Blessing of the Hounds, Pepperell, 11.19

We had a beautiful day for our Blessing of the Hounds and we all felt particularly blessed to have the opportunity to hunt these beautiful fields. This day was made possible by the unflagging work of Jon and Anne Kaiser, Janet Marantz, Marjorie Franko, Lori Baldwin and other volunteers who spent the last two weeks clearing the trails.

Thanks also to Noel Estes who arranged the details of the Blessing and to the Kaisers and the Greenbergs for the tasty tea.

The first field was led by Wendy Good and Hilltoppers were led by Debbe Kelley. We had three casts in all, ending with a very picturesque ride up through the apple orchard.

You can click on the large photo below to advance the slideshow or click on any of the smaller photos to enlarge them.

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Joint Hunt with Tanheath 11/6

Yesterday we had a joint meet with Tanheath in Pomfret, Connecticut. It was a beautiful day and it seems a shame to miss out on any opportunity to explore some new territory. It was only 24 degrees when we left the barn but had warmed up to a whopping 27 during the hour and 20 minute drive.

As we drove up to the parking area we were already excited about the ride to come — the countryside was lovely. Very reminiscent of England with its open fields and greenery.

The hunt started with their Blessing of the Hounds. With the hounds and staff silhouetted in the morning sun and the light mist that rose of the fields it was a special moment where we gave thanks to the hounds, our horses and the fox.

We rode off through some exquisite fields peppered with inviting looking natural fences. Sadly, the fields were still very wet from the freak snow storm last week, so we were only able to jump two of them. I must come back and ride here again!

We didn’t get to see much of the hounds on the hunt — they disappeared soon into the hunt; I’m not sure what scent they were following, but only a few of the hounds stuck with us. I know from friends who’ve hunted with Tanheath before that this is a great pack and we were just unlucky that that we missed out on their music.

We did have some nice canters and enjoyed the new views and vistas. For Freedom the most exciting part of the hunt was the llama. We were cantering up a dirt road and there was a fenced in field on our right that held two llamas and a goat. Right when we got next to them, the white llama moved! That caused a huge spook to the left (he didn’t know they were alive until the moved) that torqued my knee something terrible and left Freedom snorting in disbelief.

All in all, it was a very pleasant ride. We met some nice people, enjoyed the territory and even basked in the sun (it was 62 degrees when we got back to the trailers). It was also a pleasure to get the chance to ride with Ginny — usually we see her only from a distance.

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When you can’t hunt, kayak!

Earlier this spring we all suffered from the heavy rain. But Marjorie and Larry may have experienced the most dramatic flooding.

So, Marjorie likes kayaking, right?
Just not usually in her back yard!
At least she had fun with the flooding!