Just getting around to writing about our T-day hunt but boy was it awesome. I still don’t think I have come down from the high I experienced that day. I joined Wicomico Hunt Club but had not ridden with them so I was super excited to be out on Thanksgiving morning. I think Dixie knows we are hunting when all his tack goes on and then the cooler and he has to ride with his stuff on.
We were heading out from O’Neals farm in Laurel, De at 9am. It was 32 degrees and I had my regular show clothes on and underarmour pants and the underarmour mock neck. Dixie was super relaxed as I got on and we headed out. I decided to ride at the back of the first flight and informed everyone to feel free to let me know if I was doing anything I was not supposed to. I think for the most part we blended in. Dixie was wearing the new hunt bridle I bought from Bartville tack along with a breastplate and standing martingale. He looked really nice in my opinion.
Everyone looked so good and I admired the frock coats which are much longer and cover your thighs. I will do anything to cover my thighs not only for warmth but to hide them from view. The frock coat is now on the Christmas list 🙂
The hounds struck about 15 min into the hunt and we were off. There were a bunch of paths in the woods but it seemed like we went in circles. We did a bunch of trotting which soon turned into cantering and then galloping. I have not been that fast on a horse on purpose in a long time. We went up and down some hills and the trees were flying past me. I was dodging branches and keeping my eyes up, heels down and legs in front of me. Dixie was loving every minute of it but I really do think he was trying to figure out what the heck we were all running from. There were jumps all through the trails and I took some but not all. I wanted to just get him confident and not throw to much at him at once.
I have to say I believe he is excellent to hunt. Super comfortable, soft mouth, responsive, agile, balanced and smart. We made some really sharp turns going quite quickly and he did a great jump. Lots of sticks and logs on the trails and he never tripped yet was aware of his footing. He was very brave about everything. We had to go across a bridge and he balked a bit but I squeezed him on and he went over. The second time we came to the bridge he didn’t even give it a look. In the first few checks he was a bit anxious. After one big run he started calling to the other horses..not sure what horses but he was noticably nervous. He was not doing anything wrong but I think a few good runs got his blood pumping. He settled down nicely after that and was really good at the checks.
What I love the most about him is he listens! When horses in front of him slow down he has auto brakes without me having to even touch his mouth. He can stop on a dime which is great. If everybody else was galloping and I wanted to canter I could and he had no problems. A few times 1st flight was going so fast I was a bit far behind but 2nd flight was even further behind me. He could see the other horses but didn’t act up or care that he was behind.
We were out for about 2.5 hrs so long day. I think we were both exhausted but thrilled with that day of hunting. The hounds were really incredible and the pack seems so well trained. I had a great time learning from the fieldmaster of 2nd field. He was really nice and gave me a good education on the basics.
Tomorrow is opening hunt. I had someone come out and braid Dixie. I spent a few hours cleaning my tack and polishing my brass. I am baking a pumpkin cake and sour cream apple pie to take tomorrow. I can not wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!