Closing hunt recap

Despite feeling like death warmed over, I dragged myself out of bed Saturday morning for closing hunt. I briefly considered filling my flask with cough syrup, but opted to leave the flask at home and take two Nalgene bottles of water instead. I arrived at the barn to find that Gina had loosened one of the braids I’d put in Friday afternoon. Fixing it took longer than I expected, so I pulled out of the barn ten minutes later than I’d planned.

In my decongestant induced stupor, I’d decided that between three quarters and half of a tank of gas was plenty to get out to Flint Creek and far enough back to fill up before getting home. This was a terrible decision. An algebra-filled nightmare ensued: Let’s see- I put twenty one gallons in yesterday. How far did I drive without the trailer? A hundred and fifty miles? And it gets about fifteen miles to the gallon…So I ought to have eleven gallons left. But it only gets ten miles to the gallon or so when I’m hauling the trailer. So I can only go a hundred and ten miles. I can definitely get there, but how far is to the nearest gas station on the way home?! Are there gas stations near this place? I mean, people live there, so there must be SOMETHING. I can’t stop for gas now, I’m running late already! BUT WHAT IF I RUN OUT?!?

I made it to Flint with a quarter tank of gas and about 20 minutes to get ready to go. I tied my stock tie faster than I ever have in my life, tossed Gina’s saddle on, and joined the rest of the group as the MFH greeted everyone and introduced guests.

Heading down the road.
Heading down the road.

It was a big crowd; there were probably 50 people hunting Saturday! Many were members, a few were guests like me, and a handful were from a neighboring hunt in Arkansas. We trotted off to meet up with the hound truck on the north side of the property; I was nearly unseated when Gina tripped in a hole, but our warm up was otherwise uneventful.

The hounds set out immediately, winding their way through some of the narrow trails that twist and turn up and down the rocky hills of Flint Creek. They got on a line, leading the group into an open field at a gallop; the quarry disappeared past the property boundary and we were, unfortunately, unable to follow.

Flask break, the most important part of hunting.
Flask break, the most important part of hunting.
Asking the hounds to gather up.
Asking the hounds to gather up.

The rest of the day was fairly slow. The hounds led us through more narrow trails, which included some downed trees to jump. Gina was a star. At one point, we were told to hold hard immediately after clearing a small log; Gina stopped promptly, but a horse behind us wasn’t so quick. He and his rider bumped into Gina’s hindquarters hard, but she didn’t bat an eye. (That rider came over to my trailer after the hunt to give Gina a couple of carrots!) We headed in after about two hours of hunting, and I rubbed Gina down with Sore No-More and packed her hooves with Magic Cushion before sitting down to hunt breakfast.

Superstar hunt horse.
Superstar hunt horse.

Since it was the last hunt of the 2015-2016 season, Harvard awarded buttons and colors to a few members, as well as naming a ‘rookie of the year’ (awarded to a first year member) and a ‘field horse of the year’. There were lots of toasts and a general feeling of camaraderie. I chatted with my two hunter pace teammates (who made me promise to be on their team next fall), thanked the MFH for letting me hunt as a guest this year, and was invited to join the hunt next season.

It was a good hunt, and it’s been a great season. I’m so glad I tried it this year. Gina has been absolutely amazing; I’m a little sad that she won’t be able to hunt next season if breeding goes according to plan. I’ll just have to find another horse to ride, I suppose!

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

29 thoughts on “Closing hunt recap”

    1. It was very, very fun! I can always take Moe next year, although I am a little nervous he won’t be any fun to ride because he’s so obsessed with being in front.

  1. You have no idea how jealous I am of you! I’ve always wanted to ride in a hunt but unfortunately Louisiana is the armpit of the horse world and we have nothinggg like this haha. Glad you were able to go even through the sickness though!!

    1. I would have NEVER guessed Oklahoma had hunting. Flint is a beautiful fixture and reminds me a lot of where I grew up in Tennessee, so it’s definitely my favorite. I’m surprised there’s nothing down in LA- I mean, I know it’s not exactly horse mecca, but neither is OK!

    1. You know, I always get a lot of compliments on her, but someone told me Saturday that she had “such a beautiful head, and such a kind eye.” That’s maybe the LAST thing I’d expect someone to say about her, but she does look very kind and happy in that last photo. 🙂

  2. Man, major kudos to you for still making out while sick! I can understand why you’d want to though, because it really does sound like an absolute blast!

  3. You made this season sound so fun!! I really want to give the club near me a try 🙂 Also, way to adult and not take the flask. I’m impressed.

  4. I love the tradition of hunts. So elegant. Reminds me of Downton. On the other hand, I have camped at Flint Creek many-a-time and I can say many of the happenings there are more redneck than regal! Lol

    1. OMG at that place with the water slide into the river?! The first time I drove past there, I was like “WTF, where am I going? Are there banjos here?”

  5. There are banjos. I will not say anymore in an effort to contain my secret redneckedness. But, we camp further down. Not at the slide thingy. Still, though…

  6. We have several boarders at our barn that hunt regularly and love it. Your posts about it have helped me understand what it’s all about, so thanks so much for sharing your adventures!

  7. I would love to join a hunt. We don’t have any around my area though, I know of one farm who hosts a hunter pace every February. Glad you had fun day out!

  8. Sounds like a great outing. I’m a little sad the season is over and we won’t get to hear any more of your hunt adventures until next year.

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