There truly is little better than riding in the Fall — and we’re having a lovely one here in New England. Last year the fall colors were disappointing; this year they are shaping up to be beautiful.
I almost didn’t hunt today. I’m still tired from the ride on Sunday and then there is the nagging issue of bees. We still haven’t had a hard frost. In fact, the weather has been unseasonably warm and very dry. Although this was the first day of the formal season it felt more like summer out.
However, I know from past experience that when you have a sound horse and a sunny day, you should make every effort to get out and enjoy it. Last fall my season was cut short by Freedom’s problems with abscesses, and I regretted passing on a few hunts that I should have gone to (but expected I’d have more time later in the season).
Today we had a very small field — three staff and seven riders. We rode as a single field and maybe because there were so few of us, we tiptoed lightly over the nests. One horse was stung once but there were no swarms. All the riders today were “first flight” which meant a fast pace and the chance to stay close to the hounds.
The conditions were not great for scenting — too hot and dry — but we did get to see the hounds work. We also stopped after the first two casts as the hounds were looking very hot (just like we felt).
I do love the territory we hunted today. The water view might not be quite as spectacular as Westport but it is still stunning.
Freedom might have been just a tad tired after Sunday’s ride. He was very game but not quite as bouncy as he’s been. I was able to take him over some of the smaller jumps (including several downed trees) and he is starting to listen to me again. Or maybe it was just the heat!