Monday, January 24, 2011

A-Hunting We Will Go!

We picked the prettiest day of the winter to join Lili Wykle and her young Stonewall Hounds at the fox pen for training. We were training and testing equines while she was training and testing canines--hounds and foxes. Well, now I'm not sure what grey foxes are... We took the two Connemara/Thoroughbreds--Keeper ("Cady's Goldkeeper") the 8yo mare and Fred ("Class Action"), the 4yo.

(Left: MFH & Huntsman Li
li Wykle with her fine group of hounds. Below: The field enjoying a lovely afternoon. Photos by Karen Aniero from the Blessing of the Hounds last year.)

Both were a little wide-eyed by the tall canines with tails--as we raise Welsh Corgis. But they soon got in the groove and off we went. Since there are so many fox finding options for the hounds, we didn't seem to move much for the first little while. Fred seemed to have some bright ideas about ways to move, so we were glad when we finally got to move off at a brisk trot, as Lili said "to take the starch out of our horses."

Lots of good running by the hounds and we followed around on the roads--until I remarked that I'd really like to see a fox today. Not two minutes later, a pretty little red popped out of the woods in front of us, ran down the road, and dashed back into the brush. Yippee--I mean "Tally ho!"

After a good while of this fun, Fred began to show some tension and fatigue--so we decided to head for the trailers. Caitlin gave hm a little break, got off, and loosened his girth and his attitude suddenly brightened. So now we know you can get your girth too tight and as a reward on our hack to home, we viewed another red fox. Um.. hello! Tally you know---Ho!!!

- Alicia