How to prepare for Opening Hunt

In ten easy steps!

Step One
Send your horses to a dressage camp the weekend before. All that dressaging will ensure the steering and brakes are intact. (Probably.)


Step Two
Message your hunting friend with non-stop, inane questions like “Will anyone be offended if I use a square saddle pad because my forward flap jumping saddle refuses to fit under a contoured one?!”

Step Three
Keep a braiding video playing on one of your screens at work at all times. You don’t need to concentrate on your spreadsheets, you need to concentrate on your braid game.


Step Four
Start clipping your horse with the intention of a trace high clip. Accidentally clip horse’s neck too much and decide to go with a hunter clip. Figure that horse better like hunting, because it’s going to be naked all winter whether it wants to or not.


Step Five
Sign up for a 5K at local Oktoberfest two days before the hunt. Figure you’ll be sufficiently recovered from running and drinking to ride for several hours on the weekend. (Probably.)

Step Six
Use your employee discount at the tack store to buy yourself a new white shirt and braiding yarn. Think very hard about buying plain breastplate without fleece. Decide against breastplate because you are poor.

Step Seven
Plan to take day off work on Friday to finish clipping horse, cleaning tack, and packing trailer. Remember that not only are you supposed to be having lunch with a sales rep, but you also need to save your meager vacation time for a Thanksgiving trip to Tennessee to visit your parents. Reconsider Thanksgiving trip- your parents probably won’t be surprised, and they just saw you at your wedding. Right? RIGHT?

Step Eight
Check weather forecast and see heavy rain predicted for the weekend. Cry a little- will all your frantic work be for naught?!

Step Nine
Lie awake at night because you can’t stop thinking about how awful the horse might be, despite horse’s track record of behaving well hacking out in groups. Contemplate taking other horse, then remember how awful other horse is hacking out in groups. Weep quietly at your impending disaster.

Step Ten
Definitely do not ride horse the week before the hunt. All that dressaging last weekend was surely sufficient. (Probably.)

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

22 thoughts on “How to prepare for Opening Hunt”

  1. Lol, you crack me up!!! I SO hope we don’t get rained out!!!!! And I’m always happy to answer questions! I’m so excited that you are excited about going! Gina will be great!

  2. I’m so jealous-it’s going to be awesome! Also–any chance this is Tulsa’s big Oktoberfest? I’m sending clients this year and it sounds like a blast. Totally worth the drinking/running/riding planning debacle.

  3. I might be getting to ride tomorrow as well with my friend who is a member of a local hunt and I can’t wait!

    I’m doing an anti rain dance for both of us!

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