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

Monday, September 16, 2013

Foxhunters Like it Dirty and Wet

Not really!  This is me hiding in my tackroom at about 9:30am last Saturday morning, hoping the rain shower would stop before I had to get the horse off the trailer and bridle.  I thought my bumber sticker was a bit ironic, and had to share. :)  The foxhunter flashing their mud covered teeth shows not a grin but a grimmace! Lol.

Luck was on our side though, because the rain did clear and the day turned into a beautiful one.
Ready to bridle
It was a great day for photographs, I took nearly 200!  Here's a pictoral account of the 9/14/13 hunt at Branch Hill Farm in Milton Mills, NH.......
A rare shot of the two of us, thanks to a thoughtful fellow hunter!

Calmly waiting to begin the task at hand
A serene pond passed by in the beginning

The hounds viewed under a whip horse's legs at a check by the pond.

The hounds at attention of the huntsman.

Another check in a golden field

Daatje's view of the check at the golden field.

The final run before the "fox" goes to ground.

The horse behind me, all four off the ground. :)

Reflecting on a great last run  of the day.

The fox.

Coming down off the hill.

Whip horse trotting off.

Another whip horse trotting off.

Very happy hound!

I love the look of adoration and pleasure on this hounds face as he walks with his huntsman.
 Ok, so after the last run of the day, our MFH wanted to head across the river to check out some trails that haven't been hunted in a while.  I went and I'm so glad I did, it was a ton of fun!
Pretty deep water.

See how deep!

Up to her chest!

Great way to cool the horses off after a fast hunt though. :)

Out we go to the other side.

 When we got home, I let Daatje graze in the field while I put the equipment away.  She was quite happy with that. :)

 And here's a shot of one of her front shoes after the 9.5 mile run where we slogged through mud and crossed rivers. :)  They are holding up great!  I've just ordered another set of 4 in preparation for when these need to be replaced.  They are seriously "magic shoes".  Her confidence is sky high and because of that, she's faster on the runs with greater stamina.  Her willingness to jump is back and she's hitting her distances like a pro.  I have absolutely nothing but good things to say about the shoes and how my horse has responded to them. :D  Five Stars.
Still looking good and doing their job.
Next up is a hunt from the Kennels in Lee, NH on this coming Saturday followed by THE ultimate hunter pace in Sunday down in Westport, MA!  (oh boy!)


  1. Fab photos, what a great day out & delighted to hear that the shoes have made such a positive impact.
    What made you decide to try them? Can you remind me what they are & what the do to help the horse?
    Sorry if there is an earlier post chronicling all this, i am a newcomer to your blog!

    1. Hi Aoife! I decided to try the Ground Control shoes for a couple of reasons. Daatje does not move out well in steel shoes. I've had them on her in the past and she forges quite noticably. I wanted a shoe that I could apply without needing the equipment required to shape a steel shoe. So the shoes have been a success on both fronts. She does not forge in them, moves like she's floating on air and I am able to customize them to fit her hoof and nail them on myself. The website is if you'd like to investigate them further. Sarah

    2. Thanks Sarah, I had never heard of them prior to reading your blog. Shall have a nosy as I don't think you can ever know too much when it comes to horses, :D
      I am glad they are working out so well for Daatje & yourself. Was she lame in steel shoes or how did you notice that she didn't like them - afraid I'm not sure what is meant by forging! *blush*

    3. You're welcome! :) Daatje was not lame in steel shoes, but having ridden her barefoot for many, many years, I didn't like how "stuck" she felt in her gaits with them on. Hard to describe with words, but barefoot she felt springy in her movement and steel shod, she felt heavy. I could also feel the concussion reverberating up her body in steel. Forging is when the toe of the hind hoof strikes the toe of the front hoof as the horse is trotting. It makes a loud clanking noise and is considered an interference within the gait. She doesn't do this barefoot and has not in the plastic shoes, so I'm happy with that. Ideally, I would be hunting her barefoot again (we did successfully last year) but for some reason (weather, diet, ?) her hooves just weren't of the same quality and she needed some help. I wanted something I could apply myself, that would be shock absorbing, support all the structures of the hoof (not just the wall) and would not negatively impact the way she felt when she moves. :)

  2. That looks like so much fun! Also you take great photos!