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Second Season! After a really abreviated first season

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  • Huntin'Fool
    started a topic Second Season! After a really abreviated first season

    Second Season! After a really abreviated first season

    Dear All,

    I took my little OTTB on hound exercise last year and on two hunts. I got lots of really good advice and encouragement from the group! Unfortunately our hunt had very few 3rd flights offered during the year-and those few seemed to regularly either be rained out or on a day when I couldn't go because of work.

    Basically we went on 10 hound exercises and 2 hunts. He was good on the hunts-but never calmed down-head up, I could feel he was tense, had to trot in a circle at checks by the end of the hunt, etc. I am so pleased he never did anything bad, but really disappointed I didn't get to take him out more. I felt that the extra speed of 2nd flight would wind him up further.

    He had an eye issue in the Spring. It's cleared up but somehow the season just snuck up on me! I was going to go on so many trails, lessons, etc. and not one thing!!!! I have ridden around in my pasture and ring and that's about it.

    Now it's hound exercise again-I guess I'm gonna take him this Saturday. But last year I had 2 lessons and 2 trail rides before hound exercise started and this year-nothing! He was good on hound exercise and much more relaxed than he was hunting. I think all the hoorah and noise of course affected him. But I also did wonder if he thought hound exercise was what we did with those dogs and it made hunting worse not better?

    So words of encouragement appreciated!!!!

    And re: hunting, if there aren't many 3rd flights again? Take him 2nd? Just wait? I do think at least the first 3 or 4 have to be 3rd.

    Thanks for any advice!

    Regards,
    Huntin' Fool

  • SLW
    replied
    Ditto what Jawa offered, visit with the Hunt Secretary and see if there is a member who would buddy up with you for half a dozen hunts this season. From there, follow your gut, no sense in you or your horse being over faced which is different from pushing yourself a little bit once all the cards are in place.

    Leave a comment:


  • gypsymare
    replied
    My hunt doesn't have a third and second is faster than first...after all they have to go around. The speed... Yes it will rile them up, but it doesn't take a smart horse long to start watching the horses in front and decelerating on their own. They figure out the rules. The downside to second here is that there aren't too many folks who stay in second for good so it is half green and naughty horses with a few matriarchs at the front.

    I would skip the ear plugs. Have never seen them in the field and being startled by a hound coming from behind would be much worse if they couldnt hear it. I also count on my horse to point the way if I fall behind for any reason. His hearing is much better than mine.

    Leave a comment:


  • jawa
    replied
    I would check with the hunt secretary or one of the masters to see what your options might be. Sometimes there is an individual in the hunt who takes a slower pace and goes in early that might take on someone to nanny. If you ask, there may be someone that would be willing to take a slow 2nd or true 3rd flight, they just haven't because all of the others have graduated to a faster go.

    Leave a comment:


  • Huntin'Fool
    replied
    Good idea MegBackInSaddle! And I'd say that is a big ol' win for you. Thank you for the congrats!

    I reread all these too-good advice and inspiration. Y'all they had to cancel the hunt because of a down pour! Then last weekend was Opening Hunt-as last year they have it in a very tight place-lots of trees, no place to take a baby to the edge of the group and do some circles (basically it's a peninsula into the river. So I didn't do that and I am glad.

    SO, apparently there are going to be few 3rd flights. One of the folk I talked to said 2nd was faster than it had been.

    Last year I thought I wanted to do 3rd for at least 1/2 a season if not the whole season-didn't work out. This year I thought maybe just two or three 3rd flights, and so far that's not worked out. I really do hesitate to throw him in 2nd-especially if they really do haul ass. I'm trying to wait for just one 3rd? Sigh. I dont' know.

    I feel like I'm spinning my wheels, waiting for stuff to be like it was (3rd flight every hunt, or at least most hunts) and it's not gonna happen.

    So, any of y'all start a horse in 2nd flight? How was it? What if they were wound up, did the extra speed seem to make it worse?

    What are your thoughts?

    I like bringing them along slowly, but it looks like it's not an option.

    Thanks for any advice!

    Regards,
    Huntin'Fool

    Leave a comment:


  • MegBackInSaddle
    replied
    Congrats on the marriage! May it be long and happy.

    Sounds like things are going well! I don't have xany helpful feedback to offer, as you seem to be on a good track.

    I've enjoyed reading (rereading) this thread. I only hunted once last season (our first). She was perfect for about two hours, then cantered sideways at walking speed for the last 30 or 40 min when we walked back. She hadn't sweat for the first two hours, despite some decent little gallops and forwards trots (she's a magically fit mare). But then she drenched herself in that last half hour. Interested (whenever I get around to hunting again) to try asking her for more (moving her shoulders/hunches, etc) to see if I can get her back with me at the end when it gets slow again. Winnie's motto is already "walking is for chumps" even in dressage.

    Leave a comment:


  • KateDB
    replied
    I would not suppress my horses hearing for hunting, and I wouldn't encourage anyone else to do so. I think horses need to hear what's going on around them while out hunting, especially they need to know if a hound is coming up behind them. If they are surprised, THAT'S when they are likely to kick. I wouldn't recommend that, but then again, the hounds are the most important part of hunting for me.

