Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tally-Ho; a hunting we shall go!

The quietness around the blog of late is due in part to me actually riding instead. One day I'll figure out how to ride and blog regularly, at the same time, but not this week.

There's been several times over the past month that I've been itching to sit down and blog, but to be entirely honest the home office has been completely full of half deflated birthday balloons and the aftermath of a temporary bird sanctuary where I was looking after a very sick bird. Sitting down in here was a constant reminder that it was well overdue a spring clean. Somehow I have managed to get that tedious job done, and being in here no longer makes me feel like a terrible housewife and so I'm all good to get some writing done; huzzah! 

As the title suggests, we're going hunting!! It's really coincidental timing actually as I was doing a few grid exercises with Oscar last week and he was just so lethargic it was exhausting. Completely behind my leg the whole time, and just not carrying me to the fence. I was working so hard getting him in front of my leg that actually completing the exercises became a second thought and I only got one successful attempt the whole ride. More on those grids later though.

As I was riding my horse, who felt a lot like this over those simple jumps:

I was thinking (in other words, but I will use the stereotype for effect) "by golly Jefferson, this nag needs a good hunt!". As I said, that sentence was said a little differently, ha, but perhaps playing the typical English hunts-person will make me less nervous about the whole thing. Then I laughed because I am waaay too chicken to go hunting! Plus, I'm mostly a vegan. I won't eat an ice cream because those Facebook bastards filled my timeline with day-old calves suspended by their hocks and so hunting is surely not quite my cup of soy milk tea. 

So, fast forward to today. I was pottering around, washing my trucking boots and re-folding some of my stable rugs into their plastic storage containers when L shows up to collect the horse float for its warrant of fitness. As I open the gate, all smiles because it's a wonderful and sunny day, he drops in that I'm going hunting on Sunday. He's just come from one of his clients and instead of paying for a pony trim, she's taking me hunting instead. I know better than to argue with this client; she'll have her way any time a coconut and 99% of the time that's a good thing. For the first time in forever, I was really genuinely enjoying show jumping (well, practising it) and it was down to her forcing me to just do it.  

Right now, I'm swinging from manically excited to nervous wreck. None of those states of mind are preferable over the other. 

Firstly, it's my first hunt ever. When I think of hunting, I picture a big bunch of horses all galloping full speed at a wire fence - which, naturally, is just waiting to flip us over and slice up my horse's legs. I need a nervous pee just typing that. If my horse makes it alive in one piece, I know he has a tendency to do a kind of 'corkscrewing' action into the fences when he is over excited and the likelihood of this happening is pretty high. I may get bucked off and I am about as co-ordinated as a baby giraffe these days so my landing won't be too graceful. 

Then I realise how ridiculous I am at times, and instead get excited. Realistically my horse is the perfect horse for hunting. He is strong with an okay jump in spite of his dangly knees, doesn't leap or take off two strides early, and he is as honest as the day is long. I could put him at the worst spot possible and he will still attempt the jump. He has ran out at a fence once, and has never stopped. You could ride either a goat or an elephant up his arse and he couldn't care less, and dogs or cats between his legs is no drama. He's attempted to bolt once, two strides of me hauling on his mouth and he felt differently about that trick. I've broken my hip on a bolting horse so it certainly puts the shits up me now ha. 

So, even if the hunting scene was a little exciting to begin with, he'll tire pretty quickly and it will be awesome! I have a strange feeling that hunting will probably be his #MostFavouriteThingEver. 

And there we go, I'm swinging back and forth between freaking out and being totally freaking excited! I'm tramping up Mount Taranaki on Friday with a friend and at this point, if I was to roll my ankle quite severely on a boulder, I'd probably thank that kind bit of rock and continue pottering around in my comfort zone. Just because it would stop the mixed feelings of excitement and nerves. A major downside of only having limited outings throughout the year is that you don't really get a chance to find your rhythm when taking your horse out. It's all a bit stressful. Though on that note, I do like to grab any opportunity to go out by the horns. Never sure when the next opportunity will be, and with a $4.5k vet bill sitting on my desk, I certainly can't afford to question a 'free' outing! 

A hunting we shall go, Oscar! The white breeches are already hot soaking, and L has gone to pick up the jacket I've had on lay buy for ages! Don't know if my current buttonless jacket will make the cut this time around..


  1. Sounds like it could be so fun! Many well wishes to you on your big adventure!

    1. Thank you! I have been looking at a couple of bloggers who blogged about their hunting experiences and I'm definitely thinking it will be great fun!

  2. Hunting is the bomb. It can be whatever you want it to be hack over farmland going through gates, high speed galloping over fences while swigging from the flask. The only thing I will say is take it easy for the first few because if you teach your horse to run with the hunt everytime they can get very very hot

    1. Oh that makes perfect sense- thanks for that! Definitely getting more excited than nervous now!

  3. That sounds so exciting!! I would love to go on a hunt, just once, and I don't even jump lol. I'd probably skip the fences. I'd be just like you though, right down to the rolled ankle scenario. It's so annoying how anxiety yanks our emotions around. I bet you'll have a blast though and I can't wait to read about it.

  4. How exciting!! I've watched several hunts over here and they look like so much fun! You'll have a great time, try to enjoy it :)