Windsor at A’s Farm

A drizzly, slow day today (well, slow by foxhunter standards, anyway), with about 30-40 people riding in one field. The only jumping and cantering we did was trying to get the horses past bees in the woods…had to go up and down that trail three times. Of course the hunt staff didn’t get the bees since they were in front…they just stirred them up for us to ride through!

Windsor got stung a little bit the first time but the second and third time through, we were just enjoying galloping through the woods. He may be a draft cross but he does have plenty of “go.” Too bad I don’t think anyone else enjoyed it! On the ride back people seemed a little grumpy that we had to go through that area so many times. Oh well…no permanent damage done, and that is the advantage of riding a gray horse–bugs are not as attracted to them.

Windsor is all dressed up and ready to roll at 7am!

I think we drew three or four coverts and hounds found twice. The first fox was put to ground (well, put in a hole in a tree–one of the Masters took a picture of it) and the second (maybe the same one, not sure) caused about an equal amount of hound music but I’m not exactly sure what the story was there. I was pleased that when the hounds put the first fox to ground I predicted that we would have to reverse for the staff to get back in front. Slowly but surely I’m figuring out the terrain and how the game is played. Also did much better at not riding up too close to people–Windsor was very relaxed today, except when his pasturemate left him and he wanted to follow. Can’t really blame him for that. And there was plenty of gas left in the tank at the end of the day so I was glad he was feeling good. Overall, a very positive experience where I felt very confident–I knew the horse, I knew the place, and I knew a fair amount of the people so it was a recipe for success.

Speaking of recipes, after the hunt (around 10:30) we had an amazing breakfast. I felt bad for not having time last night to make the oatmeal muffins everyone seems to like, but there was PLENTY to eat–lox and bagels, cake, sandwich fixings, fruit, etc. And of course some “medicinal” refreshments. I have studying to do so I stuck to coffee today!

Made this for Windsor’s owner to thank her for letting me ride him. She really likes it! (Though she said it’s wishful thinking that her horses would hunt in a snaffle, ha.)

And, some exciting opportunities: After a year of trying to find a horse I could hunt, now that I’ve actually started doing it, I’m finding people are offering me more horses than I could possibly have time for. It’s nice that I can be a little bit choosy now and not have to be a crash test dummy! Not that any of the horses I’ve ridden have been bad–I just don’t want to have to worry about the horse while I’m new to hunting. From talking to someone about volunteering at one of the hunt events, I may have the prospect of some quiet lesson horses I could ride.

And a friend knows a professional photographer who wants to practice some action shots of horses jumping. He’ll give us the photos free and there are plenty of great coops around where this friend boards, so I told her to sign me up!

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