Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Preparation’s a Pain; Hunting’s a Hoot

lori brunnen on ozzyLori and OzzyIt took forty minutes in the pea soup fog early this morning to bring the horses in. Something about the early morning darkness convinces them they are feral. Although with Ozzy’s skin he would last about two minutes in the wild. Not to mention his feet....

Horses are apparently unable to connect the sight of human figures in the dark with the same people they see at least twice a day 365 days a year. This mental dilemma triggered an extended episode of BAF.*

Last night, also in the dark, found me in the backyard manning the grill. I was making dry-rubbed drumsticks for the tailgate, following Roger Mooking’s recipe, whoever he is.** My original plan was to grill them in the morning, and then I came to my senses. Also baked some S'mores cupcakes. I did not have a cupcake tin so I just filled the paper cups and crammed them tightly into a baking pan. My hope was that maybe squeezing them together would give them more support and shape. They exited the oven shaped like amoebas but luckily they tasted better than they looked. Hubby liked them but was suspicious and wanted to know “what is the brown stuff on the bottom?” That would be Graham Crackers, Rick. As a Boy Scout, Rick went home with a headache before his first overnight. Obviously before the campfire was even lit. The chicken looked just like the photo in the magazine.

High Jinks With Pink Gin

Back in the late 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America from post-war Britain, where shortages still prevailed and ration books were in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. Their adventures discovering America, land of plenty, while struggling with a lively collection of foxhunting horses, timber horses, and show horses, were published in five parts on these pages and popularly received. (Use our Search function with the author’s name to find those stories.) What follows is a new installment revisiting “Pink Gin, The Beer Swilling Timber Horse.”

pink gin.coatesIllustration by Rosemary H. Coates

Sarah and I had not been long in the States when Pink Gin arrived at Bryn Mawr Farms. Billy, who mucked out for us, was, as usual, the first to find fault with him.

“He do get drunk, he do. Proper beer-swiller he be. And he eats eggs and molasses with all his feed. Lord, if only I could eat like that!”

The Witch With Warts: Discovering America

Back in the late 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America from post-war Britain, where shortages still prevailed and ration books were in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. The pair's adventures discovering America, land of plenty, while struggling with a lively collection of foxhunting horses, timber horses, and show horses, have been published in these pages. (Use our Search function with the author’s name to find those stories.) What follows is a new installment revisiting “The Witch With Warts.”

witch.rosemary coatesWitch / Rosemary Coates illustration

Soon after our arrival in the States, Sarah and I were left in charge of Bryn Mawr Farms while the rest of the help went with the show horses to the Harrisburg Horse Show for the week. Jamie promised the two of us cubhunting from the farm and cocktail parties at the show as a reward. I took the week off as a break from my office job. This I quickly realized was going to be anything but a vacation.

Pulling Out

pulling out image.another hunts trerritory"...you have hacked into another pack's territory."

There comes a day in the hunting field when, despite the sport, you have to pull out. Your horse has thrown a shoe, or maybe your wife is in labor. Possibly the hounds have crossed the ridge into the next county and you have a winded horse. Or you notice the sun has set and you are six miles from the trailers.

And here is the challenge: how do you get back to the fixture?