Well, yesterday I took a vacation day to foxhunting during the week. It was well worth it! The weather was nearly perfect, if not a little warm for the season. There was a great turnout! The hounds were wonderful to watch and listen to and we had many good gallops through the fields. Total mileage was 10.63 and the top speed was 23.4mph. :) Daatje was going strong right up to the end.
Here's a video clip of one of the great gallops:
This was amazing because last year, I thought she was all done hunting. She had absolutely no second wind, and after the hunts would have this dull, exhausted look on her face. I thought she was beginning to lose interest and that the hard work and exertion was becoming too much for her. Not wanting to give up, I did some research and decided to try supplementing with Vitamin E. It couldn't hurt, and might only help, so I figured it was worth a try. She's been on 4,000 IU of naturally occuring Vitamin E a day for about a year now and I have more horse under me than I ever thought possible!
She's strong in the gallops, so much so that I'm often testing my brakes only to find I don't have much! Not a problem I'm going to complain about, that's for sure.
The other element that I changed was her saddle. For the past two seasons, she's been very back sore after the meets. Her saddles fit according to the saddle fitters, but she was so muscle sore in her back that when I would run my fingers down on either side of her spine she'd tense up and give me dagger eyes.
I have hunted her in many different saddles to no avail so as a final effort to increase her working comfort level, I decided to order a Sensation G4 Jump treeless saddle. I made a special weight distributing pad to go under it and off we went, testing out at the spring hunter paces and what not. I LOVE it. It is the most comfortable saddle I have ever sat in! Sensation makes endurance saddles, so this should come as little surprise. A bit funky looking, but let me tell you, Daatje's back has not been ONE BIT SORE since switching to this saddle. So, I think between the Vitamin E and a saddle that works for her, she's feeling great! Makes for a very happy Mum. :)