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A Dressage Rider and Horse Go hunting!

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  • A Dressage Rider and Horse Go hunting!

    Yes, thats right, the hunt is only a few miles from my house and i finally had a weekend with nothing to do so i decided to practise at defying death, or also aka foxunting.
    So Sunday morning I saddled up the old cowpony/ex-dressage horse (or the horse known as- "him? Naw he wont kill ya, horse could walk through hell and not care". So Horse and I make it to the hunt. I of course being my dressage background, am impeccably dressed... in bright colors. Whoa!! Nobody told me they were going to wear brown and grey!!! (It was cubbing) Besides, plaid is in and tweed is out but anyway...

    Once the hunt horses stopped spooking at my clothes we got underway.
    I had to endure a few sneakers about by dressage saddle and my "perfect posture". The perfect posture lasted for all of five minutes. THen, for no apperent reason everybody and their horse started galloping like mad!!! And, i guess i missed something because i thought foxhunting was mostly about foxes but these deer show up out of nowhere and they are followed by some hounds and horses and people making wierd noises and cracking whips, and whistles and bells and then the sky started to fall, and at that point my dear pony fell over dead.
    And then he realized he was in dressage-horse-hell and he did what every self-respecting dressage horse would do (he checked to make sure the judge was watching, arched his neck, took a pose....
    and did the panic I-going-to-die-therefore-i-will-die-in-the-most-dramatic-death-ever gallop.
    And that was the end of my perfect posture and i doubt it will return until i go visit my chiropracter.

    In fact, that gallop was the end of everything. Riding no longer exsisted, only survival did. And for a dressage rider of eight years, somwhere (i think it was those lunge line hours) i learned to survive.

    Oh yeah. and this is only five minutes into the hunt. It lasted two and a half hours!!!!!
    And those fox hunter people!!! they are crazy! No really! The whole group ended up at the top of this huge ravine and they kept eyeing this ravine like there was a path or something. I, being the kind, caring, person i am and looking out for my fellow riders, tried to convince them that WE WERE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!! but they didnt beleive me (except for my horse) and we went down, and up the biggest scariest ravine i have ever seen. And i am a dressage rider and i see lots of scary ravines! This one was worse then the mud hole in the indoor when the roof leaked!!! Can you imagine?!?!?!

    And anyway, that is that.

    I am still barely alive, mostly thanks to the emergancy manicure service, my horse is still trembling in his stall (though a new matching plaid stable blankets set has somewhat pacified him)
    but dont worry local foxhunters,

    We'll be back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • #2

    LMAO! Oh but it's SO ADDICTIVE!!!!! That was me on my first "big" hunt, at a joint meet with Oak Ridge. Keep in mind, where I typically hunt, it's mostly flat! Galloping down a mountain side and jumping something bigger than 2' scared the bejeezus out of me but wow what a blast!

    Welcome and have fun! Don't forget to pick the bugs outta your teeth before the breakfasts though!


    • #3
      Dang that was funny!!

      I hereby nominate you to become a regular contributor to our hunting forum! You got the right stuff!!! That was extremely funny! I LOVED the different perspective for what really can be a very funny horse sport when we don't take it and ourselves too seriously. You have a gift for writing funny stuff; USE it, pretty please!! We want to hear the "Dressage Rider" Chronicles!! Everytime you go!!! So when ya going again!!!?

      OMG! I didn't get the memo....plaid is the new tweed!!!???
      Has someone told Marian at Horse Country yet!!??


      • #4
        That was a hoot. Just what I needed on Friday morning. I felt the same way on my first hunt. I only participated in two I believe (as a guest) but learned enough to know that if I knew of a place here in MN, I'd love to join. It's a blast for my dressage guy and me. Of course, we did wear our dressage jacket (the only one I got) but we did ride in our "hunter" tack - i.e. my Stubben Woton jumping saddle, white shaped pad, and matching bridle w/ a breastplate. It's a shame Gus couldn't wear his "support" boots - i.e. wild colored polos - but we had a blast, nonetheless.

        QueenofHearts- you're awesome!
        Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
        See G2's blog


        • #5
          Hilarious!!! Please do return with more wonderful stories!!

          My horse is still sidelined this season and the one that I was finally supposed to borrow is now also sidelined. So it's great to read such a great account!!
          \"And indeed the love that the horses of the Rangers bore for their riders was so great that they were willing to face even the terror of the Door , if their masters\' hearts were steady as they walked beside them.\" The Return of the Ki


          • #6
            Brilliant story... and we must see pictures of your coat!!


