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

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!