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Will Your Horse Be Ready to Hunt?

Rose MerleSmithGretchen Pelham photoIf your answer is, “YES! My horse will be ready to hunt!”, then you might as well skip reading this article….

If NO is a possible answer, perhaps I can help you sort out how to have your horse ready for hunting when you receive your fixture card this fall. Preparing your field hunter for the coming season begins NOW!  If you wait until the leaves drop, it will be too late for “repairs”. 

Ask yourself, “Did I have any trouble with my horse this past season?”

Problems might include: running away, not stopping, refusing to jump, fighting the bit, shaking the head, bucking, rough gaits and falling down.

Sweet Tooth Satisfaction in a Flask

flaskHow I love sweet flask fillers! In recent years I have been using a mixture that actually does change a little from batch to batch.

Fill a big enamel or steel cooking pot nearly halfway with raisins, other dry fruit, or a mix. Pour in a very large bottle of spiced rum, a bottle of brandy, whisky, rye, or anything else that feels right. The fruit should be well covered.

Let this glorious concoction sit for two weeks covered in a larder, or otherwise safe place away from heat or extreme cold. When you are curious (and you will be), open and stir the mixture. Sample the liquid. If it is not as sweet as you want or if the fruit seems to be more exposed than when you first covered the pot, pour in some peach brandy. When you are satisfied with the taste and the fruit is again covered, close the pot and leave it again for another two weeks. 

MFHA Thoroughbred Adult Essay Contest Honorable Mention: Max

Max Jumping Essay1Alice Jernigan photoWhen I first met “Max”, he was in a small 10’ x 10’, dark stall at the racetrack. He was 17.2 hands tall, big boned, had large feet, perfectly proportioned with lots of chrome. He was not like most of the other fine boned, skinny thoroughbreds one normally sees at the track.

At first, I thought he was an old horse as he was particularly calm and unaffected by things going on around him. He behaved like a veteran. When I found out he was only three, I set my sights on him, but never dreamed he would come available at such an early age; I’d have to wait a long time for this one.


MFHA Thoroughbred Adult Essay Contest Honorable Mention: Matthew

matthewI had gone to the Marshall Horse Auction one rainy cold Saturday when hunting was canceled.  I had no intent on buying, just to look and see what was going on. This big, brown gelding in the back pen caught my eye. He was a lop eared, ewe-necked, jug headed, rack of bones; but his eye...oh his eye...told me a story.

He had five auction stickers in his tail. It never occurred to me this horse was a Thoroughbred, but when I tried to age him by looking at his teeth, a faded tattoo was on that lip. I bought him for the meat price of five hundred dollars.  He was so thin, I put a sheet on him so the humane society would not come and get me when I put him out in the field.  Slowly, I put him back together with the vet and the blacksmith and some good hay and grain, not knowing if my hard work and money was going down the rabbit hole or into a horse who could carry me in the field.

The Hunting Mixologist: Flask Recipes

derek frenchIf 007 should ever decide to take up riding to hounds it would be interesting to see what innovations he would bring to the hunt field. Perhaps Mr. Bond would have a device on his saddle that would seek and destroy barbed wire hidden within hedgerows. A projectable airbag cushion to soften hard landings might endear him to the ladies. How about a sensor in his helmet that could display the track of the fox or coyote, or is this available now? And an early warning system to detect ‘antis’ would be beneficial. Perhaps like his Aston Martin car he would be mounted on a jet-propelled horse? Come to think of it, I have already been behind such horses in the hunt field!

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