After I wrote the blog post on Letterman he decided to complicate my life with a really strange injury. He managed to do this to his foot:
No clue how he did this but he is now out of work until this grows back. He is wearing a hospital plate which is basically a metal plate that attaches to the shoe that covers the foot. I can unscrew the plate every other day and treat the foot but the rest of the time the foot is covered.
I was pretty depressed because I was just making some progress but I know injuries are part of being involved with horses so I just roll with the punches. I still have Ridge and the new horse to ride. I also have Junior to ride and I can hunt him. Speaking of Ridge….have you ever had a horse do something to ruin a sale? Some lovely people traveled down to see him driving several hours. He was going nicely and was perfectly sound (as he has been!). I am jumping some jumps and I land over a jump and all of a sudden he comes up lame. We can’t find anything wrong so I think it must just be a muscle pull but they don’t even get a chance to ride him. The next day he is 80% better????????? Seriously..really..seriously?? This is not funny! They really like him but they are making a trip out of the country for 3wks and the timing isn’t great.
I was in a bit of a funk and didn’t even want to look at a horse for a few days there but when I got the offer to ride Areutrue on a foxhunt I knew I needed to jump on it.
Bling and Artie have been foxhunting with Wicomico Hunt. Bling started right out leading the second field and he is doing wonderful. It was so much fun to watch Bling in action. He still is a bit antsy at the checks but as the day goes he gets better and better. He is one of those horses that listens to the hounds. I could tell he was watching and anticipating when we would be moving and where we would be going.
Here are some pictures of Bling looking gorgeous out in the hunt field.
This is Artie back when he was with me-
Jim had bought him to hunt but when his wife started riding him she kicked Jim off and told him to get his own horse :) Jim came back to shop for another and that is how he ended up with Bling. Artie has been out hunting a few times and has been excellent! He also took out a guest last weekend and then I hopped on him yesterday. Yes, he is just that special that as a green hunt horse he will still pack you around.
I believe that I hunted two seasons with Wicomico previously but I am not sure that I had been on as fast as a hunt as we had yesterday. There was only one field as there were only ten of us at the most. Jim was leading the group on Bling. The hounds were cast and about 5 min in they started running. We were at the C&R Center (right around the corner from my house) which is surrounded by tax ditches so the hounds were crossing in the ditches and we had to gallop around to try to stay up with them. We were moving! Started out cantering along jumping some jumps as we went and then we were flying down the dirt road trying to keep up. Sometimes we were single file and other times we all galloped side by side. It was totally exhilarating to be flying along so fast.
Artie was giving me an amazing ride. That horse is just so light in the mouth and comfortable to ride. I had contact in the reins but he never took a hold or pulled down. He flew across the ground like it wasn’t even an effort for him. He watched the other horses in front him and adjusted his stride as needed. He was doing flying changes around every corner. He did give me a thrill when he jumped a HUGE ditch and I mean jumped the whole damn thing that was about 12ft wide. I felt him gather and thought oh boy slip the reins and stay back. He tripped a little bit on the landing but being an athletic Tb he picked himself up and went right back to galloping. Gotta love a good TB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were whipping around the corners in the woods and he felt super balanced and agile. We had made a complete loop and came back through where the trailers were at and we were not quite sure where the hounds were at. We took a little breather at this point which was a good thing because the horses were cooked and we were all hot. We had been going hard for an hour and we never even saw the hounds working.
The huntsman called the hounds in and we called it a day. It was a short hunt but I think the horses were all done anyway. Getting out and hunting on such a fantastic horse totally improved my mood. I was tired but felt on top of the world. There is nothing like a ride like that on a great horse!
I am really happy that Bling and Artie have turned out to be great mounts in the hunt field but I did always feel pretty confident they would be. You just really get to know your horses and I can get a good sense of how they will handle the things that happen in the hunt field. I have to say that Bling and Artie are great marketing tools for CANTER because there have been a lot of people asking where Jim bought them and if I have more like them :)
We also now have No Time for Love who is hunting with my friend Alison and he is doing fantastic. He has a lot of admirers as well and is Alison’s second horse that she has bought from CANTER MA. She is having a blast with him and is hunting several times a week.
We clipped Junior last night so he will go out hunting here soon but he is a bit difficult. I think hunting on a good horse is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have but on a horse that is a bit tough it is not as fun. Junior just wants to go..go and go. He is never bad but he would prefer to lead and not follow! He doesn’t really settle. A hunt like yesterday would have been fine for him because it was a fast hunt but on a slow day he is a bit of a brat. I like hunting enough that I will ride anything so he better get ready :)