Monday, October 17, 2011

Hunter's Pace

Louie and I participated in the Long Lake Hounds Hunter's Pace in Hamel, MN yesterday, along with Lisa and Buster (another Saddlebred, formerly an Amish driving horse).

The weather was beautiful, a bit crisp and rather windy, but the sun was shining and the leaves were beautiful fall colors.  The course was in great condition and aside from some riding along the road, the footing was great for most of the course.  We traveled along roads, through peoples' farms and multi-million dollar properties, and on a portion of a public trail around a lake.  There were lots of jumps on the course, though we were technically riding the flat course so we decided to skip most of the them.  All of the jumps were coops, which Louie and I have never come close to attempting, but we did find two small "mini-jumps" that fit our abilities in the host's eventing field at the end of the course (one was essentially a down log, the other a small cross rail, neither of which could have been much over 12").  Aside from some small jumps, we also rode through mud, puddles, and over a wooden bridge.

We were given a map of the course, and there were markers with red and blue flags placed strategically along the course to let us know we were in the right place, but despite that we managed to get lost at least twice (the first time we went way off course into a neighboring horse farm, and took quite a while to figure out that we were lost to begin with, so that ate up about 30 minutes of our course time).  Our getting lost and our de-conditioned horses led us to finish quite a bit behind the goal time of 1 hour 14 minutes, but we had a lot of fun to make up for our lack of speed. 

Overall it was a really fun event and I am looking forward to participating in another one in the future!  Another example of how Saddlebreds really can do just about anything!

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