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

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rest and Be Thankful Farm Hunt!

I woke up at 4am to a drizzly fog.  Not the morning that was forecasted the day before, (partly cloudy) but hey, at least it wasn't pouring!  Fed the horses and cleaned my tack in preparation for what was promised to be a fabulous hunt.  Horse was loaded and on the trailer by 7am and we were on our way to Lyman, ME! 

Cheap indiviual that I am, I refused to pay the highway tolls, so we meandered our way through Dover and Berwick, arriving in Lyman by 9am.  I had a friend from college riding as a guest (yay Liz!  You finally got out to hunt with us! :) ) and my Dad's cousin, who lives nearby, came to follow the hunt on foot/by car.  Quite a bit going on for me, as I'm not used to balancing such socialization with preparing to ride!

Here's a shot of Liz and her 21 year old Standardbred, Dreamy, ready to head over to warm up.
The mist persisted as the hunt begand with a trot across the road, through the barnyard.

And it wasn't long before the hounds were bounding in joy on the scent line.....
The 8 farms and over 800 acres of adjoining land were spectacular.  We did run into some bees in the newly cleared trails (Daatje had a sting right on the edge of her saddle pad) and the cow pastures we traversed were occupied.  This hunt had such natural terrain, we tackled muddy water crossings, natural ditches, over hill and dale with views to send tingles up your spine.  The last run of the day was not followed by the fields, but rather viewed by all from the top of a grassy knoll.  They were the best I've ever seen!
At stirrup cup, cousin Joanne was kind enough to take a picture of the photographer. :)  Daatje's looking smashingly fit!

One thing happened during the hunt that made me more proud of her than I've been in a long time.  We were all aproaching a skinny roll top in the middle of a field on one of the runs.  The horse in front of us ran out.  I sat up, with leg on and with all my body, channeled her to the base of the fence. 

She jumped it.  No question, no hesitation, no problem.  That, my friends, is a horse that is listening to the rider!  Not long ago, she would have taken point from the lead horse and skirted to the side.  My good girl. :)
This was a sweet moment during stirrup cup.....
The mother stroking the face of her daughter's pony.  Such a good pony too!  Keeps right up with 2nd field even though his legs are 1/2 as long as the horses he runs with. :)
So, a sincere thanks to all who made yesterday's hunt possible and I cannot wait until we hunt at Rest and Be Thankful Farm again!  I'll leave this post with a 15 minute video from the hunt, taken by the foot followers and posted to R&BTF's facebook page.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Branch Hill Farm Hunt

Last Saturday, we hunted from Branch Hill Farm in Milton Mills.  Another gorgeous day for a foxhunt!  This hunt starts off slowly through winding wooded, rocky New England trails and then crossess Applebee Road to the sandy paths along the river.  There are many jumps on that side of the road and the hunt often gets going pretty quickly!

Here's a photo of Daatje at the trailer taking a carrot from a fellow foxhunter.
The field in front of us as we head into the woods on the North side of Applebee Rd.
Not long after we crossed the road, we lost a rider at one of the jumps.  First field was pursuing the hounds on a line and by the time the rider was remounted (seconds, mind you!) we had lost the first field!  The trails through the sandy pine forests are numerous.  They criss cross and all look the same!  Our field master did an awesome job of guessing which way they went and after a long fast trot/canter we heard the huntsman blow the horn not too far away.  As we pulled up, the whippers in came charging across the field. meet up with the huntsman who had the hounds at a check.
Moving off again, we had another fast run through the woods, bursting out into an open field.
Daatje's mane flying in the wind.....
That was the final run of the day, and what a day!  Someone asked for my camera and took a photo of us at stirrup cup.
After a nice hack back to the trailers, the club hosted a "hunt clinic" at the tea geared towards Pony Clubbers.
So, this coming Saturday, we're hunting a new territory in Lyman, ME.  A cooperation between 8 farms allowing us access to 800 acres of Maine farm land is promising to be the hunt of the year!  Stay tuned for more tales from the best seat in the house! :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Prodigue Farm Hunt

I have been sick for three weeks.  THREE weeks!  Started with feeling run down, then sore throat, sinus, cough, cough and more cough.  I'm still coughing although a little less now.  But, that did not stop me from enjoying a fabulous hunt in Rochester NH last Saturday at one of my favorite fixtures, Prodigue Farm.  The open fields at this compilation of properties is unmatched.  Our usual run was dampened by the fact that it is early in the season and many farms are not done with haying quite yet, but all the same.  Gorgeous.

Daatje has been really, really strong on the hunts lately.  I'm loving it, but it makes for difficult picture taking when we're in motion. :)  I've needed both hands on the reins as of late.  Perhaps as the season wears on and the hunts get faster and longer, she'll settle into her gallops a bit better and stop trying to race the horses in front of her.  Silly mare.
Someone got a shot of us during stirrup cup.  I'm in the process of hacking up a lung.  Not quite flattering, but very fitting capture of my day. :P

I'm on vacation this week, and was planning on hunting Wednesday (tomorrow) but the heavy rain in the forecast convinced me to stay put.  Thankfully, the hunt called the meet off, so I won't be missing out on anything!  Our next hunt is this Saturday, again in Rochester, only this time at the Myhre Equine Clinic.

On a most positive note, our barn and fencing was completed on schedule and the horses came home yesterday!!!!  I could not be more thrilled to have Daatje right outside my back door again.  She and her mini friends are settling in well.

Rainbow (the chestnut) and Spooky (the bay) are just loving the extra room, in-and-out stall and having Daatje right next door!

My husband Jake and Daatje, hanging out in her paddock.