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The View From Down Here: Cubbing in the Corn

Ziggy Aug 13Gretchen Pelham photoThe first of August my hunt, the Tennessee Valley Hunt, started cubbing in the nearby corn fields by our kennels in Greeneville, Tennessee. There is a stand of corn that covers about 200 acres that we love to cub hunt in. We took 17 ½ couple of our Penn-Marydel hounds out into the corn very early one Saturday morning before first light. We trailered out into the field next to the corn and waited until we could see before the hounds were let out.

Gretchen, aka the Wench, rode me behind her Joint Master Rosie Merle-Smith the entire morning. I wanted to whip in like a real hunt horse! Instead she followed Rosie like a moron. One of these days I would like to have a real rider in my saddle worthy of my awesomeness as a hunt horse. Instead I’m stuck with the Wench who can’t even get me my morning mint tea on time. [Gretchen’s Note: I had planned on taking you around the edges of the corn by yourself, but you kept whining about scenes from that Stephen King movie, The Children of the Corn. I didn’t trust you by yourself, oh Bravest of the Pudgy Cockapoos.]

The View From Down Here Rewind: The Centennial Championships

Ziggy July 13 flymaskI am not amused. I stand here at my hitching post with a ridiculous pink plaid fly mask on my face like I’m some sort of real life My Little Princess Pony. I am a made Hunt Horse of the Tennessee Valley Hunt; I am not a toy. Gretchen, aka the Scarlet Wench, claims that she only got the fly mask in pink plaid because it was on sale. But I see her sniggering when she thinks I’m not looking. She did this on purpose. I’m so gonna hack into her Paypal account again and buy me a plane ticket to Ireland. I’m sure the foxhunters there know how to appreciate such an awesome hunter as me!

The View From Down Here: Who Turned on the Snow?

Ziggy March 13 aPhoto by Gretchen PelhamA few weeks ago in early March I went hunting with Tennessee Valley Hunt in the snow and sleet at the mountain resort, The Blackberry Farm. I have never been so cold, and all of it is that Wench’s fault. Gretchen was walking around all bundled up in insulated pants and a wool hat while I had to prance around in my clipped skivvies. My only consolation was that I had my best peep Michaela in my irons instead of the Wench’s fat butt. [Gretchen’s Note: Stop your grousing, you weenie. I brought you hot mint tea and a warm cranberry oat muffins every time I saw you. Michaela was colder than you were.]

Anyway, the hunt members had a French style Hunt Breakfast – meaning they had their breakfast before the hunt at Blackberry, while I sat, forgotten, in the trailer parked on Joe Pye Lane. When they decided to start the hunt I had eaten all of my hay net and was not happy about the extended trailer stay. Somehow I’ve got to figure out who I have to charm to get into Blackberry for the Breakfasts. This waiting in the trailer is not acceptable for the extraordinary hunt horse that I am. Inside the main house where they eat is a fireplace! And I’m stuck in an un-insulated, aluminum trailer. Somehow I’m getting inside.

The View From Down Here: Cumberland Mountain Hounds Joint Meet

Ziggy Feb 13Last month the Cumberland Mountain Hounds hosted my hunt, the Tennessee Valley Hunt, for a joint meet at their East Fork fixture in Jamestown, TN. It was the first joint meet since CMH and TVH had split in 2006. I was just in my first year of hunting back then, so I was eager to see my old friends again.
East Fork Stables is located on top of the Cumberland Plateau and encompasses about 12,000 acres with around 100 miles of trails. Up top there is a vast pattern of open fields and cover all intersected with trails and wide gravel roads. There were lots of easy places to flat out gallop like wind.

The View From Down Here: Leap Frog

Here again is some wisdom from the Tennessee Valley Hunt’s Most Awesome Hunt Horse EVER:  All riders new to Ziggy Dec12Photo by Gretchen Pelhamfoxhunting need to practice their skills at home before they come out to the meet.  No matter how old or young, lessons should be taken to reduce risk while riding cross-country. Now that is not to say that I would ever endanger my riders, cough the Wench excluded cough, cough, but sometimes out in the country I am required to perform feats of amazing athletic ability.  If the rider is not ready to follow my lead, then there might be an unintentional cropper.  [Gretchen’s Note:  Amazing Athletic Ability?  With your hippo butt?  How can you even get you hooves off the ground with that Buddha-Belly?]


The View From Down Here - Opening Meet 2012


The Opening Meet for Tennessee Valley Hunt was at the end of October, and what fun we had! We were again at our fixture up in Greeneville, TN. However, this year Gretchen let the kids come and ride on Opening Meet. And she didn’t ride me! Yipeeee!!! [Gretchen’s Note: Dial down the glee, Ziggy-Poo, or I cancel your Netflix account.] So my three girls and That Woman started the day before to get us ponies spic and span for the day. One of the girls, Olivia, clipped me for the big day. Unfortunately she thinks I am a billboard and clipped “tattoos” onto both of my hips. It’s fortunate that she has that birth defect of being born too tall to ride me, because I would love to dump her in the river for all the crazy and undignified things she has done to my coat. [Gretchen’s Note: Quit your grousing. You looked adorable!]

I don’t want to look adorable, Wench. I want to look magnificent!


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