I was four years old and I was dreaming of seeing this big black and white horse with me on its back. I knew when I opened my eyes that morning I was going to have fun. I was saying the whole car ride there,”Are we there yet?”The moment I was about to explode we pulled into this dirt road with an old swing set and white house with the paint chipping off of it. It didn’t seem the slightest bit welcoming but you could hear the cows mooing and the hens clucking.
“This is Windswept Farm, LuLu," my dad said.
When we got to the barn we could see the horses eating their breakfast and making faces at each other. I jumped out of the car and ran inside the barn to this big black horse that was right in the front of the barn. She kind of lifted her head as I skidded to a stop right in front of her. Then this big looking man stepped out of the tack room and saw my dad behind me. He looked at me then patted the horse on the neck. My dad squeezed my shoulders.
“This is Marocha. The best polo pony of the group," the man said.
“Hi," I said taking a tiny step back.
“Are you ready to go first flight?” asked the big man.
My dad chuckled but I looked at him like he was out of his mind. My dad told me that the big looking man was Master Colley of the Goldens Bridge Hounds. That was the first time I met my horse Marocha.
When I was eight, I was teaching Marocha how to jump. When we went up to Moles Hill to hunt one time, we jumped big stone walls that were as high as Marocha’s chest. I taught her how to jump on a trail ride and she loved it. She was the smoothest jumper ever. She would glide over the stone walls and logs like she was sliding on butter. She was my wings, I was her guide.
Everybody said,” Wow, LuLu! You have done spectacular on that horse! Who taught her to jump?” I would never answer but my dad would always proudly say, "She did!" I remember one time when my dad was holding the lead rope too tight and she reared. My dad let go thankfully, but she went as high as the sky. Her feet were over her head and I felt like she was going to run away. I held on tight, closed my eyes, and hoped for the best. She felt I was scared and when she landed, she felt bad.
Now that I’m ten, I am invited up to first flight. I used to ride in second flight but Master Colley said it was too slow for me. He told me to ride in first flight and I wasn’t allowed in second flight. For me it’s like I was nominated for queen or something big like that! It’s always full of surprises like out of the blue gallops and jumps. There is never a dull moment. I do all the jumps in front of me like they’re bumps in the way. I feel like I’m one of them. I don’t feel like a kid anymore. I feel like a grown-up once I get up on my trusty steed Marocha. The adults act like I’m one of them too. Nobody treats me like they have to go slow because I’m with them.
We view almost every time we go out. Usually only the first flight views the fox or coyote. I would have never seen a fox in my life if it were not for Master Colley or for my dad introducing to me the awesome thrill ride of this sport. It’s like a roller coaster; it has its loop de loops.
Foxhunting is as important to me as breathing and eating. I am so happy about what I have sone at 10 years old. Now that I realize that I love fox hunting so much, I am so happy that my dad made me get up at 5am to go to the barn just so I can have fun for once. I don’t get up at 5 am for anything but foxhunting. It is through foxhunting that I have bonded with my horse and my dad. I am grateful that I met the real me and the horse that will let me look back on my best memories. I can’t see myself living without foxhunting. I hope foxhunting never goes away so that many people will get to experience the thrill I have every Saturday morning from August to March.
Elizabeth "LuLu" Moore is a junior member of the Goldens Bridge Hounds (NY) and has earned her D2 US Pony Club rating from the Goldens Bridge Hounds Pony Club.