Saturday, September 17th, was one of those perfect riding days. It was clear and crisp, without a bug in sight. In foxhunting terms, we are “cubbing”. Traditionally in the early fall this is when you take out the hounds, who have been mostly roaded or walked over the summer, and get them fit. It’s a time to introduce young hounds and it’s a great time for new riders or new horses to get introduced to the sport because it’s a bit slower and shorter. The traditional aim of cubbing was to disperse the adolescent fox cubs throughout the territory. Of course, since we are a drag hunt, there are no foxes, cubs or otherwise, so it’s more accurate to call it our informal season.
We hunted in a lovely and historical territory off of Monument Street in Concord. Despite the proximity to Boston, this is a territory that still has some lovely open fields and wooded trails. Conveniently, there are cross country jumps that are built along the trails that are begging to be jumped.
Saturday’s hunt was at a more leisurely pace than we would take later in the season. Some of the hounds are young and they needed some coaxing to stay on scent. We had two casts (the third part of our territory was being used for a historical re-enactment) and they gave good “tongue” on the first cast and a bit less on the second.
Our huntsman brought three and a half couples to hunt: Apple, Diva, Justice, Jeannie, Charger, Cameo, and Concord. Whips that day were Rhonda Hettinger and Lori Baldwin, assisted by Britni Baldwin.
It was a great day to be out riding with friends and listening to the hounds work. Really, it was almost a timeless experience. Being steeped in the history of the hunt and the history of the territory made it a very cool experience.
Somewhat optimistically I carried my tiny Flip video camera with me to try to record the hunt. Unfortunately, Freedom really needs two hands on the reins right now so I got only a few useable snippets which I will piece together. Maybe I need to go the helmet cam route. Or buy a tiny camera that I can hold in my hand without letting go of the reins.
Here’s a brief glimpse of our second cast.