Tally Ho! Ho! Ho!
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah =)
WHAT A DAY! Saturday was everything you would want in a hunt: Perfect weather, great footing, wide open fields for some FAST running, incredible views of two big, fat coyotes and a beautifully decorated house with delicious food!
About 40 people showed up at Steve and Jana’s s farm in Arlington on a beautiful Saturday morning. No W and sunny. Landowners showed up to see what all this hub-bub was about, Steve and Jana served port and Jana gave a blessing to everyone in which she concluded by wishing us all some Christmas Cheer =)
Huntsman Dave took 26 NHH hounds out-the most he has ever had out at one time. They are so biddable and our whips are excellent. Fast, well mounted and great riders. Our whips this weekend: Bre (for about 5 minutes and then her horse went lame), Adam G (he moved up from the field to take Bre’s place as a pocket whip) Helen S and Samantha M, Nancy E and Jubilee M. Road whips were Steve Kruger and Larry S with Bre as his co-pilot.
Huntsman Dave carried the hounds to the first cover, some CRP, nothing and from there he went from creek beds, to creek beds. Coyotes bed down next to the water, they can get drinks easily during the day without blowing their cover, sun themselves and stay out of the wind. Nothing. The field is having a fun time laughing and carrying on. We stop for a quick WW break. Steve and Jana have cookies, beer and water
Photo credit: Jana Kruger
We moved off and kept hunting. On a personal note, my horse Sinatra, was significantly better. We cantered A LOT and as he leaped up an embankment from the field onto the road-I made a grab for his mane and missed completely. It got really ugly for a moment and the only reason I stayed on was the fear of falling off onto the gravel road and because I held on to the reins=his mouth and just about pulled out every tooth in his mouth. Sorry =(
As we are moving through a field at a pretty good clip, the hounds push through this small patch of tall grass and weeds and out jumps this HUGE coyote! TALLY HO! Huntsman Dave is encouraging the hounds, the hounds are screaming after the coyote and the field is RUNNING like the wind-including 2nd flight. Jenni Toebben on her wonderful mare, Roxi, is leading 2nd flight-right into first flight! There is no distinction, everyone is riding hard and fast.
We have a loss and Huntsman Dave gathers all the hounds and we head from home. We’ve been out about 2 hours and by the time we get home, eat, load the horses and get home-it’s a long day for everyone.
Gathering the hounds Photo credit: Stephanie Caston Auck
We are about 1/2 mile from the trailers and we’re walking back home on the buckle (not me) When all of a sudden the hounds break loose, this big coyote goes flying out of the creek straight East and we are headed South and unable to cross the creek. We are galloping all the way to the road, we hit the road and we are running HARD east to get the next field. We have lost sight of the hounds, but the road whips are filling in and doing a fantastic job staying up with the hounds. Bonado hits the coyote and rolls it, but it gets up and escapes. We’ll have to chase him another day!
Keith Rohwer has donated a whole bunch of steel culverts for the Arlington country. Once they are put in, we will be able to cross these creeks and avoid the long race to the nearest road. YOU ROCK, Keith!
While the hounds are running, a field with about 10 cows decides to blow right through their hot wire. To clarify, the hounds didn’t go in their field. It’s a one wire fence, usually hooked up to a truck battery. One cow will decide to take the hit for the team and they can bust that wire down and then go on a walk-about. The farmer who owns those cows was not pleased. However, he got his truck stuck in the creek, Huntsman Dave pulled him out with Steve’s tractor, Steve helped him gather the cows and put them back in their corn field, all was well. The farmer wasn’t happy that his cows got out, but we are still welcome to ride on his land. Cows can get riled up rather easily.
We returned to Steve and Jana’s festive house for chili, chicken and rice soup, vegetable soup, these delicious rolls and all sorts of cookies!
What a PERFECT ending to a PERFECT day! (except for the little blow up with the landowner)
I would like to discuss polite protocol in the field. This can be very touchy. We have great riders, which usually equates to tough people-ain’t many wimps out there riding. I made a mistake while leading the field. I was riding a green horse, this was his second hunt in the field (he was a whips horse in Burwell one weekend) I should have had a prominent green ribbon in his tail. I also asked a friend to ride up front with me. The horse she rode has kicked once. Last fall (2016) in Burwell, his very first hunt. He has been ridden by multiple people, including our Huntsman, the MVH Huntsman and I don’t believe that he has kicked again, nor has he ever kicked at a hound. I should have had a red ribbon in his tail. The rider did ride up front, she has her colors and she did ride to the side. I heard a lot of grumblings about a horse riding up front that could kick. I don’t want to upset others and I was confident that my rider was in full control of the situation and she was. She rode up front with me last week and there weren’t any issues. All horses can kick, especially green hunt horses, and many of us ride to close to others as we laugh and talk. That all being said, I made a mistake by not having the appropriate ribbons in our horses tails and if I should ask someone to ride up with me again, I will make sure the horse hasn’t kicked in the past. My horse ended up kicking Mary Curan in the foot. Thankfully, she wasn’t hurt. I spanked my horse multiple times to let him know that that behavior is unacceptable.
This brings up other horses that have green ribbons in their tails, please give them plenty of room. They will most likely be anxious and crowding them with only amplify the situation. We ride in huge fields, there isn’t any reason to ride as close as we do-unless you’re handing off a flask =)
For those with red ribbons, PLEASE ride to the outside of your field. You don’t always have to ride to the back, you can ride up front-if you have colors-just ride to the side and stay away from others. When going through a narrow opening, a gate, creek crossing, etc, you will then have to pull to the back. It is your responsibility as the rider of a horse with a red ribbon to ride with consideration of others in the field. We want everyone to be as safe as possible-as we gallop like wild cowboys, cowgirls and Indians across the wide open Plains.
My rider of the Week is Jenni Toebben. She was our Second Flight leader. She led her field and kept up with First Flight!
Thank you to everyone for RSVPing. There was plenty of food and the Krugers greatly appreciated it.
This Saturday we are hunting in Cumberland. Please RSVP to MFH Monte A : firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a wonderful week and a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukkah!
Carine, NHH Honorary Secretary
Sintra, Fox Hunter in training