Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Four Shires opening meet

Good evening everyone, Isla here.

Managed to find a little moment in my hectic schedule to tell you about my weekend. It all started badly when we got left in the shelter after our breakfast on Saturday morning. One is far too busy for breakfast at the moment as we have only been in the top field a week or two and there are neighbours to re-introduce myself to, views to memorise and hedgerows to investigate, the other two just do not understand how important it all is! Anyway I digress, my staff have been locking me in to try to persuade me to finish my meals so I suspected that was what was going on but then the clippers came out, well, the shetland pony look is a little last season. Turns out I wasn't getting a smart hunter clip but only a blanket clip so I still look a bit fluffy but it's been so cold this week I guess it's a good idea really. Paige took me for a hack in the afternoon, which was more interesting then I would ever admit, new views to look at and some baby cows to meet. I spent the night babysitting Mango and watching the fireworks then it was breakfast time again. This time was even worse, washing and plaiting. Luckily my hunting tack then appeared which just about made up for all the whining about me not standing still.

When we got to the meet it was freezing cold but there were lots of horses and those strange looking hounds that I met a few weeks ago, apparently they are bloodhounds and they chase people rather then trails or foxes. It is quite different to the hunting I have watched before, there's no standing watching them look through the undergrowth for hours (interesting but chilly) but instead we have to have regular stops for the humans to have something called Port and lots of snacks, bit unfair if you ask me!

Eventually we set off walking across the first field, then the hounds set off, wow they go fast. We had to wait for the master as usual (boring) but then we set off after them, there were lots of jumps and to be honest I actually had to try to keep up which makes a pleasant change. Eventually I had to stop to help catch a pony that had managed to lose its rider (honestly, I told him, that doesn't help) but then we popped another little jump to join the hounds who were busy licking some man in shorts - humans and dogs really are disgusting sometimes!

We were out all day with a mixture of trotting along roads, galloping around fields (really need to practice galloping downhill, it's actually quite difficult and eventually I had to admit mother was right about slowing down at the top). I was mostly well behaved but I did have to gently nudge a few slow coaches out of the way. At one point I was just trotting along nicely when a big horse kicked me on the bottom for no reason, that hurt a bit and mum would not let me jump again after that which was a bit unfair, think I need to have words with him next time, everyone knows you keep your feet to yourself when hunting. Unfortunately I saw very little of the hounds, apparently they were puppies and were very fast so kept disappearing whilst I was waiting my turn at the jumps. All in all it was good fun.

I got some tasty grass when we got back then a huge pile of rugs to keep me warm and some drugs to help my bruised bottom so I feel great now. Even better my feet have had a good trim so shouldn't have to do quite so much boring hacking this week. Anyway I have work to do, now I know what makes all that noise up the valley I have to figure out how to get to where the bloodhounds live.

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