Sugar and I are in NJ for Christmas (Yes, I am the crazy single person who brings all of the animals home for the holidays - coming to a Lifetime Movie soon.) She is enjoying the attention of my 15 year old niece (and I hope my niece is enjoying her.)
There is something amazing to be in the place where you grew up, to be able to share your horse with someone you love and then, take her foxhunting for the first time. Ok, and it was absolutely fabulous for me to be able to hunt Sugar in territory where, as a young 20 sumthin, I played. And, with an old school hunt club hunting live.
Our hunt club is a drag hunt. And, no... the men are not dressed up in fancy clothes. Wait, they are but in red hunting frocks not women's dresses. Wait, what are frocks? That sounds a lot like women's clothes.
|ONBH Pack - Fall 2013|
Hunting live is unpredictable. No one knows where a fox will show up and how fast and far they will run. The Huntsman may have a good idea of where to send the hounds but nothing is guaranteed except, maybe a good time with like minded folk!
|ONBH Pic, not this hunt!|
It was a methodical ride as the pack hunted for the wile fox occasionally giving a yip, a bark as the scent grew stronger and quieted as it faded away. The footing was slippery and the Fieldmaster was cautious and meticulous in following the pack. It might have been boring if it weren't for the magnificent hound work and gorgeous views.
Then a huge white tailed doe burst from the woods and bounded, white tail flagging her way. I gasped, just sure that the hounds would run riot after the deer. Nothing... these hounds knew that deer were not their prey and continued moving forward with nary a look.
Minutes later, the strike hound screamed that the fox was found and the pack tongued wildly as the chase ensued. 39 hounds in hot pursuit - a sight and sound to behold. (Suzanne, I thought you said that 40 hounds went out.... Yes, I did but I believe this cute little black and tan was meandering somewhere else.)
|Whip pic but not of this hunt.|
Did I miss the big gallops? Just a little bit... What I lost in speed and thrills, I gained in the most awesome hound work - sights, sounds and scents. My only regret was that I have no pictures to share.
Close your eyes, picture a hill painted dark orange, flecked in gold and brown. There is a man, dressed in red riding a white horse. He is standing at attention waiting for the Huntsman. The sky behind him is gray with billowing charcoal clouds - breathtaking!
I am a lucky girl, INDEED!