First hunt of the season, and it was a blast!

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.

4 thoughts on “First hunt of the season, and it was a blast!

  1. Forgive my ignorance but I am not too sure I know what you mean by ground bees. Does this mean the location of the bees or is there a species of bee that lives near the ground? Sorry, I am just a bit daft. Anyway it did sound like fun though and I hope you had a good time. Just curious about the reference you made to taking medication? Is there something you can take to help with the bee stings? Cheers!

  2. Thank goodness you don’t know about ground bees! It’s that time of year around here also. Yellow jackets, a particularly determined meat-eating form of bee, make their nests in the ground. Sandy ground is perfect. They bite as well as sting. Unfortunately with Yellow Jackets, they do not lose their stingers, so can continue to hunt you down and sting you more.

    We have sand arenas, and somewhat sandy/adobe soil, perfect for the little nesters. Easy to dig sand, nice solid adobe hive walls. A friend of mine just got chased down and stung repeatedly after her horse stepped into the nest entrance. Not much you can do but gallop off fast, and hope the little buggers don’t hitch a ride!

  3. I love hunting vicariously through you! Though I’ve never been first flight (we have a second flight that goes between hilltoppers and first flight–we have the option of jumping, which I didn’t take), I looooooved trying to keep up on my heavy horse.
    Plus staying out front of the second field meant that Millie’s frying pan feet and iron constitution could stomp most of the ground bees out before they got up enough steam to hurt those coming behind. Once she got stung many times, and all she did was exhale forcefully and stamp. It could have been MUCH worse, but she saved my bacon, and that of all the rest of the second fielders! LOVE HER!
    Keep the reports coming, please.

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