Perfect fall day + well behaved horse + excellent hounds = a special feeling of contentment.
Long after the adrenalin fades, a great hunt leaves you feeling good about your partnership with your horse, the camaraderie of your friends, and the beauty of your surroundings.
Today I hunted Zelda and she was seduced by the perfection of the day. She didn’t put a foot wrong — she was obedient, willing and happy to be out. She didn’t even threaten to buck.
The territory we hunted today starts and end by a beautiful pond and the outstretch of a flood plain that begs for a gallop. I kept Zelda back in the hilltopper field because the last time I hunted her she was a bit fresh.
Today she was a different horse. She was keen but not naughty. She listened and she wanted to please.I don’t know if it was the bit change (I put her in a mild two and a half ring gag that has a slight port for tongue relief. It’s not a harsh bit but she can get strong when she picks up momentum) or the fact that I chased her around the paddock before I loaded her so that we could leave the bucks at home.
From the moment I mounted I could tell this was going to be a good ride. She’s got very comfortable gaits and when she is soft and giving through her back and neck she’s a real pleasure to ride.
We have had several nights down below freezing so there was no worry about bees and the temperature was about 50 degrees, just about perfect.
The fall colors have faded but the golden light made everything look soft and warm. We’ve had just about a perfect fall hunt season so far — and I have been very glad to be able to enjoy it!