The weather was cooperating for our opening hunt and we all had such a great time. It was a bit above 60 degrees and sunny and I would guess maybe 80 riders turned out. I think when we counted there were 39 of us in second field. I had convinced my hubby to try it again and also brought out two friends. Amanda, my lesson student, on her TB and her mom riding their older QH. They had come to the mock hunt and had a good time and hunting is a great way to keep the horses in shape over the winter. Amanda went with me once last year riding Dixie and really enjoyed herself so I was happy to get her back out again.
Kurt was riding Junior and I was on Charlie. It is interesting to see how much Junior has changed in the past few hunts. They were both super relaxed and more worried about eating grass than anything while we tacked up. We got on and had to stand for quite some time before we did the blessing of the hunts and all of our horses where just standing there so relaxed. Ha, I was sure that wouldn’t last to long but glad they were standing.
Some pics we took as we walked around warming up.
Kurt was pleasantly suprised to see Junior so quiet but that is how he was the last hunt. Still a bit jiggy but no bucking, rearing or other behavior that you would rather not deal with. I really do think the saddle was bothering him because out of all the years I have owned him I have never seen him want to be ignorant and try to get the rider off. That is just not his nature at all so a good lesson in being a bit more proactive about getting the saddle fitter out quicker!
We all started out in the back of second field just in case we had any issues we didn’t want to disturb anyone but all of our horses were fairly relaxed. Charlie still likes to give a few bucks but they aren’t mean just weeee…this is fun type of stuff. No big deal and expected out of a young horse on his second hunt. Kurt was just beaming with happiness and having a blast on Junior. He was jumping all the little jumps and said he just put his hands down and let Junior do his thing. Amanda’s horse started out really quietly but then geared up. He did well when we were moving but wasn’t keen on standing for to long. At one point, he ran backwards at a high speed clearing out everyone. It was kind of funny but I tried not to laugh 🙂 Overall, he was excellent for his first hunt! Doris’s horse stormy is a big palomino QH who is quite strong so he was pulling her arms out a bit but seemed to be enjoying himself. Finding the right bit out in the hunt field is very important. You need to be able to stop and rate your horse. She was riding in a pelham but I think a gag would be more helpful as he pulls down so you want to be able to lift up a bit.
We had a couple good canters but mostly walking with some trot mixed in. The horses seemed to have a great time and we all enjoyed ourself. The food afterwards was yummy and you always work up a good appetite. I was slightly sore but poor Kurt was dying last night 🙂 Someone needs to ride more than once a week if he wants to foxhunt!