When I got the fixture card in the mail, a few weeks back, I was grinning from ear to ear. Spring hunting is the perfect antidote for chasing out the blahs of winter.
After much anticipation, opening day did not disappoint. The weather has been incredible here in the Northeast and the footing was excellent. The day was warm, but not hot, with lots of sun and a touch of breeze.
The hounds were spot on. Watching them run through the fields was beautiful. The field was small and that worked to our advantage because everyone got to see the hounds today.
We hunted at one of my favorite places — the Delaney complex in Stow. There are a smattering of inviting jumps and a good mix of wooded trails and open fields. The field moved along briskly and with the heat, we were grateful for the two checks. Kroni was amazing. He was a pleasure to ride and was jumping in great style. At the end of the hunt, my face hurt from grinning!
Although Kroni has been in regular work all winter, he’s still getting fit. He definitely was enjoying the day, though. As soon as we pulled into the parking area and he heard the hounds, he started to get excited and watched each cast with great interest. The more he hunts, the more eagerly he watches the hounds. He was quite strong today, and there were times when I wished I was riding with a bit (instead of my LG bridle) as he was pulling so hard. He really seems to enjoy this “job” — much more so than when we used to compete at dressage shows or even events.
I am a recent convert to hunting. This is my third season as a member, although I hunted several times as a guest before joining. Most people don’t think of the Boston area as a place where fox hunting is a sport that’s pursued on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. Of course, these days, the only “foxes” we chase are the human kind, who lay a scent early before the hunt starts. But we do have hounds and they are glorious. The more I hunt, the more I appreciate the skill of the staff, the music of the hounds “giving tongue”, and the thrill of the hunt. The hunt I belong to is a great group of people who have been extremely welcoming and helpful.
Then there are the “teas”, a term that vastly understates the delicious lunches prepared by members. What better way to enjoy your horse than to gallop cross country across spectacular land with a group of friends, watching a skillful pack track a scent, then join together for a great meal. Certainly after experiencing the thrill of hunting, dressage shows just never had the same appeal!