A Hunting Hiatus

Autumn march 2013Wow. The last couple months have been absolutely nuts. Due to 4 weeks of showing for the school equestrian team and an upper respiratory and sinus infection that knocked me out of school for 3 days, I actually had to go an entire 5 weeks and 3 days without even seeing the hunt field (not that I was counting). Consider this a warning to all: don’t try it. It’s not fun.

Every morning, I would wake up and the first thing I’d see as I climbed out of bed is my collage of hunting photos on my wall, which led me to wonder if they’re actually making being away from the hunt field better or just throwing salt in the wound…I opted for the first option, so I’d just add yet another photo to the collection, throw a quick mental fit about the withdrawal, and get ready for school.

Keep Calm and Count Hounds

Autumn Jan 13a“You make me wanna roll my windows down and cruise,” my clock radio blasted me awake at 5:30 am. This winter break I’ve been hunting as much as possible, and this morning was starting just like any other. I sprang from bed and began layering my warmest clothes. I quickly tied my hair into a braid, grabbed my Mountain Horse beanie, inhaled a bowl of cereal and hit the road at 6:15.

Unfortunately it’s that time of year for everyone to be falling ill and it appears several people at Shakerag Hounds have come down with a pretty nasty crud. Mr. Wayne has fallen victim to the same illness, so I planned to make the 2-hour haul to the meet and just ride along with one of the road whips. My normally trusty minivan was in the shop for the third time in the past month, so my mom very graciously let me use her Honda for the day. I’ve only been to this particular fixture twice before, so I worked my way down the highway, instructions beside me and the radio up. For some reason I felt the need to stop and fill up the tank before I arrived at the meet, probably because I don’t know the Honda as well as the van and didn’t want to see how close we could get to empty before it quit.

The Chemistry of Foxhunting

Autumn Dec_12I really hate it when the chemistry professor is right.

It’s not uncommon for me to naturally link concepts I’m learning in school to this lifestyle that I’ve chosen, especially when I’m dealing with subjects that aren’t exactly my strong point (i.e. chemistry). Often times it’s the only way I’m able to fully understand and remember the concepts. It happened when we moved onto a new unit in chemistry the Monday after Mr. Wayne and I went hunting a few weeks ago. Before asking the class to solve for the amount of energy transferred within reactions, the professor refreshed our memories of the law of thermodynamics, with the first one being, “Energy can be changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed.”

Of course, I’ve had this law drilled into my memory since 5th grade, but one night I realized how this statement can be so much more than a simple law to be memorized and regurgitated on an exam.

A Week in the Life of a Collegiate Equestrian/Foxhunter

I have a confession to make.Autumn Nov_12

I haven’t hunted since my last blog post.

I know! I can hardly believe it either! But as fall semester seems to go, October-November is the busiest of times since the college’s equestrian team has all of its horse shows for the fall semester during this short amount of time. On the plus side, during the four shows in the past 6 weeks, the team brought home four wins! Although it’s nothing compared to a good gallop with hounds in full cry, climbing on the back of a strange horse and having to go compete without any prior warm up can be quite the, um, adventure, sometimes more adventurous than I’d like, but those stories are for another day.

The Foxhunting Disease

Autumn Oct 12smallSo here we are in the middle of October. I’ve been at school for nearly two months now (with plenty of trips home for cubbing of course), I’ve settled into my job with the school newspaper and the equestrian team is gearing up for its first competition as I begin my sophomore year in college. Shakerag’s puppies from last year have been doing well with cubbing since September, and Opening Hunt is right around the corner! You know what else is screaming for my attention in my planner? Midterms.
These things mess everything up. Unlike final exams, midterms don’t have an entire week dedicated to them, and although professors aren’t required to have a formal midterm exam, they all seem to schedule them at the same time.

A Hound's Tale

Autumn Sept_12It was still dark out when I heard my brother hop out of his bed. What is he doing up this early? It isn’t time for breakfast yet, even the birds are still pretty quiet. Figuring he was just getting out to go to the bathroom, I rolled over and went back to sleep.  

Just as I was about to drift off, I heard somebody whisper, “Psst. Hey, Ladybug? Pssst. Ladybug! Laaaadybuuuuug. Are you awake?”  

“No.” I responded, keeping my eyes shut and pressing my paws over my ears.

 “Well wake up then!”  I opened my eyes to find Greatness inches from my face, wearing a ridiculous grin.

 “Greatness, go back to sleep! It’s too early for games!”

“But I-“

“Please, Greatness.”  

“Okay, okay, no need to get your tail in a knot.”

Greatness sulked back to the far corner of our lodge and with a big sigh, collapsed onto the floor.

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