I wasn’t planning to hunt today, so it was a bonus. The footing was great, Freedom was a champ, and I didn’t get bitten by any more ground bees.
I had only ridden Freedom once this week, and for a half hour walk at that! I wasn’t worried about his fitness level as I’ve done a lot of conditioning work with him. Rather, I was concerned that he’d be a bit too excited once he heard the hounds.
As a friend of mine has said, if you survive the first five minutes, you’ll usually be fine. This hunt started with a good brisk gallop and it went on long enough to give him time to settle. Freedom has a really hard time with hunts where we start off, gallop for a minute and then have to pull up and stand.
Of course at this time of year, ground bees are the other part of the equation. I really didn’t want to get bitten again although I guess I’m ahead of the game as I am already on the meds! One of the people who worked the hunter pace last week was bitten 32 times!! I’d probably still be in the hospital if that had happened to me.
I took the bees into consideration when I made my hunting plans this morning. While I might have taken him in the hilltopping field for his first time out this year, I opted to hunt first flight with the thought that we’d go through the bees before they got too angry. It worked. There were some bees but the second field bore the brunt of them.