Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound
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FHL WEEK, Nov. 18, 2022

Here is your issue of FHL WEEK in PDF format. Please view this link at anytime to view and/or download past issues. (Be sure to log in first).

This Week in...

...Hunt Reports

Scarlets in Virginia
It's now the season of braided hunt horses, spotless turn-out, tally ho wagons, and outdoor blessings. In other words, it’s time for Opening Meet!  (Pg. 3)

An Irishman’s View of Kansas
James Tonery has a fun video of hunting with Mission Valley for their 2022 Opening Meet.  (Pg. 8)

Revisiting Opening Meet
Kansas photographer Olivia Danielle Long attended Mission Valley Hunt’s 2022 Opening Meet at the Fin and Feather fixture in Kansas, and it brought it back memories of foxhunting as a teenager.  (Pg. 10)

Perspective
Leilani Gray gives a hunt report of a very popular hunt that occurred early in October in southern Middle Tennessee.  (Pg. 20)

...Picture of the Week

Both Ends of the Spectrum
Steph Burch has some wonderful images from several English foxhunts this season.  (Pg. 7)

...Latest

A Season of Field Hunter Competitions
At the start of every hunt season, several field hunter competitions showcase the skills of hunt members and their mounts.  (Pg. 12)

A Dorset Huntsman Convicted of Illegal Hunting
Mark Pearson, Joint Master and Huntsman for the South Dorset Hunt, was found guilty this October of illegal hunting.  (Pg. 22)

...Horses

Fun Without Ribbons
This past weekend Blair Snively and her horse Blaze, members of the Bedford County Hunt, competed at the MFHA Field Hunter Championship Qualifier hosted by Deep Run Hunt at the Pine Crest Farm in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia.  (Pg. 17)

...Art

"Well Done, Chaps!"
Cathy Antkes Choyce drew this wonderful scene, showing those “invisible tethers” that tie a hound to the huntsman.  (Pg. 21)

...Special Blog (Advertisement)

3 Ways Equilibrium Can Benefit Your Fox Hunter
The leaves are starting to change and the mornings are getting a little cooler, that means it's time to pull out the stock tie and fill up your flask.  (Pg. 23)

Scarlets in Virginia

Hunt Club Pages

It's now the season of braided hunt horses, spotless turn-out, tally ho wagons, and outdoor blessings. In other words, it’s time for Opening Meet! Douglas Lees was a very busy photographer in Virginia recently as he attended Opening Meets for Piedmont Fox Hounds, Old Dominion Hunt, and Warrenton Hunt.

But all the hard work to get ready for such a High Holy Day is worth it. The spectacle of the day is a favorite of photographers. The first photographer that we are featuring is Douglas Lees. Mr. Lees attended three different Opening Meets in Virginia recently. 

The Piedmont Fox Hounds' 2022 Opening Meet was held at Oakley Farm near Upperville.

PFH DSC 3790 Oakley near Upperville Va. left to right Michele St. Once whipper in Jordan Hicks huntsman John Dean whipper in Douglas LeePiedmont Fox Hounds 2022 Opening Meet featuring whipper-ins Michele St. Once and John Dean, with huntsman Jordan Hicks in the center. Photo by Douglas Lees.

PFH DSC 3836 Huntsman Jordan hicks Douglas LeePiedmont Fox Hounds 2022 Opening Meet of Huntsman Jordan Hicks and his pack. Photo by Douglas Lees.

Old Dominion Hunt's 2022 Opening Meet was held at High Meadow Manor near Flint Hill. 

ODH DSC 3563 Betsy Parker field master moving off from High Meadow Manor house Douglas LeeOld Dominion Hunt 2022 Opening Meet Field Master Betsy Parker moving off from High Meadow Manor. Photo by Douglas Lees.

ODH DSC 3311 High Meadow Manor near Flint Hill Va Douglas LeeOld Dominion Hunt 2022 Opening Meet carriage follower. Photo by Douglas Lees.

The 2022 Opening Meet for Warrenton Hunt was held at Elway Farm, near Warrenton.

WHC DSC 4021 Huntsman Matt van der Woude with whipper ins Clydetta Poe Talbot and Melvin Johnson Douglas LeeWarrenton Hunt 2022 Opening Meet with Huntsman Matt van der Woude with whipper-ins Clydetta Poe Talbot and Melvin Johnson. Photo by Douglas Lees.

WHC DSC 4027 Huntsman Matt van der Woude Douglas LeeWarrenton Hunt 2022 Opening Meet with Huntsman Matt van der Woude with whipper-ins Clydetta Poe Talbot and Melvin Johnson. Photo by Douglas Lees.

 

Both Ends of the Spectrum

Picture of the Week

Steph Burch has some wonderful images from several English foxhunts this season.  They show both the highs and lows of our sport or shall I say the dry and wet?

Beaufort Steph Burch PhotographyDuke of Beauforts Foxhounds 2022 Opening Meet. Photo by Steph Burch Photography.

This image from the Duke of Beauforts Foxhounds 2022 Opening Meet is a favorite of mine.  What a cold and wet story this image says!