    Leave a comment:


  • Huntin'Fool
    replied
    So, y’all I got married! And it was fun but with wedding planning and a honeymoon my riding was curtailed.

    So 2 weeks ago I had a lesson-bobcat, tractor, 4 wheeler all buzzing. Horse was wound up-as in 20 min to get his wraps off. I was tacking up at the trailer. But once I was on he was good. Same thing next week-except he was less wound up and there weren’t as many distractions. So tomorrow I’m taking him out cub hunting.

    I hope he will be good! I’ll ace him but of course fooled around and didn’t get the earplugs. I may try to finegale his ear bonnet this evening. I saw some expensive gear bonnets with polypropoline (sp) liner.

    wWords of advice and encouragement appreciated!!!

    regards,
    Huntin’fool

    Leave a comment:


  • SLW
    replied
    Congrats, it sounds like you are on the right track with your horse and hunting. If the Master or someone else, offers to let you ride up beside them maybe go ahead and give it a try to see if he will stop jigging. It would be a reward to your horse for a job well done. OTOH, my lil mare will often jig going in, especially this time of year when our hunts tend to be shorter and she still has some miles left to use.

    I use 1/2cc to 3/4cc of ace for my 18 year old mare who is starting her 4th season of hunting. I decided during one hound exercise this fall to not ace her thinking "she's older, has more miles, let's see how it goes." Ha, ha, ha, we didn't get 100 yards out of the kennel yard before she was doing her interpretation of a Levade. There was no one from Publishers Clearing House following me saying "You will win $1000 a day for life if you just ride through this spaz" so I headed back in. I let her chill for 10 minutes then headed back out, same song, different verse. I'm gobsmocked that such a small amount given 40 minutes before we hunt makes all the difference in the world.

    Happy Hunting!

    Leave a comment:


  • Huntin'Fool
    replied
    So guys, 2 updates! Two weeks ago, as I drove I kept thinking I'd forgotten something, about 15 miles in "oh yeah my helmet". I should have just gone on-someone would probably have had an extra but went back. So when I got to hound exercise and unloaded I could see everyone headed over a little hill. Threw on the tack, got on and went after them. The little horse passed sheep, loose horses in a field, over a big culvert just perfectly. He's gone that way before but in company. So we came to a 3 way split and I obviously picked the wrong one. We went for a couple of miles then gave up and walked home. He tried to jig once, I asked him to walk and he did. I really was more pleased with that than a hound exercise!

    He didn't freak out when he saw everyone leaving him. He went on alone-passed scary stuff-Oh also cotton modules which he'd not seen before. And walked home. So yay!

    Last Saturday, I had all my tack!!!! ha. And he was good. Passed really close to cotton modules. Went behind 2 other folk-he likes to be last. The other folk stopped and we went on, now the only "field". Stopped to let a hound poop and everyone else trotted on-he stood alone and didn't act stupid when we went on to catch up. Stood well at the check with only a couple of mild fidgets when one of the masters went off to get a straying hound. The two folk who had stopped then came back and went in behind us. BUT he did jig the whole way in. I made him stay behind the masters-tho one of them said I could bring him up to ride aloneside her calm horse, but I didn't want him to get the idea that he could do anything but be in the back.

    Still that was all he did. I don't *think* he liked the 2 behind them-though they were very polite and stayed back. And y'all know he has to just get over it. Overall I am quite pleased-I just hope he gets over the jigging, or that it doesn't mean he's gonna do anything else!

    What do y'all think?

    Regards,
    Huntin'Fool

    Leave a comment:


  • jawa
    replied
    It sounds like you had a grand day.

    I have a different approach to jigging. If a horse jigs, I don't "ask" for a walk, I ask them to put their haunches over or move their shoulder. Something that requires more thought and energy than a jig. Once they do the request, or if they stop jigging as soon as I begin to ask them to do the harder work, I leave them alone.

    Do be sure that your horse isn't sore from the day. A hard ride in the ring, or a long ride alone is not the same as a day of hunting. In the ring the surface is the same and we can maintain our proper position much longer and steadier. A long ride along, we tend not to push as hard (ourselves and our horses). But out hunting the terrain is ever changing and we have to keep up an duck branches and tend to twist and turn to see whats going on. It can make a slightly not perfect saddle arrangement something that causes pain that would not in other situations.

    On the other hand your horse could just have very good GPS. In that case, a day when hounds are being loaded home and hit a line and take you past the trailers at a gallop, may solve the jigging issue. ;P

    Leave a comment:


  • Huntin'Fool
    replied
    MegBackInSaddle-you are so kind to ask! Well the second outing was fine! But I would love to hear the group's thoughts. Starting let me say I do use ace. He got a cc first time, slightly less this time (like 2 little line things). He was good! We went a long way and there were a couple more people than last time-like 4 in the "field" plus me, rather than 2. Two of the folk veered off and jumped a 2'3" log while little horse and I went straight by-he just kept his same pace-I was very pleased.

