Archive of ‘The Horses’ category

End of the Season

It’s always bittersweet to attend the last hunt of the season. I love the formality, but hate to see the season end. The first and last hunts are the most formal, at least they are with the hunt I’m a member. Horses are gussied up with baths and braids. There are usually more guests attending. The meal is a little fancier after the ride.

Thankfully the weather was warmer for closing than opening this season. I rushed home after work on Friday night to get Noelle bathed while the sun was still out.

Sudsy pony

Sudsy pony

I don’t think I’ve ever bathed Noelle before. It wasn’t her first bath, but I don’t think she loved it. She kept trying to get the hose in her mouth. I’m not sure if that was to play or just to get it away from me! Spring is shedding season so between her taking the hose away and all the hair flying around I was a filthy mess and she was squeaky clean.

All clean!

All clean!

I got up early the morning of the hunt to braid her mane. She was a patient girl and I just love how the horses look when they are all braided.

All dressed up

All dressed up

It rained a bit early on so we dressed our horses all up in sheets to keep our saddles dry before heading out.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

We had a great turnout for Closing. Most of our regular members as well as a few guests. It was an exciting end as we really got to see the hounds work. The scent was rising fast, but the hounds were on it! I learn more every season about the hounds and how our hound master guides them. Hopefully next year I’ll get to ride up with the hound master a few times.

Release the hounds!

Release the hounds!

Noelle was great. This is the first hunt season I’ve ridden her so you never know how the horse will react to the commotion. No matter how old or seasoned the horse they can have a strong reaction to the hounds or the other horses on the hunt. I rode with the Hilltopping group who traditionally ride on the hilltops and watch the faster groups. In reality we ride pretty close behind the first field, depending on the terrain of the property. In this photo the first field is in front of us. The field masters wear the red coats and we ride behind the masters. There is much tradition in the hierarchy of where people ride. Collar colors denote status as do buttons with the hunt’s initials. I’m at the very back of the group. Not because of the hierarchy, but because Noelle is kind of slow.

Closing Hunt 2014

Closing Hunt 2014

In a few weeks the hound show season will start. So, until November, this is the last hunt post! Tally ho, y’all!

Hilltoppers

Hilltoppers

Celebrate with Coco Chanel

“Elegance is when the inside is as beautiful as the outside.” Coco Chanel

A very lovely creature celebrates her second birthday today!

Baby Coco

I forget how much horses change in the first few years of their lives.

Coco RPSI trot

Sometimes I still have to pinch myself that I’m so lucky to have Coco Chanel. She is the daughter of Mai Tai, an up and coming jumper at October Hill Farm by the late Coconut Grove. She exemplifies the best in both of her parents. I can’t wait to see what her future holds!

Anna Routh Photography

Anna Routh Photography

Next year at this time she’ll be getting her first rides and having a rendezvous with Cartier R at Rising Star Farms!

Coco 0314

Happy second birthday Coco Chanel!

November means Opening Hunt!

November brings with it many reasons to be excited. Family gatherings to celebrate Thanksgiving, the launch of Christmas season, the leaves changing colors on the trees, and Opening Hunt! I was introduced to fox hunting in Texas in the fall of 2010 and fell in love with the sport instantaneously. The lovely horses, dapper hunt coats, flasks of good cheer, handsome hounds and the overall camaraderie of riders.

Opening Hunt this year was a bit later in November than is customary which may be why it was SO much colder than usual! When I arrived at the hunt I was greeted with messages that we were going to go ahead and bless the hounds, but skip actually riding out as it was cold and freezing rain. Many of us were disappointed at the prospect of not riding after getting up early (or staying up late) to braid horses and prepare formal hunt attire so were delighted when the decision was reversed to ride out. Some had already taken horses back to cozy stalls, but about 15 riders remained and made the best of the cold weather.

Our Masters and hunt staff led the hound blessing for the 2013-2014 hunt season and we were off. The weather started to turn when we were about half way out and so we turned for an earlier than normal arrival back to the host’s home for lunch, but it was well worth the ride out. One rider was unseated, but incurred no injury other than pride. Many of the hounds were young and hunting only for the second or third time. No quarry was followed, but we did see rabbits and deer.

I look forward to the remaining hunt season with my old partner, Jaguar.

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