It’s official: I have reached the pinnacle in any Hunt Horse’s career – I am now (finally!) the Tennessee Valley’s HUNTSMAN’S HORSE! Yes! So all of you scoffers who said that a 12.1 hand pony could not be a Hunt Horse, much less the Huntsman’s Horse, go to the back of the Field with that orange ribbon in your tail that means “I’m so stupid!”
In February our professional huntsman’s, Kurt Krucke, horse went lame when it threw a shoe. So that woman, Gretchen Pelham, MFH, offered him her mount. She was on my pasture mate Phillip, who is a 14.1 ¾ hand black pony. So Kurt finished the hunt on Phil, and Phillip came home thinking he was Hugh Jackman. The jerk. Just because Phil is such a tall and dark pony doesn’t mean that he is better than me. I was very miffed that evening and would not come up for my evening mint tea and oat berry scones. Gretchen can go hang herself for such an offense to my character. [Gretchen’s Note: Ziggy, Zig-ster, Zig-man, Ziggy-poo, calm down! I told you it was KURT who said that he wished it was Ziggy I was riding that day. And it was HIS idea to ride you before the end of season; I didn’t have to ask him! Give Phil a break. He’s just jealous of your fame.]
So at the next hunt Gretchen led the Hilltopper Field on me at Bakers Creek, an undeveloped industrial park on the Telico Lake. I kept my dignity during the hunt, but knowing that MY huntsman rode that Mr. Darcy Wannabe was not to be borne. I couldn’t look at Kurt, the poor man with the freakish birth defect of being over tall. I just couldn’t forgive Kurt for that insult.
But after the hunt, Gretchen didn’t untack me at the trailer like she always does. I wanted the bit to be taken out of my mouth so I could have my hay net, but she lead me to the hound trailer instead. Kurt was loading up the hounds, and I started to nicker at him. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I was asking, “Why, Kurt? How could you? I’m better than that large pony. It’s ME you want to ride!”
And then it happened. Kurt came over to me and said, “There is one more hound still out. Wanna help me call him in?” And then, and then, and then, oh forgive my stutter, but then the HUNTSMAN got in my saddle and started blowing the horn!
It was the best moment of my life. I didn’t listen to everyone laughing at the fact that his feet reached my knees. I was the Huntsman’s Horse while he was blowing in the hounds!! He told me to walk away from the trailers so Gretchen could get the pictures. Then the last hound, Raley, finally came in. I was so excited! Joint-Master Carla Hawkinson wanted him off the payment in case I did something stupid to make him fall off. She said it would be really embarrassing to cause the huntsman to break his leg falling from a pony. As if I would do anything like that. [Gretchen’s Note: In all fairness, oh your Royalness, you did buck off an equally over-tall man who hopped on you for a Christmas card photo the year you arrived at the farm (which I didn’t tell Kurt until after he dismounted). However, in the years since you arrived, you have gotten very patient with all the vaulting the kids subject you to. And it certainly helped that you’ve also gotten as fat as a couch.]
I have now been the Hilltopper Field Master’s Horse, a First Flight Horse, a MFHA Centennial Fieldhunter Competitor, a Master’s Horse and now the Huntsman’s Horse. Eat your heart out you elephants-in-disguise warmbloods! Kurt, I’ll send you beer for the rest of your life! Love ya buddy!
Ziggy Pelham, the Tennessee Valley’s Huntsman’s Horse