a few years ago we have dibs Hunter's Rest has some lovely horses, we spent a day with her and ODH on one of their trail rides.

                      Crayola Posse: Violet Blue


                      • #12
                        Betsy is the best! After spending a weekend riding with her, I came home with a different view of riding and a new found confidence in my abilities. Hoping to get back there one day.

                        Notlost, I'll meet you there as I too, am hoping to retire in a little more than a year.


                        • Original Poster

                          Soooooo, since my original post, I have been back to Hunter's Rest once to hack out and once to hunt! And I'm going back to hunt again at the end of the month and I have a riding trip planned with my BFF later in the spring.

                          Betsy has got me, hook, line and sinker. :-)

                          Had a fabulous time my first time hunting in ~25 years. :-) Betsy is a *brilliant* field master; I probably saw and heard more hound work with her that the rest of the field did.
                          Ain't nothin' better than riding a fine horse in new country. - Augustus McCrae


                          • #14
                            Sounds like a blast!

                            A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!


                            • #15
                              Sounds like an amazing experience. What a blessing to have something like that available.


                              • #16
                                I have been reading great reviews of Hunter's Rest for years now, I think its time to add it to my bucket list, although maybe just for hacking out, I'm getting too old for real fox hunting. Its so nice to hear that a place like this exists, I live in an area that had great fox hunting ages ago but is now mostly housing developments.


                                • #17
                                  BAC, I am *60*, considerably overweight and have a orthopedic surgical history that runs to two pages. If I can do it, you can too! What makes it possible is a fit, schooled, made hunting horse and a knowledgeable, sympathetic guide. I was also pleasantly surprised to find several other people out who were in my age demographic. DO IT!
                                  Last edited by McGurk; Mar. 18, 2019, 01:17 PM.
                                  The plural of anecdote is not data.


                                  • #18
                                    Saw this thread very late since I hardly get on COTH, but I also highly recommend HR for a wonderful experience. Betsy is a fabulous hostess and so knowledgeable as an equestrian. The countryside is breathtaking and ODH members are very welcoming. The horses are gorgeous and know their job to perfection! I long to go back!