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

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!


  1. Wow, looks like a great day. Maybe next year I won't have so many commitments. We did the hunter pace at Apple Knoll instead so we could get home at noon.

  2. Yay! That is so cool! I tried to email about finding out more about hunting, but I think I have an old email. :-(

  3. Hi STB Eventer! Hey, my current email addresses are (work, the best way to reach me M-F) and (home, usually only checked on the weekends). Feel free to email me about hunting, I'd love to share what I know of it with you! :)

  4. Hey Sarah-

    Awesome pictures. I am in awe of what you have accomplished with your mare. She seems very well suited to hunting and seems to love it- finally :)

    When did you get your Sensation? I have one and I LOVE it!

  5. Thanks Sarah! Just sent you an email at your work address. :-)

  6. I am new here and your Friesian mare is gorgeous. I have a 3-1/2 year old half Friesian gelding and he is "in training". I am a new follower.

  7. Beautiful photos. I am really glad she's come around to the jumping thing and she's enjoying herself. She is such a tank, I just love her.

  8. Hi Alesha! I got my Sensation back in March of 2011. It is the best $$ I ever spent on a saddle as I really feel it's played a huge role in aleviating the back soreness Daatje was experiencing last year and the year before. It's so comfy for me too! Love it. :)

  9. Hi Margaret, Glad to have you along! And congratulations on your youngster. I'll be sure to stop by and check out your blogs! :)

  10. Hi Kate! Yeah, me too (about her attitide towards jumping). She's so confident and forward now it's wonderful! I loff your mare. She's exquisite!

  11. Hi, I'm a new follower as well. I was so excited to find your blog on Haynet, because I absolutely love Friesians and there just are not enough blogs about them lol. I have a two and a half year old Friesian/Arabian. He's the best horse I've ever had. :) I look forward to going back through your blog to see what you and Daatje have been up to. She is absolutely stunning by the way. :D

  12. Hi - will you post your Blog at The Friesian Horse Community ay Our members will love it!
    It's easy just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website. You can also add Classifieds, Photos, Videos, etc. It’s free and easy…
    We are looking for contributors to share stuff with our members. Please help.
    Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
    The Friesian Horse Community:
    James Kaufman, Editor

    Amazing pictures!!!!