The Last Hunt of 2017

The last hunt
Yesterday was the last hunt of the 2017 season. The weather gods smiled on us and we had a sunny day in the mid-50s.

I haven’t had the chance to hunt much this fall, but Zelda and I managed to catch the last two Saturday hunts of the season. Last week the day was seasonably chilly and gray. Zelda was as brisk as the weather and her exuberance was hard to contain — I chose to ride sweep, bringing up the rear on a small field that included a few new comers. The horse in front of me showed a propensity to kick and so I left a solid gap in front of us to see if the mare would settle. This made Zelda most unhappy. She loves to hunt and being held back did not jive with her. For the first time I felt just how much stretch my rubber reins could sustain. I don’t like to get into a pulling match with my horses and I told her I’d make it up to her on the next hunt.

Yesterday was a different story. It was sunny and mild, and the territory lends itself to some good gallops. Zelda and I stayed up front in the field so I could let her move on. I also changed her bit (more on that in another post) moving to a slightly milder option.

And boy did we have fun! You can see what a brilliant day out it was, and also how diverse the landscape that we rode through.

First Field
After a brief hack through the woods, the hunt started in some open fields along an aqueduct.
The first Check
The first check was at the end of this grassy field.
We then moved off through a sandy area, that doesn’t look much like New England.
The Aqueduct
We enjoyed a brisk gallop along the aqueduct.
Final cast
And ended up at this field for a final gallop. I lost my left stirrup moments after taking off so spent the first part of the field thinking very hard about staying centered.
Good Hounds
The end of the hunt. The hounds were excellent today!

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