Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to jump downed trees in a single bound. Look! Running after the hounds! It’s Zelda! For sure, Zelda had the locomotive part down pat. Riding her was a bit like being on a runaway train. Without brakes that worked well.
Zelda and I had a bit of a disagreement while hunting last weekend. She’s convinced that I’m doing it wrong. That she should be in the first flight, and keeping up with the hounds. I tried to explain that we were leading the second flight which required a more moderate pace. To reinforce my control, I had moved her up from a Happy Mouth elevator (rubber mouth) to a Neue Schule Anky Universal — a metal bit with a small amount of leverage — and a pair of gloves. In the beginning I thought it made a difference, but that feeling wore off fast.
Zelda jumped, she pranced, she went sideways, she tried to pull the reins out of my hands (harder, given that I wore gloves). Twice she spun around and faced the field behind her. In other words, she threw a tantrum. The riders behind me were impressed that I still smiled. One told me that I’d lose 10 pounds during the hunt (regretfully, I didn’t). I never felt like she’d get me off, but I did get a little tired of her antics and she gave me quite a workout. She and I will need to come to an understanding about who is in charge. It may involve moving her up to a pelham. By the time the hunt was over, my gloves were shredded and my hands ached.
It is wonderful to have a horse that is keen on hunting. She’s definitely figured out the game and she has a strong sense of fair play. I think that the next time I take her out I may need to move her up to the first field and let her get her zoomies out. She is quite a competitive horse and does not like to be left behind. The good news is that my ankle is holding up well. Sure, I have it taped up, and yes, it goes a bit numb, but if it can hold up under Zelda’s antics it’s definitely improving. After much experimentation, I’ve found that the saddle that supports me the best right now, and keeps knees and ankles happy, is my old Wintec Pro Jump saddle. Zelda seems to like it too.
The best part of hunting last week was the gorgeous weather. We’re still in the height of the fall foliage season and it was a bright sunny day in the low 70s. You would have thought that the warmer weather might have slowed her down. Maybe it did! But is there a better way to spend a Saturday?
This Saturday’s hunt has been canceled due to the soaking rain we had today. It’s probably not a bad thing as I haven’t had much time to ride this week and, although I’ve ridden her once in a pelham and once in a kimberwicke, I’m not sure yet which one I’ll try next. So, I’ll just look at the photos and remember what a gorgeous day it was.