It’s hard to hunt without your bridle

Freedom in his borrowed bridle
Freedom looked sharp in his borrowed bridle.

I’m usually very organized during hunt season. I keep essentials in my trailer and I have spares of most of the truly important things.

This morning, I broke with my routine and paid the price. When I looked in my trailer tack room this morning I found that my bit wasn’t clean enough. So, I took it down to the tackroom, cleaned it, and left it hanging on the hook. Imagine my surprise when I pulled up at the hunt (after an hour’s drive) to discover it was missing in action!

I did actually have a spare bridle, of sorts, in the trailer. However it wasn’t ideal — the bit was an old Myler ported snaffle that I’d bought to try on Kroni, the bridle had no cavesson and it was far from clean.

Luckily, when I went begging I found someone whBlessing of the houndso had not one, but two, extra bridles. She thought she was driving two people to the hunt and had loaded their tack before discovering they couldn’t make it. One of them fit Freedom perfectly and I was saved.

Tthe great open fields
The great open fields are a big attraction of this territory.

Of course, it’s been awhile since I’ve hunted him in a plain snaffle and with no rein stops my martingale was out of the question, but we managed fine. In situations like this I always have to remind myself that I can, and indeed, ride my horse. That I ride in a snaffle most of the time anyway, and that if I can’t ride without a martingale I have larger problems. He knew right away that I had marginal stopping power but he was a good boy and we never really got rolling.

It wasn’t a hunt I wanted to miss – it was our annual Blessing of the Hounds in a beautiful open territory that where we ride infrequently.

Riding through the Apple Orchard
The hunt ended with a ride through an apple orchard.

It wasn’t a fast hunt but it was so pleasant riding through the open territoryWell deserved treats! It was a “blessing” to be out there because this area suffered tremendous damage from the Nor’easter storm and hunt members and volunteers put in a ton of work to make the

trails accessible. Trail maintenance is one of the often overlooked benefits of having a hunt in your area. Old North Bridge Hounds invests a lot of time keeping the trails cleared and the jumps maintained and safe.

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