The chronicles of a Friesian mare who happened upon an owner who lives outside the show ring....

Friday, December 30, 2011

Where did the season go?

I just purchased a digi download of a photo of Daatje and I at the All New England this past November.  In looking back, it seems like the season was gone in the blink of an eye!  It was a good one, I'll give it that. :)  If not a bit fleeting.  Here's the photo I bought:
Doesn't she look happy?  I love how gung-ho she was this year.  I haven't ridden much lately.  Very busy working on the house and having been sick for the past week (blech) I didn't have much of an opportunity to ride.  Horse is getting bored with her vacation, I can tell.  Hopefully we'll be back to our regular hacks soon.

Oooh, I got barn kitties!  Two little kittens, ferals, that were looking for a home.  They were graciously delivered by a volunteer of the trap/fix/release program south of here.  They are Nicholas and Noelle.  I'll have pics as soon as they come out of hiding.  For now, they are confined to the grain room for a few months while they imprint on the property.

Oh are the days short!  It's getting dark already and it's only 3:30pm.  I'd better go so I can feed while I can still see!  More on the kitties later......

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Meet Princess Penelope

Not much happening with Daatje these days.  We're taking a break post hunt season for some R&R, so I thought I'd introduce you to my little friend, Penny the Princess "P".
Ever since my Italian Greyhound, Carlo, passed away (2005) I've been yearning to find another precious little Iggy to warm my heart.  My husband and I have rented for the past 8 years, so no dogs were allowed.  Well, this past August, we bought our first property and the search for my next Italian Greyhound began in earnest!  I researched breeders, scoured the shelter websites, breed rescues......and where do you suspect I find little Penelope?  On Craigslist!  Of all places. :)  Folks were moving, couldn't take her with them, and upon meeting her, I fell intantly in love!  So, here's a photo or two of my lovely little Penny the Princess "P".  She's all of 8 lbs and was born 6/25/2010.  Enjoy!

I love this little girl so much!  We've been together since the end of September, and it seems like it's been always and forever.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hunt at Tuckaway Farm

Likely to be the last of the season for us.....unless they extent the meets into December!  The Die Hard Hunt was supposed to be today, but given the wind driven rain I hear beating at my windows, cancelling it was a very wise decision!

Last Saturday, however, was a completely different sort of day.  Bright sunshine, cool temps and dry air. 
It was a FAST hunt, taking us from hounds cast to stirrup cup in 50 minutes!  Here are some folks warming up their horses in the polo field.

One of the Whippers-In with the hounds:
Here is Brego, of The Eventing Percheron Blog.  He also is now a Whipper-in horse.

Of course, sharing flasks and enjoying the contents. :)

The woods were lovely, just lovely.

And the runs in the fields spectacular!  The hounds were spot on.

A check at the pond
Don't ask me which hound, I still can't tell most of them apart!  Trying though...I really am trying. :)  I've almost gone so far as to make "Hound Flashcards". :)

More horses getting a drink.

Cort the fiesty little pony.

Moving off from the check at the pond.

Crossing the river = splash!

Daatje at stirrup cup and the hounds in the truck.

I took 169 photos from the saddle that day.  If you want to see more of them, as well as photos from all of the other hunts I've attended this year, you can go to the Wentworth Hunt photo gallery and check them out! :) 


Sunday, November 13, 2011

The All New England Hunts Joint Meet

This year would be Daatje's fourth outing at the All New England, and I was nervous.  Mostly nervous excitement, but partly nervous because we had an awkward jump at the Myopia Hunter Pace which had me wondering if it would shake her confidence at all.

Turns out, she was as bold as she's been all season long.  So much so that I've added a flash to my hunt bridle.  She's been opening her mouth a bit too much as an evasion when she gets too strong so I thought it might make a difference.  It certainly did, the brakes were much more reliable than they were pre-flash.

The day was absolutely gorgeous.  50°F and windy.  Perfect for cooling the big girl down.  Here she is standing at the trailer waiting for me to put her bridle on.
Once mounted we headed over to a big field where everyone was gathering.
Daatje's braided mane from the top view.
Not long after we arrived at the gathering spot, we were off.  Hacking streets, trotting bridle paths and speeding after the hounds across the vast fields of Ipswich and Hamilton.

