So, yesterday was the Thanksgiving Hunt. It was 28 degrees when I left my house and not a car on the road. If you listened really carefully, you could hear the roasting pans sliding into hot ovens. But I wasn't intent on the day's food. I was going riding. That pioneer kid shaking in anticipation...
|Photo by ONBH Member, Rick Arsenault|
Generally, the field heads off at a good clip, each horse knowing which buttocks to follow. There is order and flow. It might have been the cold air or it might have been holiday happiness or perhaps the stirrup cup before we left... all of us were on steeds breathing fire. They wanted to run after our pack of tonguing hounds. They would not be denied their gallop.
You can tell the real Hunt Horses from the rest. They stand at the checks, ears rigid following the sound of the happy hounds. Their stillness hides their readiness to dash off the moment the hounds are cast... As I looked around,I noticed most of these intent ponies were mares... hmm a job? A task? You can hear the whispering... are you ready? I've got it! There they go! Tally ho!
And, my little pony? Somehow a week's worth of Lyme treatment and a fabulous dressage lesson the night before gave her wings and attitude. She jumped everything as if she was running Rolex... careful, clean and really, really big!
|Photo by Rick Arsenault|
Sug was wearing studs to counter the slippery frost. They gave her the ground... The first two pieces were brilliant... she wanted more and after the last 4' leap over a Novice/BN log pile into a stunning pirouette and thus avoiding the member in the scarlet coat.. I banned her to the very last spot in the Hilltoppers where she had to walk, trot and canter like a normal horse... not her fantasy - a fiery breathing timber horse.
|Photo by Donna Rassulo|
The Hunt ended on a beautiful estate in Concord with a Stirrup Cup. Riders on one side of the fence and 50 or so guests on the other... being served sherry, hot broth and grilled sausages on silver platters by wait staff in tuxedos.
The sun was shining. The air warmed by its rays... was it the broth? the sherry? Or was it the comradely of a group of pioneers out for a holiday ride?