Intro to Foxhunting Clinic with Tanheath Hunt Club

07 May 2015 12:17 PM | Anonymous

From Cathy Leinert MFH, Tanheath Hunt

A gorgeous sunny day greeted all the riders, auditors and spectators who came to Lord Creek Farm for the private Intro to Foxhunting Clinic, given by Tanheath Hunt Club. The morning began with a lecture covering all aspects of foxhunting, including a brief history and an explanation of Drag Hunting. We talked about proper attire for horses and riders, with a show and tell of the proper clothing. Much time was spent covering etiquette in the hunt field, with the 3 cardinal sins emphasized. Staff positions-Master, Huntsman, Whipper-In, Wheel Whips, Fieldmasters, and the fox—were explained with an emphasis on safety for all-horses, hounds and humans. Many people had questions and all participants were given booklets from the Masters of Foxhounds Association. Pony Club members were given their own "kid friendly" booklet. We then began the mounted part where riders were able to practice the field exercises that they would use on a hunt. Master Cathy Leinert took the Hilltopper group and Whipper In Liz Esmiol took the Walk Trot group of both adults and kids. Once everyone had the basics and felt comfortable, we went on a short Mock Fox Hunt. Sarah Nash was the fox with Huntsman Sherri Colby after her, followed by the Hilltopper Field and the Walk Trot Field. The "chase" ended in the Jump field, where the spectators had gathered to watch the riders against the beautiful backdrop of the water. Many were heard to exclaim how well all the riders were doing for the first ever hunt. The most adorable pair of the day went to a tiny rider and her equally tiny pony! Riders' faces were beaming with smiles and accomplishment and comments of "awesome" echoed. We then hacked back to the farm where we had a bountiful Tea, courtesy of Whips Mel and Dave Oliveira.  It was a most successful day with approximately 20 attending- adult riders, Pony Club riders, and auditors and spectators. We are all looking forward to the fall hunt season! Thank you Janie, Lyme Trail Association and Connecticut Valley Pony Club!
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