Monday, July 26, 2010
A year has passed since I was stricken by the contagious “foxhunt bug”. After a lovely family vacation to NE, I arrived home the night before the 2010 AVH Hunt Clinic. It was one year ago, that my fellow boarders goaded me into signing up for the clinic against my better judgment. I think they each deserve a big 'ole smackaroo in thanks!
I took my new "pink pony" Dudley to the clinic to test the "waters". I ended up with one heck of a blister from asking Mr. Doright to wait & whoa. He was ever enthusiastic and eager to please. Dudley’s quite an athletic little draft cross and after a week off (did I mention I was on vacation) he was more than ready to go, go, go! Hounds bounded off the trailer straight for us... He stood with ears pricked and waited for whatever was to come. Our huntsman blew his horn and off we went. We had about 25 riders up, and had a wonderfully successful day.
This year we had a nice mix of Pony Clubbers and Hunter Pace riders join us. I hope at some point they all decide to give the AVH a try during Cubbing season, as all were lovely riders. It was funny listening to their thoughts and concerns about what goes on in the hunt field... Oh I could have shared some great stories of my first rides (x10) out! The Masters did a stellar job, yet again, explaining hunting etiquette. There were a good number of questions from the audience as we sat around enjoying a splendid tea which was provided by members of the hunt. Katy Matthews did a lovely job organizing a comprehensive and informative clinic.
The following day, Dudley and I headed back to Tiffany Teeter & James Rigney’s, Plum Broke Farm in Stockton, NJ. It’s a perfect venue for Roading, as the area is heavy forest with an umbrella of green over primarily hard packed, quiet country back roads, scattered with spectacular farms. We were expecting the temperature to rise to least 95 degrees, so the shady lanes made for a lovely first day to condition hounds and horses. We were out for just over one hour (40 minutes moving according to my GPS) with an average moving speed of three miles per hour and all horse and rider combinations did very well. Everyone stood quietly at the road “checks” and waited for hounds to move off. The three puppies that joined our English pack for the first time were a bit nervous, but all did VERY well.
I digress, I wish a very Happy Anniversary to all my fellow "Newbies"! I'll say it yet again. I love my extended family and can't wait for the fun filled, action packed, scent laden season to begin!
Tally Ho Y'all!
photo credit: Cathy Evans