Wow .. it’s been a month since my last post. I suppose it’s not much of an excuse that February was a short month. There just hasn’t been much that I thought was worth writing about. That doesn’t mean I’ve been a total couch potato. In fact, last week I was busy breaking in a new pair of Dehners.
I think Crossbo’s beloved Aunt Julie jinxed him this week. After passing along the information that we had a hunt today to make up for Wednesday’s weather cancellation, she asked if “her boy” was shod. I somewhat indignantly replied that of course, he was. Brian had been here just a few days earlier to replace Arthur’s missing shoe, and he tightened one of Crossbo’s and checked all the others, and all systems were set for launch. This morning, I walked out in the pasture to catch the big clown, looked at his hind feet, and said “You sonuvabitch!” Somehow he’d managed to lose a hind shoe.
It’s probably already old news to the few regular readers here, but the World Equestrian Games are coming to Lexington. The FEI announced today that the Horse Park had won its bid to host the 2010 Games. It will be the first time the Games have ever been held outside of Europe. This is big news. People are throwing around numbers like an expected attendance of 300,000, but I’m not sure anybody really knows what kind of crowd they can draw on this continent.
Arriving back at the trailers today after a very pleasant hunt with a stellar field, I was told I was the luckiest man alive. And I’ll have to agree that today would be difficult to top. Arthur performed superbly, as usual, and then earned even more appreciation than usual as he allowed me to receive a massage on the way back to the trailers. (Best glute rub I’ve had all season!)
After confusing several of my hunting companions with my horse-swapping in the last few weeks, I may have confused myself today. I never had any doubt about which horse I was riding, even though I did accidentally call him Arthur a few times. But I did keep thinking that today was Sunday. I’m not sure why it felt so much like Sunday, but maybe it’s because I was on a horse that stood quietly at checks.
I’m starting to feel like one of those people who buys a fancy new car, then continues to drive the old clunker every day to keep the new one clean and shiny for special occasions. I’ve hunted Crossbo the last three Sundays, and on the intervening Wednesdays and Saturdays, if I went, I was on Arthur. Actually, Crossbo’s Sunday-only use has a good reason.
Before reliving the glory of this afternoon, I need to try to get myself out of the doghouse by giving proper credit for last week’s plagiarized title. “Baby’s First Hunt” was suggested by one of Crossbo’s loyal fans, his adoring Aunt Julie, without whose meddling he might never have embarked on his new career with one of the nation’s most intimidating hunts. And now, back to our story.
Considering the circumstances, Crossbo’s official first hunt today may have been closer to a hound walk than a hunt. But, officially, we were hunting. Actually, it was nice to continue his preparation with a gentle phase-in, but it may be stretching a little to boast about his excellent behavior.
There hasn’t been much horse news here lately because there’s really been nothing happening except routine trail rides and hound walks. And, with the real acid test fast approaching with the beginnng of hunt season less than a week away, maybe I shouldn’t jinx myself by bragging about Crossbo’s performance in such mundane events. But I can’t resist just a little brag.
I keep saying that, as I get older, I get less tolerant of extreme weather, and now the only months that I’m happy are April and September. Right now, the end of August is beginning to feel a lot like September, which I suppose is fair since June was more like August. With the return of sunny days, mild temperatures, and scantily clad students, it’s hard to say whether it’s more pleasant to be on a college campus, or on the back of a horse this time of year. Since I can’t combine the two like the Lexington Mounted Police like to do this time of year, I’ve just had to settle for splitting my time.