            • #7
              Originally posted by appychik View Post
              I felt the same way on my first hunt. I only participated in two I believe (as a guest) but learned enough to know that if I knew of a place here in MN, I'd love to join.
              Appy, there is a place in MN to hunt!!! The Long Lake Hounds hunt in the west metro area--Medina, Delano, Watertown.

              Shoot me a PM if you're interested in finding out more. I'm a new member this year, and we're always looking for new victims, I mean members.

              The season runs until Thanksgiving. Even if you don't ride, come car-top!
              We've been rained out a lot lately, but even if we don't hunt we'll often still have the breakfast.



              • #8
                Welcome, welcome, welcome! I'm delighted that you have embraced doing the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible! It looks like you are going to fit in just fine. A great sense of humor like yours, and a certain lack of imagination about what might happen in the next 30 seconds are important tools in the joy of the hunt.


                • #9
                  IT IS ALWAYS INTERESTING

                  when someone from another discipline discovers the thrill of hunting.
                  rule 1 keep the horse between your self and the ground.
                  the other rules I have forgotten but the are published some where
                  more hay, less grain


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wateryglen View Post
                    I hereby nominate you to become a regular contributor to our hunting forum! You got the right stuff!!! That was extremely funny! I LOVED the different perspective for what really can be a very funny horse sport when we don't take it and ourselves too seriously. You have a gift for writing funny stuff; USE it, pretty please!! We want to hear the "Dressage Rider" Chronicles!! Everytime you go!!! So when ya going again!!!?

                    OMG! I didn't get the memo....plaid is the new tweed!!!???
                    Has someone told Marian at Horse Country yet!!??
                    I second that!! Wonderfully entertaining story but you are starting to scare me since I am going on my first real hunt this Sunday.


                    • #11
                      I and my horse, a former eventer who I've been doing some beginning dressage with, went on our first hunt a couple of weeks ago and you captured the experience perfectly! In our dressage duds (minus the white breeches), synthetic dressage saddle and bridle. I looked around and everyone else had a martingale and I felt a little panicky....

                      It was "community day"--open to visitors and no capping fee--and they had a third field for us. I had expected a fairly sedate walk and trot pace--ha! Very little walk (mostly jigging and prancing on my horse's part), lots of fast trot (done in a very nice frame, thank you) and some extended canter/galloping. A few little jumps over small ditches. It was very wet and slippery and my horse (and a few others) went down on their knees when crossing a deep ditch (my feet actually touched the ground at this point!). The person who was babysitting our field said "look up and grab mane. In both hands." Good advice.

                      It was scary, but the mare and I loved it.

                      Hope to be progressed enough in my riding to move up to the second field for a few hunts next year.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by Hotspur View Post
                        I'm delighted that you have embraced doing the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible! It looks like you are going to fit in just fine. A great sense of humor like yours, and a certain lack of imagination about what might happen in the next 30 seconds are important tools in the joy of the hunt.
                        You have hit the nail on the head! Dressage is all about harmony, therefore, you sorta have to know what your going to do before you do it. (FYI western riders have never mastered this skill, which is why they run into walls all the time and mostly ride in a round pen, or aka, the only way they can actually make a proper circle.)

                        Foxhunters also seem to have a patchy idea about knowing how to figure out what you do before you do it.

                        Really! I was shocked that noone knew what was going on! I kept looking for letters nailed to a tree or something! I asked for a map but no one seemed to understand my predicament!!!!! I guess they are used to being confused?!?!?!

                        I TRIED to explain to them that my horse needs to know what direction we are going to go in so i can give the proper cue for the appropiate canter lead. I swear we had to do tempis to stay with the horde!!!!!

                        And, for all you who want to know the most important stuff....
                        my outfit consisted of- this really nice dark blue and dove gray plaid fullseat beeches (They are SO slimming!!!!) A grey-blue wool turtle neck with this awesome dusty blue quilted vest. Oh, and dont forget the tasteful bling!

                        I learned later, as in today, that tasteful hunter bling and tasteful dressage bling are slightly different.

                        Tasteful hunter bling= small gold stock pin, no decoration. And a wedding band worn under a glove. White on horses must look at least dirty grey.

                        tasteful dressage bling= earings that sparkle only half-a-mile away and matching crystals for the brow band. My horse is black with white socks so the socks must a blinding white like the smile on a crest commercial. And dont forget the dressage whip with the crystals set into the silver ring at the top!!!

                        The only bling i didnt bring was the pink phone coveed in stickon crystals!

