Trail riding at Flint Creek

I received an invitation to cub hunt last weekend with Harvard Fox Hounds; too-warm weather (85 degrees!) meant that it ended up being more of a trail ride and trail clearing than a hunt.

I took Gina, who was an absolute gem. I didn’t have a chance to clip the poor mare, so she was drenched in sweat after climbing a hill early on in the ride. She’s a heavy sweater anyway (which I much prefer to not sweating), but I felt especially bad for her on such a hot day.

Looking down Flint Creek
Looking down Flint Creek

We started off crossing Flint Creek, which was running swift and shallow. The group split up at the base of a hill to take two different trails that led to more or less the same place; this farm is the location of next weekend’s Opening Hunt, so the hunt wanted to make sure no work or clearing needed to be done this week. My group reached the clearing at the top of the hill quickly, and we gave the horses a rest while we waited for the other group to catch up. When they did, we took another path that wound down around the hills and through the woods to deposit us in a very large cleared area. Our leader, the club’s MFH, set off at a brisk canter and the rest of us followed suit.

Looking down a trail.
Looking down a trail.

Gina felt strong and powerful- not in an unmanageable way, but with a fit and eager attitude. I settled into two-point and let her roll along. She has a smooth, ground-eating canter in the field; it’s a joyful experience to let her gallop across a big field. She obediently stayed just behind the master’s horse, slowing down to match his pace as the end of the field approached.

Following along.
Following along.

No ride at Flint Creek Farm would be complete without a little jumping- there are a number of cross country jumps scattered throughout the property, from coops and logs to coffins and chevrons. A couple of other riders and I larked over a few jumps. These were mostly individual jumps, although there are a few stretches where several can be strung together. Gina handily cleared a coffin that was spooking other horses and went on the lead them over a post-and-rail fence and a big log. I’m always amazed at what a good and brave jumper she is in the field- it’s easy to forget when she’s having a meltdown over ground poles.

After a couple of hours of riding, the group headed back to the trailers. I gave Gina a quick bath and let her graze while I ate lunch. I can’t wait for Opening Hunt next week! Gina feels fit and happy- she just needs a haircut!

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

13 thoughts on “Trail riding at Flint Creek”

Leave a Reply