What do you do when preparing
for the biggest competition of your life to date?
Throw everything out the window and go for a hunting lesson!
The Fort Leavenworth Hunt Club offers “8 Easy Lessons” as an introduction to
foxhunting.I have dreamed of riding
with the hunt since I read the book “Cinnabar the One o’ Clock Fox” in my
youth.I don’t know how many times I’ve
read the book, but my copy was well worn before I lost track of it…
My first lesson started out feeling much like a drill team practice.It was all about proper spacing.I need to see the hocks of the horse in front
of me between my horse’s ears.This is
not as easy as it sounds.What they didn’t
say is “If you can see the horse’s heels in front of you, you are getting left
The second part of the lesson was “TROT all the things!”Always trot.Long trot, short trot, middle trot…Trot!Trotting will conserve your
horse over the course of a day of hunting.We practiced trotting in line.We
practiced trotting over jumps in a line.We practiced trotting around trees in a line.
OK, everyone else practiced it at the trot…Whisper decided, “This is just dumb!” and proceeded to play the game at the world’s slowest canter! Rather than get left behind, I finally just let her canter.I figure, on the hunt, she’ll figure out how to trot when she gets tired….*IF* she gets tired…
Because, if I learned nothing else, I learned that the most important thing on the hunt is not to get left behind!!
We did the tree exercises 2x2... then 3x3... Oh, how fun!! Tandem jumping was involved, as well! The Fancy Pony didn't think that was anything new...
All in all, it was a great time, and I can't wait to go back! Hunting sounds like it will be a BLAST!