A day with horses and hounds

After the hunter pace a few weeks ago I sat down to read the magazine of the Eglinton and Caledon Hounds, Stirrup Cup. I was fascinated at the professionalism and uniqueness of the hunt club that had hosted the hunter pace, and I wanted to know more. I reached out to the secretary and found out I could join the club as a social member, no riding required, but the opportunity is available. As a social member, all the socialising events are available to me, I could come out to any meet and join the before and after events, as well as the riding opprunity a few times a year. Sign me up.

So I did. Today was the open meet when everyone comes out in their finest. I met some lovely people who have been hunting for years and years and everyone was so welcoming! The land owners of the property the trailers were parked in and where the hunt set off from were delighted to meet anyone from the hunt and allowed for the formal opening of hunt season including using their yard for the ceremonial stirrup cup. It was a lovely glass of port too!

After the stirrup cup was drank, the whole group set off and jumped an inviting log before heading out down the tree lined lane behind the hounds.

It was quite warm today and I rode out with Hugo, the road whip. It was our job to make sure the hounds kept to the brush and didn’t cross into land they weren’t supposed to. The first field was busy trying to keep the unruly hounds in sight as they got a scent and lost it a few times, going in a big circle around several fields and then back in the other direction. The second field was happy to follow along at a distance, a good number of them choosing not to jump the first fence even. It seems like there is something for everyone here. The adrenaline junkies, the gallopers, the walkers, the green horses, there was even a Paso Fino!

The second field arrives in sight of the road. With the first field off following the hounds, they relaxed in the shade before taking the horses for a canter around the field. How perfect would that be!

Finally the Master called it a day and everyone headed back to the trailers. There’s a formal Breakfast tonight, but I can’t make it, it’s a bit of a drive. The meet this morning was almost an hour and a half from home, but what a great day to drive through Ontario countryside and see the early leaves changing.

My goal is to take Cisco out with her friend Odie (of the hunter pace) once this hunt season. We would happily cruise with the second field. Next weekend we’re taking on another hunter pace as part of Team Krystal Point. This time last year this nervous rider only dreamed of riding out with the hounds. Now all I need is a trailer ride there and it can happen. I can’t say I won’t be screaming on the inside once we’re out there, but with all the saddle time this summer and my confidence in me and Cisco growing with each ride, the nerves will be in my back pocket and my brave pants firmly on to be part of this idyllic fall scene. Stay tuned to see if we get out there!

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