Hunter Pacing

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It was a hot, steamy early summer day. But a great time to be out riding with friends. Today was our hunt club’s Spring Hunter Pace. In case you’ve never been to one, teams Great Brook.PNGof riders go out and follow a prescribed course trying to approximate a hunting pace. The team that comes closest to the ideal time wins. Today, my team was second!  The ideal time was 1:20:17 and our time was 1:21:40. Not too shabby.

I rode Zelda. Both horses had a bit more than two weeks off as I was caught up with family activities and traveling to California and she seemed the most controllable. Of course, she was a star but the fact it was 80 degrees and very humid certainly didn’t hurt. Great Brook Farm State park is a fabulous place to ride with wonderful trails and a full complement of cross country jumps. We rode a bit more than 6 miles and came tired and ready for a bath!

 

 

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Great Brook Farm has some lovely ponds. They looked particularly inviting today.

 

 

 

 

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A field of dreams

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Spring is the reward we get in New England for suffering through winter. This past week, after two days of 90 degree humidity we were blessed with perfect spring days. Freedom and I went out for a long walk, aiming for calmness. We didn’t quite achieve that goal (if you saw the live version of this photo you would see how fidgety he is) but we did enjoy the crisp, clear day, the contrails streaking across the cloudless sky, and endless constellation of flowers across the meadow.

 

Duck, Duck, Goose

Today we came across two geese shepherding their three tiny goslings to the pond. I wasn’t able to get close enough to them to get a good picture, but Zelda was fascinated by the small parade. They were certainly much cuter than the very large coyote that we encountered a bit later in the ride. Looked way too much like a wolf for my liking. When the wolf . . . I mean coyote held her ground, Zelda and I took the long way home.

Everything is turning green

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Catching Zelda in her pasture has been a bit tricky. Her version of spring fever has her racing around her pasture. Some days I get a lot more exercise walking back and forth trying to catch her than from riding.

I love Spring in New England. The land is emerging from hibernation. The days are getting longer. And it’s a lovely time to go for a ride. I really enjoy seeing the landscape change. What was recently a winter wonderland is now verdant and warm.

Of course, with the advent of warmer weather, the trails in my area have been inundated with dogs running off leash. I wish that there was a common understanding of what “under control” means. Many people have a very loose interpretation, that’s for sure. On some really beautiful days I’ve stayed off the public trails because it’s just not safe. Recently, a friend of mine was riding in a nearby town and her horse was attacked and bitten by a dog when she was trail riding. Six puncture wounds on his hind legs and all the owner said was, “we didn’t know how he’d be with horses.”

These photos were taken on private land. I’m extremely fortunate to have permission to ride there.

 

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It wasn’t long ago that we were making tracks in fresh snow here.
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The leaves are appearing on the trees and we often find deer sleeping by the pond. Often they let me ride quite close, reluctant to get up.
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I love her red bridle!
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Would you ride across this bridge?

I love the Facebook Group As Seen Through Horses’ Ears. It’s a wonderful way to “see” what fellow equestrians experience on their rides around the globe. Many of the images are so beautiful that I want to pack my boots and helmet and fly right out. This video, on the other hand, shows a ride that I’m happy to watch from my living room couch.

What a great relationship this rider must have with her horse. I can’t imagine Zelda or Freedom crossing it even if I went first.