We stopped for checks quite frequently, which was nice for folks who wanted to toggle back and forth between first field and hilltoppers.  Daatje and I rode up in first field for the majority of the hunt.  We dropped back to hilltoppers for the Appleton Farm run because we needed a break from the galloping and I wasn't sure Daatje had enough gas in the tank to gallop all of Appleton.  In retrospect, we could have done it as it was the last run of the day, but not knowing that, I was saving my horse.  I have no regrets.  She jumped beautifully over everything I asked of her and felt strong and eager on the hack back, which is such a different feeling from the horse I had last year.  Last year she would struggle to keep up and be dull and exhausted by the end.  Not anymore, and for that I'm very thankful.
The hunt took us through the heart of Groton House Farms.  What a thrill to be able to ride these territories!

Ok, here's where we dropped back and joined the hilltoppers.  Here's Daatje wondering what the heck we're doing just standing here when all the action is going on in the distance.  She's tracking the hounds and first field....

The eye says it all.
Here's what she's looking at.  First field poised and ready for the final gallop through Appleton Farms.

This photo would summarize a wonderful day riding to the Myopia Hounds.  And would have been me, if my flask hadn't opened in my saddle bag and emptied the contents all over me, my horse and my tack.....this it decided to do while we were in a dead run.  Ah well.  I made sure I had a substantial shot of Bailey's in my evening coffee to warm myself up once Daatje was put to bed.  Maybe the flask will stay in my pocket from now on?
  Cheers and here's to next year!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hunts, hunter paces....fall is a busy time!

To busy to blog, it would seem, it's been a month! :)  Ah well, this will be a bit's like three posts in one! :)

  • The Blessing of the Hounds was held on October 1st and was a wonderful hunt.  The footing has been dodgy, and that day was no exception, but we were careful and had a great ride.  Here I am giving the big girl a kiss at a check mid-hunt.  It *was* muddy, now that I think of it....muddy enough for me to tie her tail up!

The hounds, huntsman and whipper-in at the check.

  • October 10 found us hauling up to Milton Mills, NH for the third and final Hunter Pace of the Wentworth series.  It was a fine day, if not a little warm.  We managed to get only a little lost, but regardless had a great time.  Here's Daatje saddled and ready to head out.

And here she is on the trail

Some of the lovely fall scenery we were able to witness.

Daatje chillin' at the trailer afterwards.

  • Last Saturday brought us to Rochester, NH for a meet at Prodigue Farm.  This farm is my all time favorite fixture and last Saturday lived up to all my expectations!  We traveled 9 miles, had many, many good runs through the open fields and finished the hunt with a "balls to the walls" Gone Away up the hill to stirrup cup.  Life does not get much better than that!
Warming up the hounds
 Stopping at a check in the Blueberry Woods
 The only shots you'll see of Daatje are her ears!  I guess I'm the only one in the field with the impossible urge to take pictures while riding. :)
 A pilot was flying a small plane above us the entire hunt.  Here we're all watching him stall his engine and do loop-d-loops!  Made me queasy just watching!
 The best seat in the house. :)

Here's a couple of videos of one of the runs taken back to back to back.....

Part 1

Part 2

(Well, there was a part 2, but blogger wouldn't let me upload it.  I'll try again later...bummer too 'cause it was the coolest of the three...)
Part 3

Daatje has been so incredible this season!  Foot perfect barefoot (less is more when trimming), no back soreness whatsoever (I love you Nickers Saddlery!), strong and willing over the fences (see items 1&2), TONS of energy (Natural Vitamin E)....what more could I hope for? :)

This Saturday we're headed back to Rochester to hunt at the Myhre Equine Clinic.  I've not yet hunted from that fixture, so this will be a first for us!  After that, we're back at Prodigue following up the next day with the Myopia Fall Hunter Pace.  That is definitely not to be missed.  The highlight of our season is yet to come though.....

The All New England Hunts Joint Meet, save the date....November 12th.  I will most definitely be blogging about *that* hunt in a timely fashion. :)