I’ve been trying to get Zelda out in the hunt field for the past two weeks. Finally, this week, the stars aligned. My trailer brakes are fixed, the weather was perfect, and I had no conflicts. Tuesday was the last hunt of the season and I was determined that she would see some action.
I had some doubts about Zelda as she was feeling frisky — I gave her a brief spin around the field at home before loading her up and she rewarded me with several feisty bucks. Luckily, she seemed to get it out of her system because she was every-so-good once we got out into the hunt field. No squeals and no bucks.
It was the perfect hunt to get her back out into the field. We had only a small group and so I was able to ride her in the first flight. The pace was idea — not too fast, not too slow. Zelda was quite keen to keep up. I had tried riding her in a new bit — a myler triple barrel snaffle — but out in the hunt field it wasn’t quite enough. She is a big, strong horse and when she gets going, the momentum is difficult to stop! I think I will need to do some experiments to find a bit that keeps her in check but doesn’t offend her. She is a sensitive soul.
I’m very pleased with how well she’s working out as a hunt horse. It took some strategizing to convince her to see things my way, but now that she’s playing on my team I think she’s going to be a lot of fun. I let her jump a few small fences on Tuesday and she would have happily done more. I’m still taking it slowly and trying to make sure that every ride ends on a good note.
Zelda’s not as fit as Freedom. Although she was very energetic I could tell by the end of the ride (we rode about 8 miles), she was definitely feeling it. In fact, probably her favorite part of the hunt was the chance to chow down on the beautiful green grass after we got back to the trailer.