Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Here you will find reviews of, selections from, and commentaries concerning books, many of which don't even appear on Amazon's radar. But what goldmines for the literate foxhunter!

The Lady Who Rides to Hounds

anthony trollope.spy.vanity fairAnthony Trollope illustration by Spy in Vanity FairHunting Sketches by Anthony Trollope was published in 1865 and contained eight chapters, including "The Man Who Hunts and Doesn’t Like It," "The Man Who Hunts and Does Like It," and the six chapters that follow. Here is "The Lady Who Rides to Hounds" from this classic by Trollope.

Among those who hunt there are two classes of hunting people who always like it—hunting parsons and hunting ladies. That it should be so is natural enough. In the life and habits of parsons and ladies there is much that is antagonistic to hunting, and they who suppress this antagonism do so because they are Nimrods at heart. But the riding of these horsemen under difficulties, horsemen and horsewomen, leaves a strong impression on the casual observer of hunting; for to such an one it seems that the hardest riding is forthcoming exactly where no hard riding should be expected. On the present occasion I will, if you please, confine myself to the lady who rides to hounds, and will begin with an assertion, which will not be contradicted, that the number of such ladies is very much on the increase.

Conscious Riding

Book Review by Lori Brunnen

conscious riding.striberryConscious Riding: A Horseman’s Diary, Paul Striberry, Orange Publishing, Southern Pines, NC, 2016, soft cover $15.95, Kindle $9.95Even at the moment he came into the world, Paul Striberry found the ways of people mysterious. He was denied the usual exit route and made his appearance via Caesarean section, the anesthesia associated with which he suspects may have induced his short attention span and low frustration tolerance.

“Alice (mum) goes back to work, and leaves me in the care of Migraine Minerva, a nightmare nanny with a curious aversion to children. She feeds me when I’m not hungry and puts me to bed when I’m wide awake.”

“The horses are my round-the-clock companions. I watch them grazing in the sunshine and galloping through my dreams. They nip my boredom in the bud and fend off Minerva’s vexations. I’m happy with my four-legged friends on the wallpaper.”

To Finish the Season

warrenton.leesBlowing Home at Warrenton / Douglas Lees photo

‘Saddleford Crossroads at half-past eleven,’
Only last month, it would seem, we were there,
Rising so early to get there by seven,
Rubbing our hands in the chill morning air.

Time must have flown by, for that was September.
Horses half fit, and the country quite blind,
Details of every run since, we remember,
Sorrows and joys of each day call to mind.

Martha Doyle (Condensed)

martha doyle.megargeeMartha Doyle illustration by Edwin Megargee

Permit me, Muse, to sing the praises of Martha Doyle, a great lady in her own right and the noblest hunter I have ever seen or known. If I ever did see a better, I would not admit it, for that would be disloyalty to Martha’s memory and I am the High Priest of her cult. Many admire her, a certain few revered her greatness, but I adored her. She had my heart and perhaps, in a grudging, spinsterish, slightly contemptuous way, I had hers. You give your heart, I believe, to only one woman, one countryside, one horse, and one dog.