I found these pictures of my first fox hunt. It was really a drag-hunt. (This is make-believe hunting, when a fox’s odor is dragged on the ground and hounds and horses race across country.)
I was either eleven or twelve and I can tell from the enormous raincoat that it was a rainy day. Now we less-experienced riders didn’t use our show horses on a hunt; we used the solid and trust-worthy lesson horses.
I rode a stiff but dependable mare named Touch, “Untouchable” was her show name. My brother rode a fast and sturdy mare, Martini.
We took off across the fields, cruised over fences, ran up hills, and across creeks. It was brilliant and exhilarating, and very tiring. I really have no idea how long we had been running, when Touch stumbled and I was flung around her neck. I hung on as she galloped after the horses in front of her. I was trying to figure how to scooch around her neck and back into the saddle, when my older brother galloped by on Martini.
“Hi’ya, Mare, you having fun?” He raced off.
I considered letting go and letting Touch trample me just to make him feel bad, but I was too annoyed. I think it was Terese and Motor Mouth who headed Touch off at the pass.
“You okay?” Terese asked, lowering her chin and checking my eyes for signs of defeat.
“Yeah, I am okay. Will you wait until I get back on?”
And then, we were off, and boy, did it feel good to pass my brother and Martini.