Fox Hunting Balancing Act

Imatexan Fox HuntingI know we spoke briefly after the hounds came in yesterday but I don’t know if I was able to convey to you just how wonderful the day was. Dooley county is always a great fixture as it is wide open cotton farm land with lots of game. . . and I was not disappointed!

It was warm and dry so scenting was going to be tough. We started slowly with ample time for Imatexan to settle in before we hit the first line. I was in the back of first flight and those of us on that tail end happened to see a coyote sneak out behind us and trot off, thinking he had totally outwitted those hounds who must have walked right by him. Guy put the hounds on the line and we were off to the races. An eight mile run to start the day! We finally lost him in some brush but after a short check they
picked up the line again and we were in for another five mile run. I did not think Texan was in that great a shape but she never slowed down!

There was one run across a harvested cotton field that was as fast as I’ve ever gone on a horse. And the best part was she was never heavy in my hands or on her forehand. She has great balance . I felt so safe that I pulled out my little pocket camera and videoed the run as we passed riders and slower hounds!

During the second run we were turning into another field and all of the sudden there was a huge hole in front of her. It must have been two feet deep and as much across. I debated trying to steer her around it but it was on us so fast that in all honesty I don’t think I would have had time to do so even if I had tried.

And in hindsight I probably would have only made matters worse.

She was on her left lead and by the time her right foot went straight down in the hole, she had moved forward to her left fore and just never had to put any weight on that right one. It was like a stride on air!

The back feet floundered a little when they hit the edge of the hole but no fall. I’m not sure I would have been so lucky on a less agile horse. I understand what they mean when they say your life flashes before your eyes but this was so quick I think I only got a year or so!

She repeatedly did flying lead changes as we went from field to field to make the turns. It was so smooth I barely could feel it happen.

I think the best compliment of the day (and she gets SO many compliments) was when another rider told me she had never seen a horse look like it was having so much fun hunting. I really need to get some Bits & Bytes Farm business cards. Lots of people tell me they would prefer a TB for the speed and athleticism but did not know they could be so sane. I tell them they have not been dealing with the quality horses you have access to. I am constantly impressed with the level headedness with which she deals with hunting. We went thru one deep ditch that culled out a number of seasoned hunting horses but it was no problem for her.

I have been hunting her with a red ribbon in her tail just to make sure people would not crowd her as she learns this sport (I guess I really should have been using a green one). When we were coming in, one of the other riders mentioned that she had lost her ribbon on one of the runs. The flight all agreed that it was a sign that she no longer needed one!

All in all a great day! At one point at a check, she even had a hound go between her legs to get to the huntsman and did not worry a bit about it! I think ( no…….I know) I have found my hunt horse!

She got out of the trailer when I got home and cantered up and down the airplane’s runway as if to say ” I’m just warmed up…..when do we go again!” Me? I’m heading to the hot tub!

You really have to think about going with me some time. I would be honored for you to ride Texan and see just what a great horse you fixed me up with.

Thanks for making at all possible.