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Friday, March 2, 2012

The Fox Hunt

Fox Hunt, oh Fox Hunt, how do I hate thee.  Let me count the ways.  Well to quote that great midtwentieth century pundit, Mr. Buddy Hackett, "I hate thee with hot heaping hunks of hate."

Let me set the record straight.  This is a no kill hunt.  Though I suspect that every now and again they run into, quite by accident, a corpse, which makes their entire week.  No I hate them for other reasons.

Let me set the stage.

It's a beautiful fall, winter, or spring day and you are at the barn grooming your horse, when like the theme song from Jaws, you hear it.  A far off thundering of hooves growing closer, and closer until like some malevolent force of nature it's on top of you. Actually, for the sake of accuracy it's on the next door farm, but who cares.  There they are screaming and shrieking and blaring horns as the gallop across the fields. And lets not forget the dogs, barking their fool heads off.  And we are not talking about ten or twenty riders. Oh no, there are about fifty hunt club members and when you add in the officials and all of their jolly friends and relatives, your talking about almost eighty screamers. And since they all ride at different abilities, it takes them a good hour or so to pass through.  As the dust settles, you turn and face your bug eyed, freaked out horse and realize that whatever you had planned was not happening.  So, all you can do is try and calm you horse down before turning her out and heading for home.

A friend of mine is a trainer and she was working with a two year old green broke gelding.  He was peacefully grazing in his pasture the day the hunt passed through.  The poor little boy became so hysterical he broke through the fence, injuring himself. When my friend caught up to him, he had crossed the road, and was halfway through the corn field heading for the highway.  Now to be fair the hunt club did help her catch him, pay his vet bills and had her fence repaired.  But still.

I have to hand this to them, they are really talented riders. Several of them carry flasks as they ride. Now I don't know about you, but if I was sipping straight burbon, or scotch or brandy while I was riding, I wouldn't be galloping over the countryside, jumping four foot fences. Nope I would be eating dirt the first time the horse turned a corner at a walk.  And several of them are pushing eighty.  So when you realize the athletic achievement of a bunch of half looped senior citizens, they really do have to earn some modicum of grudging respect.

PS:  I have tried every way I can think of to get back to the old dashboard and turn off the comment setting, but I'm not having any luck.


  1. Oh, I love this post! Too hilarious!

    I think it would take a few sips of bourbon to get me out on a fox hunt period. Do you think horses just end up going with the flow in the hunt? I've often wondered, but am too chicken to try it out.

    Thanks for the support on Smokey, Maia. I really appreciate it...

  2. Btw, word verification is off. Congrats, you did it!

  3. A friend of mine went as a tag along, not a hunt club member. She's a second level dressage rider and her skills are excellent. She was just going to ride with them, and avoid the fences. The horse had other ideas and there she was in the thick of things. She told me she had never been so scared in her life, and kept thinking to herself, "God, if you just let me live through this hunt, I'll be so good you won't even recognize me."

  4. There are drag hunts around here too. How does Jolie handle the thundering hordes?

  5. She's curious. It's funny, she is the most fearless little thing I have ever seen.

  6. Sounds like a perfectly dreadful way to spend a nice day. Ruining it for everybody else in the process! They do a 'foxhunt 'here in nearby Marin. I've never been. Money and time doesn't always equal sense!
    To turn off the comments, on the new dashboard page you will see a gear icon in the top right. click on that and a drop down bar comes down. There is a place for you to go to the old interface. Go there, go to comments settings and you should be able to find where to turn yours off. I just did it five minutes ago as well. Good luck!

  7. Send me your email addy and I can send an invite~