A Hunter Pace to Remember


Hunter pace
The Westport hunter pace course is 8 -10 miles through open fields and wooded trails that offer spectacular views of the Westport River and historic farms. Much of the course goes through private land and is only available for riding once a year.

Today I had such a treat! I rode in Norfolk Hound’s Westport Hunter Pace, an event that I’ve heard about for years. It did not disappoint. If Walt Disney was going to design a Hunter Pace ride, he would be hard pressed to come up with something better.

Picture this: 65 degrees and sunny with just a touch of fall in the air. The trees are just starting to turn but there is still a blanket of warmth.

Add huge green fields and water views. Lots and lots of them. There is a slight briny scent in the air and you have to pass by docked boats and small summer cabins where lucky residents can watch the water and sip cocktails on their porches.

Corn fields
One of the first fields had corn growing shoulder high and offered a sweeping vista down to the river.

Add lovely footing. Fields that cry out for a gallop. Once Freedom got over the fact that there were no hounds, he started to relax and enjoy the fields. The grass was soft under foot and invited your horse to bounce (well, my horse at least).

Add stone walls. Beautiful walls that criss cross the landscape and lead you down to those beautiful water views. In some of the fields, black cattle grazed behind tiny strands of electric fencing. I’m not sure that Freedom noticed them, which was probably just as well because he’s never seen a cow up close and personal before.

River views
There was a slightly briny scent to the water that was very pleasant. And the water was so very blue.

Add about 150 happy horses and riders. Maybe even more! Everyone was riding with a big grin on their face because riding for nearly two and a half hours in hunter pace nirvana is absolutely the best way to spend a fall day.

And it was the entire day. I left my house this morning shortly before 8:00 and didn’t get home until 5:30. It was nearly two hours from where I live (I will admit, I drive slowly when I’m towing my horse — I don’t like to go more than 60 Mph. Let’s face it, Route 128 is scary even when you’re not towing two horses!)

Trail along the river.
This trail along the river offered views and great footing.
Green Fields
The fields were bordered by stone walls and lines of trees.
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