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The Stirrup Cup Tradition

derek frenchI cannot recall an occasion when attending a meet with a fellow hunt where we have not been offered a stirrup cup to send us on our way. The stirrup cup is not only a long-standing tradition but has its purposes too. It is, of course, a welcoming gesture to all riders. But then if you are perhaps a little outside your comfort zone, riding an untried or borrowed horse in the company of hard-riding sportsmen in difficult country, one could almost call this small sip of liquid courage a necessity. Maybe you could go so far as to say just what the doctor ordered and your potential funeral director would advise! Even on the comfortable days when riding your own bombproof horse, the warm glow that the cup provides is reassuring. Your confidence is never in doubt, your companions become the best of pals and every upcoming jump seems to have had the top rail removed!

Lessons From an OTTB: EarlyBird

EarlyBird smallGiven the rise in the price of hay in drought-stricken New Mexico, I have taken to chanting, “No more ponies, no more ponies, no more….”. The phone call must have come during a chanting session. A vet* we’d known for twenty years had come across a 16 hand thoroughbred gelding, ten, give or take a year.

The sentences in that voicemail that broke my resolve were as follows: “This gelding’s well put-together. He’s kind. You can scoot under his belly and between his legs. I think he’d make a great children’s hunter. He needs a rescue.”

Hip Hop With DJ Fresh Fox

It’s a beautiful morning out here in the hood

After hunting for mice that tasted so good.

There’s a quiet in the wood that’s callin’ for a nap

So shut yo face and don’t gimme no crap.

Hey who’s the sucka that’s blowin’ that horn

Destroying the quiet of this peaceful morn

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