We want to hear from you!

Submit story ideas or reports here:

Submit to Covertside

The View From Down Here: Jet Lag is for Wimps

What a day the Tennessee Valley Hunt had on September 17th! Our second hunt of the season, the first hunt opened to members, was EPIC!  We started at Riverplains Farm, one of our favorite fixtures, with Andy Bozdan, our new huntsman. Yes, the Brit finally arrived! He flew in to DC on Tuesday, drove to Tennessee on Wednesday, had a staff hunt on Thursday, walked the hounds out on Friday, and hunted again on Saturday. “Jet lag is for wimps,” said Andy.  Who needs sleep when an awesome pack of Penn-Marydels are waiting to be cast?

The View From Down Here

 I would just like to make an announcement to all the foxhunters of the world. There is a malicious rumor going around that I am NOT a fabulously talented, charming, and amazing Huntsman’s Horse for the Tennessee Valley Hunt I would like to say the following for the record:
  1. Ziggy is NOT a hound; [Gretchen’s Note: Well, to be fair, you do only have a few inches on the pack.]
  2. Ziggy is NOT a speed bump; [Gretchen’s Note: It was not nice of Erin’s elephant warmblood to ram into you like that, but you did manage to slow him down for Erin. Turns out tripping over ponies IS a good way to slow down big elephants!]
  3. Ziggy is NOT a warm up jump; [Gretchen’s Note: I know that Master at Woodford Hounds asked if he could warm his horse up over your rump before the first stone wall, but he was only half serious.]
  4. Ziggy is NOT a mounting block; [Gretchen’s Note: My saddle is even with other rider’s stirrups, so . . . it could work.]
  5. . . . and Ziggy is NOT a chin rest for the hounds! [Gretchen’s Note: That crossbred bitch was VERY wrong to do that to you.]

Just because I am only a 12.1 hand pony does not mean that everyone can treat me this way! Drat – where are my flash cards that say, “My Name is NOT Napoleon”? I need to meditate, or sneak into Gretchen’s flask.

The View from Down Here

To the Islands, Mon!

Photo by Gretchen Pelham

I was so bored waiting for Tennessee Valley’s hunt season to begin. I updated my iPad with the great Jimmy Buffett book, A Salty Piece of Land. It’s about a cowboy who rides his horse to the coast, and then puts himself and his trusty horse on a ship to a small Caribbean island. The horse rides out all the storms and waves without an ounce of seasickness. I was inspired. A Huntsman’s Horse could do that!

The View From Down Here

Gretchen has separated me from the Kid. She accused me of encouraging him to escape from the field. As if I would ever give out my secret way in and out to a blabber mouth like him. He was so cocky when he got out, but panicked when he couldn’t get back in. I did warn him to only use a way out when you’re sure how to get back in. I then left him out there begging for my secret path. But That Woman didn’t believe me. 

[Gretchen’s Note: Don’t feed me that con, fatty. I know you stood there and egged him on to jump the fence but then freaked him out about jumping back in. You’re supposed to be mentoring him, not get him sold as an incurable delinquent!]

The View From Down Here

Lessons to a Kid – Part 2

My plan to convince Harrison Ford that I should be his next Indiana Jones horse is not going well. I had a conference call all set up with Harrison’s “people” the last week in April – I said I was a relative of Calista, which is kinda true, since I live within a two hours drive of her parents. I rigged up an antenna from the run-in shed that would tap into the satellite phone connections. The plan was foolproof! But then some crazy epic storms rolled through the South that night and the hail put grapefruit-sized holes in my tin roof. Gretchen thinks the remains of the antenna were blown in from a neighbor’s roof. But never fear, I will get a hold of Indy! Or maybe I should try Stephen or George? I could disguise myself as ET or R2D2 – after all, I’m the right size! But I’m far too handsome to be mistaken for ET, so I guess I’ll have to go for the droid. Anyone got any roller skates I could borrow?  [Gretchen’s Note:  Leave those poor movie people alone!  Or I’ll go all “Poltergeist” on your fat butt if you build another firetrap on the roof again!]

The View From Down Here

Lessons to a Kid

Now that I have ended the Tennessee Valley’s hunt season as the first and only 12.1 hand Huntsman’s Horse, I can focus on having a relaxing summer. Except I have a nagging feeling that I have now hit the ceiling in a hunt horses’ career. Now that Kurt Krucke, professional huntsman, has hunted off me as his Huntsman’s Horse, what’s next for me? I’m kinda depressed at the thought. At 14 years, I’m too young to have such ambition stifled.

So I have a new plan! What would be better than being the Huntsman’s Horse? Why, there is only one profession I can think of – being Indiana Jones’s horse! Think of the tanks we could fight! How easy it would be for him to grab his hat off the ground when it blows off? Those Nazis wouldn’t stand a chance with me around! Rockets-schmockets. Now I just gotta get a hold of Harrison. I hear he and Calista once came to East Tennessee to visit her parents – I wonder how much it would take to bribe the guy at the little airport they use to find out when their next visit will be. Hmm . . . I think I still have Gretchen’s Paypal password. This is a great plan! [Gretchen’s Note: I changed that password months ago, Mini-Me.  And you know you wouldn’t stand a chance as a movie horse – the first time anyone drags a hose or cable across the ground you’d throw Indy and run like a little girl.]

logo mfha smtiny

Subscribing Membership to the MFHA is open to anyone who cares about the future of country lifestyles and wants their voice and vote to make a difference. You will also receive Covertside magazine 4x a year!