A Hack with Friends

Hacking in Great Brook

This fall has been busy, with no time yet to hunt. However, Zelda and I did manage to go out for a nice hack with our hunting friends this week. It was an overcast day, but warm. And the fall foliage still glowed.

We met at one of our local state parks — which is a fabulous place for equestrians. With 20 acres of trails and a good number of cross country jumps, you can easily spend several ours exploring. On weekends, this park is packed with walkers and dogs, but mid week it’s pretty empty, which meant we could move along at a good pace. The footing there is always pretty good, with wide trails and a few nice meadows.

Great Brook
Great Brook Farm State Park is a treasure for equestrians. The 1000 acre park has more than 20 miles of trails, most of them open to horses. It also has cross country jumps, which are maintained by the Hunt Club. We have just started hunting here again after many years. You can see we made a nice loop on the trails.

I was glad to get the chance to bring Zelda out without the excitement of hunting. She’s been feeling quite frisky and I wanted to make sure that I had brakes (and no bucks) before going out at

Hacking in great brook
Zelda loves to go out with friends. Although she prefers to lead, she understands that I have to take photos.

a full tilt. I shouldn’t have worried. She was very well behaved, although puzzled that there were no hounds. She was eager to move on (I swear she could hear the leader ask if we wanted to canter), but never got too strong. When I first got Zelda she would have a hissy fit if the other horses moved off without her, but she’s gotten a lot more adjustable over the years. I think she understands that I need to take photos.

Fall foliage
For a few brief moments the sun came out. There’s still some good color out there.

Also good was my ankle held up to the stresses of riding with shorter stirrups. I’m a wimp at home and usually ride with a longer leg. It’s not possible to have such a long stirrup when you need to stay off your horse’s back, so this was a good test. This was about a six mile loop and we covered it in good time.


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