Another hunt season has ended, and I’m still alive. According to my calendar, I hunted 35 times this season, 14 on Arthur and 21 on Crossbo. And I almost had one very good statistic, a big zero for total falls. I ruined that streak yesterday, the last day of the season. I don’t think I’ve ever had a perfect season, and I came so close this time. The worst part about it was that I was riding Crossbo, so I ruined his perfect record too.
In all fairness to the wonder horse, it was mainly pilot error. He’s been rushing his jumps a little bit lately, and I was trying to convince him to approach them at a more reasonable pace. He didn’t like that idea, and our disagreement caused us to crash one coop. I should have known better; when I let him choose his pace, he has no problem. Unfortunately, even if it was my fault, it still puts a blemish on his record. I can no longer say he has jumped everything I ever pointed him at.
There was one other minor disappointment yesterday. I haven’t done a very good job of providing photographic entertainment this year, so I stuck the Fuji in my coat pocket hoping to get some good season finale shots. Unfortunately, it refused to cooperate. In spite of sitting in the charger all winter, the battery appeared to be kaput. So you’ll just have to take my word for it that the entire pack looked stellar as usual.
Crossbo is definitely a foxhunter now. We still have some minor issues to work on this summer, mainly learning how to open/close gates. But his attitude is wonderful.
Crossbo’s excellence made some of Arthur’s little faults seem even worse by comparison. But he still deserves a share of praise. Because of his age and lack of regular exercise, I took it pretty easy on him the last couple of months, but he did pretty damn good for a 21-year-old.
I think one of the best examples of Arthur’s quality was a couple of weeks ago, after I dismounted to unlock/lock a gate. About 10 minutes after remounting, after moving at a fairly good clip along a trail through the woods which included some tight turns between trees, I realized I had crossed his reins when I mounted. In spite of that, he knew exactly what he needed to do. In fact, after I realized the problem, I started trying to figure out how to compensate until I could get to a spot where I could fix the problem. That was a total mess; things worked much better when I was blissfully ignorant.
Overall, both horses took damn good care of me this season. Have I ever mentioned that I love my horses?