Amwell Valley Hounds - Opening Day

Amwell Valley Hounds - Opening Day
Link to Pleasant Meadow Farm Website

Monday, March 8, 2010

Well, we planned on a beach ride.

As hunting is still a no-go for the AVH due to poor ground conditions, I figured we could hit the beach with our local trail association. So, we planned on heading to Island Beach State Park for a glorious ride on 6 miles of open beach. One of my fellow foxhunters had a better idea though. He called the Monmouth County Hunt Club based in Freehold, NJ and inquired if they were hunting. Waaa-hooooo! They too have had limited opportunities to go out and were taking advantage of Mother Nature's generous gift. Invitation was extended and off we went.

I've now been out with four different hunts, in this my first season, and what an education I've received. MCH are a gracious group, and are privileged to hunt from the same location since 1885 when the kennels were built. They have access to both an enormous wildlife area and abundant farm country. MCH hounds, although a crossbred of English & American, had a different appearance from our hounds. The hunting style differed as well. Overall, it was a wonderful experience in a grand territory. I'm hoping to go out with the MCH again before the end of the season if they'll have me.

I must say, that after many weeks of ringwork, my mare was stellar out in the field. I do believe she was better than ever! She stood like a statue at checks watching hound work, and always positioned herself (at least her perky ears) in the direction of hounds. She was soft and happy in the bridle, and we did more moving around within the field than usual (as we were both quite relaxed). We started off hilltopping and moved up to first flight hoping to view houndwork better. Ms. Too-hot-to-trot was happy, happy, happy. If her reaction to foxhunting after a long hiatus is any indication how season two will be - I think I've got it made for season two! I’m crossing fingers and toes.

We're (I'm) actually contemplating Eventing her this summer. She's still overjumping new fences (I try to change it up in the ring DAILY) but she seems to be figuring out her distances better, and not rushing at everything. If only I could get over my anxiety I think we'll be in good shape.

Might have to change or start a new Eventing blog for the summer. Ahhh, can't forget all the Hunter Paces I have on the calendar to keep it interesting. Funny how I didn't mention dressage shows.... We'll see. As a good deal of my schooling this winter has been over BABY fences, and not as much on collection... I think our dressage scores will suffer.. perhaps not.

Happy to report a GREAT day yesterday!

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