After a three hour hunt last Sunday and a hack on Monday, I assumed Freedom would be tired when we hunted on Tuesday. It was a hunt right in my backyard and I planned to hack to the cast. It was going to be in the high 60s and I was pretty relaxed about it.
Boy was I wrong. There was something in the air on Tuesday and lots of horses were maniacs, including mine. I don’t think he took a single walk step from the time we left the barn until we were 15 minutes from home — 2:45 hours later. He jigged, he jumped, he bounced and he flung his head up down. Silly me, I’d left my martingale at the barn as I thought that with no jumps, I wouldn’t need it!
Considering it is November, the weather was amazing — and there are still enough leaves on the trees glowing in the sun to make it seem like the beginning of fall, not the end.
This hunt starts in a big open field at the Codman Estate, built in 1741. The home to five generations of the Codman family, it is now a Museum and the grounds are the home of such important events as the town’s annual Easter egg hunt. We cast the hounds and had a great view of them working the field. Then we had a quick run through the woods, coming out on a street with the most amazing Bauhaus era houses. The most famous of them is the Gropius house, built in 1938. Walter Gropius was the founder of the Bauhaus school and a pioneer of modern architecture. The Gropius house is now a museum but the other houses on the street are equally fabulous and still lived in, some by the original residents.
The next cast took us into the fields of the Food Project, a program that teaches sustainable agriculture practices. The sillies really came out in that field. Two horses were bucking like crazy and the rider behind me was looking pretty pale as his horse tried to pass us at a dead gallop.
From there we hacked over Pine Hill to meet the hounds for the third cast. This took us around Flint’s Pond on the trails that surround the Decordova Museum. There’s a great wide trial that takes you around the pond. Luckily those trails don’t get too much use because the hounds and horses going full tilt would have been quite a sight.
We ended at another open field and a lovely pond.
From there, I hacked back home. Dressed in my formal hunt clothes I attracted some attention as I rode through town. An older gentleman asked if he could take my picture as I passed Bemis Hall — built in 1892, this magnificent old building was originally the Town Hall.
The rest of the hunt hacked back and were treated to the view of a magnificent red fox catching mice in the Codman field! Lucky for him, the hounds were already back in the truck. Although, since they are highly tuned to following the scent of anise, I’m not sure that a real fox would be a recognizable quarry.
Here’s some video from the hunt. Since it was taken on horseback, it’s not the steadiest.