Freedom got the short end of the stick this fall with hunting. I pulled his shoes over the summer when he was dealing with the abscess-from-hell and by the time he was sound, it seemed too late to put them back on. Plus, I wanted to concentrate on hunting Zelda.
Last week I realized that Freedom needed a job. And he needed to get off property. It was after the great pasture switch up. When he’s in with too many girls he starts to think that he’s the herd stallion and forgets that he’s supposed to be a riding horse. He starts to become reluctant to leave the property and he worries where all the girls are all the time.
I’ve been getting the feeling that he’s disappointed when I bring the trailer and load Zelda up. “Take me!” he nickers from his paddock. So, I took him to a fixture where I knew the footing would be suitable for hoof boots: Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury. And I remembered just how much fun he is to hunt.
Freedom loves hunting. He particularly loves the hounds and is always watching very carefully to see where they are and what they are doing next. Despite the fact that he hadn’t hunted yet this fall, he was very calm and laser-focused. I don’t think his ears moved out of their full alert position the whole time.
Sure, there was some jigging at the beginning of the hunt, but mostly he just enjoyed being out. His whole body radiated with pleasure and fun. Freedom is great to hunt because he is so tuned in with the hounds and because he is so light on his feet and balanced. When I ride him, I feel like we could run all day and he’d still have a reserve of energy.