I have a confession to make.
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.
Instead, I’ve composed an outline for the average week (leaving out any borderline mental breakdowns from intense, group study sessions), and now that the fall show season is over, how I expect the majority of the rest of the year to go.
SUNDAY Morning: Oh my goodness…I have so much homework to do today…
Noon: *driving back to school* Okay. I have one test, a quiz and a paper due this week. I need to do more research for this week’s Features section in the newspaper. My lab write up and pre-lab questions are due Wednesday, and I need to finish that Chemistry assignment. I’ll be fine, right?
*Enthusiastically regales friends with tales from the hunt field upon arrival and does homework until 2 a.m.*
MONDAY Morning: 48 hours ago, I was getting ready for hunting. Now I’m getting up for equestrian team workouts. This stinks. *Class at 9 am* 48 hours ago, we were at the first cast. Now I’m taking notes on neutrons. This stinks.
Noon: *during no-stirrups lesson* Just pretend you’re hunting…without stirrups…at the posting trot…for twenty minutes…and you’re in a ring…and Coach is here…and the hounds are really quiet? Ugh, who am I kidding?
Evening: Well that was the longest day ever. How on Earth am I supposed to go through this four more times??? The first day’s the hardest, right? You can do this. *takes deep breath, looks at picture of hound on dorm wall* Just take it one day at a time… *homework and writing for school newspaper until 2 a.m.*
TUESDAY Morning: Well, they should be casting right about now…Sunny skies, hopefully the game will cooperate. I think they’re at the Clubhouse fixture? *Checks daily planner* Oops, nope, they’re at Long Creek. I wonder what slide the professor’s on now…maybe I should focus…I’ll just pull up the MFHA website beside the powerpoint on my computer.
Noon: *Coach yells to push heels down further during lesson* Believe me Coach, when it comes time to gallop down a muddy hill, I will suddenly find the ability to have my heels down farther than imaginable.
Late afternoon: HOW can it ONLY be Tuesday? I still have 3 more days to go. Why is it not the middle of the week yet? *Badgers Facebook friends for updates on the day’s hunt before putting finishing touches on stories for the school newspaper*
Midnight: Finally done with production night for the paper! Now I get to…go do homework. Ugh.
WEDNESDAY Morning: 2 down, 3 to go! I better fill up the tank before I make the drive home on Friday… *Checks Weather.com to see the 5 day forecast* Oh thank goodness the temperature’s going to drop! It’s been too warm for any scent to hold lately! *Listens to peers complain about the chilly forecast*
Noon: Thank goodness Coach let me go on a trail ride today…It’s no hunt field, but it’s better than nothing! Gosh, Dodger would make a great hunt horse. Maybe we’ll just keep riding until we hit Virginia. I’ll change my name, and Dodger and I can work at a hunt club somewhere. That way I don’t have to take that crazy Chemistry test on Friday.
Evening: *Running laps during 5 pm workout* Just pretend you made an “emergency dismount” and have to catch up to hounds on foot…This isn’t working. I’m in a gym. *Homework and school newspaper writing until 2 a.m.* So. Much. Studying... Can’t. Stay. Awake... *Glances at hunt diary sitting on bedside table* Must keep going … Hunting this weekend...
THURSDAY Morning: *Looks at alarm clock as it goes off* It can’t possibly be time to get up for workouts already… Ugh. Wake up. Wake up. *Drags self out of bed for workouts and a full day of class and interviews for work* This week is going to kill me. It really will. *Later in class* Must stay focused. Don’t read E-Covertside…Well, I tried.
Noon: *During no-reins/no-stirrups lunge line lesson, Coach yells to ride like a princess* Last time I checked, most people don’t ride like princesses in the hunt field.
Evening: *Drags feet from 3pm-5pm lab, but with sudden energy, packs bags, shines boots, and loads car for the trip home* By this time tomorrow, I’ll be home, the trailer will be packed, horses cleaned and trimmed, tack immaculate…I’m almost there! Just three classes tomorrow and I’m in the clear!!! *Suddenly finds inspiration to work without distraction until 3 a.m.; later falls into bed for a few hours of sleep*
FRIDAY Morning: Woohoo!!! It’s Friday!!! Bring it on world; only three classes stand between me and freedom!!!
Noon: *Makes a beeline out of last class to the car as understanding friends wave goodbye and laugh at the crazy fox hunting girl* Finally!!! I’m outta here!!! Only two hours of driving…not too bad! *Happily drives home, singing along with the radio the whole time* ***NOTE: This “only two hours of driving” will become “a whole two hours of driving” when said college student has to drive BACK to school on Sunday. Nor will there be as much smiling or singing.
Evening: Trailer loaded. Tack cleaned. Bits polished. Horses sparkling. Ears and muzzles trimmed. Boots gleaming. Coat, stock tie and pin, vest, and breeches, folded, hanging, and waiting for morning. Physically exhausted? YES. Mentally spent? DEFINITELY. I’m going to bed early tonight! *Continues to toss and turn in bed for hours from the excitement of hunting the next day*
SATURDAY Morning: *Alarm buzzes at 5 am, with exhaustion gone, springs out of bed* Time to go!!!!
Have a great time hunting, clean tack and horses upon return, collapse into bed, and repeat!