                        But for all that, half way through the hunt everybody stopped (I think they were lost and just didnt want to admit it to me) the Hunt Master (I wanted to bow to him and say "Yes Master", but I just barely managed not to) invited me to join first field! I was fairly surprised (I became even more surprised when i realized he was serious) and honored. But i declined as my Horse was not quite up to handling any jumps bigger then a dressage arena rail.

                        And for some reason, after the whole thing was over, I was invited back!!!! I was super proud of myself (I knew i make GREAT first impressions!!!!) until some rather tweedy looking fox hunters said something about the amusement value being barely worth all the blonde moments.....

                        So, i guess Tiny DID do a great job on my hair!!!!!


                        • #13

                          I just spurted tea all over the desk. I'm laughing and my dogs are looking at me like, "There she goes again... she gets like this sometimes. It will pass."

                          Please post regularly!

                          Gentleman J - "Junior" - My been-there, done-that jumper

                          Send Your Love - "Serena" - Aug 10th 2009, Rest in Peace


                          • #14
                            Ohhhh, plaid britches??? Sounds grand!


                            • #15
                              What a great read, thanks!


                              • #16
                                C'mon gang!!

                                We gotta come up with some good dressagey advice for "Queen"!! You know... in her language! Like when to do certain movements. Timing and looking good are important to us too!!

                                1. Passage is best done when crossing corn stubble rows at the trot crosswise. Extended trot IS your working gait and best used when going down the rows. Helps to keep you straight!

                                2. Canter pirouette (sp?) when the field moves off and you don't wanna be first!

                                3. Halt at X?!! - VERY useful at multiple times.....Like when at a check and the hounds hit and horse is alert, ears forward, statue like stance & focused on the commotion(striking a true pose!).........usually followed by Hand Gallop on the forhand cuz dang it's hard to stay collected when hounds hit! Halt at X also at the start of the meet and you're standing near the houndtruck and they let them out - usually followed by backing 3 steps. Saluting is optional in this instance! Halt from canter- used to keep from crossing a line, avoiding the rider that fell off at the jump in front of you....

                                4. Change of lead at the canter- best used when maneuvering amongst the other riders around you. You'll find dressage skills very useful for the "maneuvering amonst the masses" thing.

                                5. Getting a ribbon/award? - Useful at meets where stirrup cups are served off silver platters - your horse is already used to being approached by silver platters......

                                Anyway; you get my drift! I'm not dressagey so this was the best I could do. I loved the bling info. Wateryglen has sooo much to learn!!


                                • #17
                                  Oh my oh my oh my.

                                  Ladies and germs, I think we have snagged another one. A convert. Muuhahahahahahaha......

                                  Beautifully written - you must continue to entertain us with these stories. I think it's funny about the bling thing.

                                  Your horse, no doubt, will soon adjust to the lack of arena letters and judge hunched over a score sheet.

                                  In hunting, you get a "10" if you're still on your horse at the end of the day.
                                  You get extra points if you haven't passed the Master or called a hound a dog.

                                  Happy hunting!
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling


                                  • #18
                                    Great story - we usually go once a year - broke my leg in may and had other committments so we couldn't go to the open one in august.

                                    Luckily they said we could come another time so we are going next weekend - the boys are really excited - they will definitely hunt with the master - I haven't jumped since I broke my leg - just doing dressage - in fact had my first show last weekend - my husband has never hunted but now that he has a horse he is willing to try it out.

                                    We will probably take it pretty easy as long as my horse will let me any way - he loves to be with the master but luckily he really listens to me - I ride in a loose ring snaffle but when I hunt most of it is by voice and he is really responsive - which I appreciate since I have always been very easy on his mouth.

                                    I imagine that there will be a lot of piaffing though. We wear our eventing vests though so we sort of stick out like a sore thumb.


                                    • #19
                                      Wateryglenn, I'll try!

                                      I see the Levade often performed when the path narrows to single track or a gate and a new member defers to a senior member and says "go ahead". This proves that one does not need a full bridle and years of formal dressage training to ride that movement.

                                      Rider Losgelassenheit (relaxation) is seen when leaving the hunt breakfast and walking, albeit slowly w/ a full belly and perhaps some wine on board, to the trailer.


                                      • #20
                                        second that!! Wonderfully entertaining story but you are starting to scare me since I am going on my first real hunt this Sunday.

                                        How did it go-going south? Did you and the other newbies this weekend find it to be great? I'm always interested in how people perceive the hunts after the first time. Was it what you expected? Better? worse?

                                        Don't know about the hunts in your area but do know New England can have some tight spots, wooded areas especially down your way. Makes viewing a bit more difficult but not impossible.