    At the end we always stop for about 10 minutes, then walk in the last say 1/4 mile. So he's not always been a great stander. This time he was a hair fidgety but quit and stood really well. As we walked back tho he jigged most of the way. The first time we went, when I went in a bit early, he turned from the rest of the group and the hounds and walked in. This time, behind everyone and the hounds, he jigged. Last year he did that a bit but usually settled down and walked. Let me say I really don't care if a horse jigs. The retired horse used to jig at the start of every hunt and occasionally on the way back-but after I figured out that he wasn't going to do anything else-meh. I'm not at that place with this one yet!!! I did ask him to walk and he would for a few steps and aside from jigging he didn't do anything bad.

    What do y'all think?

    AND I'm still wondering about bits. And and I haven't ordered my earplugs and I need to!!!!

    Regards,
    Huntin'Fool

    Leave a comment:


  • MegBackInSaddle
    replied
    Just wondering how it went?

    Leave a comment:


  • NeedsAdvil
    replied
    Originally posted by Huntin'Fool View Post
    Well, I'm going tomorrow-so here's hoping he is good again . I, of course, don't have any earplugs yet-he doesn't need them on hound exercise. I guess I'll be googling! He usually goes in a French link as I think I said-which is why I got a French link gag. Any other ideas about bits that would have brakes if needed and light if not? This guy has *the* most sensitive mouth!

    I really wish I thought we'd have a 3rd flight more often. We used to have one every hunt. We have one master who doesn't like them, thinks everyone should ride faster, etc. And the masters are the masters. I am just happy that they let me come, but I sure wish she'd be outvoted by the other Masters on that one! :

    Regards,
    Huntin'Fool
    I use these: https://amzn.to/2mQKGL8 You can paint them black with a sharpie if you want.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bogie
    replied
    Originally posted by gypsymare View Post
    Peewee bits are really popular at my hunt and my horses love them. It's basically a thin, curved mullen mouth snaffle. Very comfortable for them to carry for hours, no leverage, but a thin enough mouthpiece to set the brakes when you need it. It has some side extensions and a strap that keep it from getting pulled through the mouth.

    My crotch rocket could care less about gag action. A mullen mouth Pelham gave me excellent brakes but backed him off a bit too much and worried him.
    I use one on my big draft X mare. It's "enough" bit without going overboard.

    Leave a comment:


  • gypsymare
    replied
    Peewee bits are really popular at my hunt and my horses love them. It's basically a thin, curved mullen mouth snaffle. Very comfortable for them to carry for hours, no leverage, but a thin enough mouthpiece to set the brakes when you need it. It has some side extensions and a strap that keep it from getting pulled through the mouth.

    My crotch rocket could care less about gag action. A mullen mouth Pelham gave me excellent brakes but backed him off a bit too much and worried him.

    Leave a comment:


  • Huntin'Fool
    replied
    Well, I'm going tomorrow-so here's hoping he is good again . I, of course, don't have any earplugs yet-he doesn't need them on hound exercise. I guess I'll be googling! He usually goes in a French link as I think I said-which is why I got a French link gag. Any other ideas about bits that would have brakes if needed and light if not? This guy has *the* most sensitive mouth!

    I really wish I thought we'd have a 3rd flight more often. We used to have one every hunt. We have one master who doesn't like them, thinks everyone should ride faster, etc. And the masters are the masters. I am just happy that they let me come, but I sure wish she'd be outvoted by the other Masters on that one! :

    Regards,
    Huntin'Fool

    Leave a comment:


  • NeedsAdvil
    replied
    I definitely second the earplug recommendation! My new horse just started his first season and they are a lifesaver. I also agree with the others about the season sort of building up endurance and fitness. Not sure where you are located, but it's still awful warm here for cubbing, so the crowds are smaller and we don't stay out too long which helps get him some miles and fitness without overwhelming him like it might after the official start of formal hunting. Our hunt always has 3 flights (plus a hilltopper group for those who just want to walk), so we are fortunate that way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Huntin'Fool
    replied
    Ecileh, I totally agree about the snaffle rein. I would use the gag with 2 reins-I like the 2 rein thing and have used it before. A trainer I had said 2 reins are hard, and you'll be fine in a French link-buuuutttt as we all know-you're fine til you aren't. My retired boy I rode in a Pelham with 2 reins and realized after about 1/2 a season (this was 2nd flight after his full season in 3rd) that I hadn't used the Pelham rein. I had to have a running martingale though. The couple of times, much later, I tried without it-as you say, he figured it out immediately.

    Leave a comment:


  • ecileh
    replied
    I might try something else with leverage before I went to a gag, personally. I ride my mare in a french link at home and hunt her in a snaffle kimberwick. Got cocky this season and thought maybe I could just use the french link, but she figured that out pretty quickly.

    I like the kimberwick because the leverage is there if I need it, but I can ride on the buckle when I don't. Mine has slots but not hooks, which softens it a little.

    Leave a comment:

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