Thursday, January 28, 2010
Gators, and Bobcats, and Coyote's - Oh my!
Up north we hunt (chase really) fox... Not so, in the south! It took just over two hours to drive from fixture one to fixture two. Yet, I felt like I was in a different world. The South Creek Foxhounds are based in the Tampa area. They hunt very different territory than the Misty Morning hounds do. After heavy rain, the fixture was a veritable swamp. The forest was dense and with beautiful Spanish Moss hanging from the trees (which the horses consider a delicacy), giving the impression of being in the deep south (which we were) and it was magical to experience.
Again I met an amazing group of people that welcomed me like family. Joint Masters: Rick Michaels, Michael Ferraro, and Barbara Phethean were wonderful hosts. Leslie Fox, of Leslie Fox Stables, kindly rented a WONDERFUL hunt horse to me named Freckles. You weren't kidding Leslie, about her wonderful gaits, but I humbly disagree about her not being able to be left behind... She was a perfect lady when I stayed with one of the SCF members as she remounted. Sergio and Steve were true gentlemen in the field! It was such a pleasure meeting another wonderful group of avid foxhunters.
I wish I had my camera in my pocket to get some photos of 10 year old Maya on her adorable (spunky) pony! What a fine young rider she was! I hope my daughter has half her talent at 10 years old. As I respectfully stayed to the rear of the field, I didn't get to watch hounds hunt as much as I do at home. I was told we were twice on the line of a coyote, and considering the speed we were at, I wouldn't dare argue!
It was a unique experience riding through the swamp. The horses are all so unbelievably sure footed. As we navigated through quite a bit of water at all three gaits, it was impressive to watch horse, rider, and hound work their way about safely. I must say - the SCF sure do know how to put together a "tea"! I wish I could have stayed longer.
Disclaimer - No, I did not see any alligators, and held the question until we were walking back to the trailers.
To both the MMH and SCF, If ANY members are up in my neck of the woods, look me up! I would love to invite you to join me going out with the Amwell Valley Hounds. We foxhunters are a rare and special breed. I am so proud to be a member, and to have now have extended family in the south!
Thank you, thank you, thank you - I will forever remember my first time hunting outside my comfort zone (and territory), and every member of both hunts helped make it an amazing experience!
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