I have ALWAYS wanted to go fox hunting. Always. I distinctly remember looking up local hunts when I was in high school and trying to figure out how to make it happen with my event horse. I never knew anyone that did it though, and was too chicken as a teenager to just go and see what I was all about.
So how did I finally realize this decades long dream? A fellow blogger and friend invited me to come ride with her hunt. Knowing that Rio wasn’t an option, she assured me that several hunt members have extra horses that could be borrowed. Funny enough, I has actually discussed reviving my hunts dream recently with my friend Maggie, so when Tara extended the offer I jumped on it, asking if Maggie could come too! We picked a date, and Tara explained the attire (which is basically just show clothes).
I have to admit though, I was a bit nervous. My research into fox hunting during my teenage days had taught me that fox hunting is steeped in tradition. There are many phrases and customs to which one could easily have a faux pas without ever realizing you did anything wrong. Lucky for me, the hunt I was invited to ride with (Brazos Valley Hunt) is VERY nice, and were more then happy to explain the etiquette and rules to Maggie and I. Everyone was EXTREMELY welcoming and friendly. The horses that were provided for us were absolutely wonderful as well. We couldn’t have asked for better behaved mounts.
My mount was a darling QH type named Cowboy Chili. I believe this was only his 3rd time out with the hunt, but he was amazing. With an incredibly smooth trot and canter, I could have ridden this guy all day. Maggie had a sweet mare named Sweetie Pie, who is also a polo pony. We quickly realized her name was a perfect fit as well.
The hunt started out pretty brisk with mostly trotting and cantering. After a nice little jaunt the hounds got a bit distracted which gave us a welcome breather to relax and take in the beautiful scenery. The rest of the hunt was pretty laid back, so once it was over a few of us decided to hack out some more. We went for a few nice gallops and it was AMAZING. I can’t remember the last time I galloped in the open countryside. My mount was foot perfect; he seemed to revel in the brisk gallop but was also easy to settle and bring back down.
After the horses were cooled out and back at the trailer, we all enjoyed a wonderful pot luck lunch completed with champagne. This is DEFINITELY the kind of Saturday morning activity I could get used too! Moral of the story, if you ever get the chance to ride with a hunt, DO IT!