In New England we can be blessed with a few warm days in November. Last Saturday, we were blessed with one: sunny and low 50s, with perfect footing. Even better, the territory was only a few miles from my barn.
Zelda was in fine form. With the help of our Butterfly Pelham her exuberance was mostly under control, happy to be out following the hounds. One of Zelda’s best features is her canter. She is incredibly comfortable and, out in the hunt field, she can practically canter in place. While many of my fellow Hilltoppers spent most of the hunt trotting, Zelda and I bobbed along full of power. It’s so much easier on my bad knees that I appreciate her gaits — just don’t ask for that collected canter at home. Zelda would tell you that it’s absolutely impossible.
The hunt was exhilarating, exhausting and absolute fun. To ride behind the hounds is such a sensory experience — you need to be completely in the moment, aware of everything around you, pay attention to the hounds (you don’t want to miss them following the scent) and don’t forget the horses around you! No wonder Zelda and I both wanted to take a nap when we got back.