The rest of the Duke of Beauforts Foxhounds 2022 Opening Meet images can be found here:  https://stephburchphoto.zenfolio.com/p488157212

Stuart Timothy Radbourne jumping hedge Steph Burch PhotographyAvon Vale Foxhounds Stuart Timothy Radbourne jumping a hedge. Photo by Steph Burch Photography.

The next photo from Steph Burch is from the Avon Vale Foxhounds. Stuart Timothy Radbourne shows how to hop a hedge with style in the dawning light.  Just a beautiful shot.

The rest of the Avon Vale Foxhounds images from that morning can be found here: https://stephburchphoto.zenfolio.com/p154033494

Orginially published on November 13, 2022. 

 

 

An Irishman's View of Kansas

Hunt Reports

James Tonery has a fun video of hunting with Mission Valley for their 2022 Opening Meet.

James Tonery is from Galway, Ireland. His farm in Ireland revolved around selling horses, leasing hunt hirelings, and trekking tours. Trip Advisor has a Hall of Fame (who knew?) where James’ trekking tour business is honored. James moved from Ireland to Rhode Island in March 2020 to be an equine professor at James Wales University. That’s when he got the idea to visit a hunt in every state. Recently he visited Kansas to hunt with Mission Valley Hunt for their 2022 Opening Meet. The huntsman for Mission Valley, Ryan Beer, loaned him a horse.  Enjoy the video!

Orginially Published on November 13, 2022.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revisiting Opening Meet

Hunt Reports

Mission Valley IMG 2093 Olivia Daniella med2022 Opening Meet of Mission Valley Hunt. Photo by Olivia Daniella Photography.

Kansas photographer Olivia Danielle Long attended Mission Valley Hunt’s 2022 Opening Meet at the Fin and Feather fixture in Kansas, and it brought it back memories of foxhunting as a teenager.

 

Foxhunting has been a part of my life since I was a teen. My instructor would take us every couple of weeks, and it was always a blast to get up at 4:00 am, get to the barn at 5:00 am to then leave and arrive at the meet just before 8:00 am. And this past weekend for Mission Valley’s Opening Hunt, even though I was on the photographer’s side of the lens, it wasn’t much different. A snowstorm replaced the rain on my way to Mission Valley’s clubhouse and made me question my wardrobe and life decisions in general. Thankfully the snow stopped, and the day looked promising, but it was still drizzling while I took candids of hunt members in their cozy overalls and horses in their leopard print slickers.

The Blessing of the Hounds was short, sweet, and special, and before I knew it the hunt was off. My four-wheel-drive steed was driven and directed by some of the best, and we followed along the best we could in those Kansas hills. We chased them in and out of fields and trees, picking the best angles and vantage points we could. There were some sightings of a coyote, then a great champagne break, to end on a great second half of the hunt. Since I wasn’t hanging on to a hot horse for dear life, the day seemed to go surprisingly fast, and as if my camera clicks were a ticking clock it was over and time for breakfast. The nostalgia of the days of my youth echoes with the braying hounds and laughter of members in the hills, followed by the sounds of the horn. Photographing the hunt itself is tough, but what makes it easier is feeling the day in its brilliant sights, memorable sounds, and hounds.

Mission Valley IMG 2104 Olivia Daniella med2022 Opening Meet for Mission Valley Hunt. Photo by Olivia Daniella Photography.

The gallery of her photos of the day can be found here: Mission Valley Opening Meet November 5th, 2022 by Olivia Danielle Photography (pixieset.com)

Mission Valley IMG 1627 Olivia Daniella med2022 Opening Meet of Mission Valley Hunt. Photo by Olivia Daniella Photography.

Editor’s Note: As a former Master, I can attest to the huge logistical undertaking that an Opening Meet involves. Out of all the Opening Meets I’ve attended, there is one that I will never forget. I usually hauled a group of my riding students to our Opening Meets, and they would help me prep the day before. One year, one of my students, a teenager, painted black stripes on my white pony just for fun, not realizing that the paint would leave stains on the clipped white hair until spring. The black stripes won despite five bathes with bluing shampoo and threatening a year’s worth of no-stirrup lessons for the said teenager. So, with as much dignity as I could muster, I brought a zebra to Opening Meet. That teenager with a panache for zebras? I shall keep her name a secret, but it rhymes with Olivia Danielle Long.

 

Originally published on November 13, 2022.

A Season of Field Hunter Competitions

Latest

rsz 3virginia field hunter championships photo by liz caller permission via fbVirginia Field Hunter Championships. Photo by Liz Caller.

At the start of every hunt season, several field hunter competitions showcase the skills of hunt members and their mounts. The nature of our sport doesn’t usually lend itself easily to competition, so each venue has come up with creative ways to quantify the skills needed to ride to hounds. Some competitions lean more towards jumping skills in an arena, while others try to keep as close to the hunt field as possible. These competitions can be a fun way for members to tune up their mounts for the hunt season. A few of the unique tasks required from competitors during individual rounds are opening and closing a gate while mounted, dropping a rail while mounted, halting from a hand gallop, dismounting and remounting from a stone wall, blowing a horn, and cracking a whip to name a few. Usually, only hunt members in good standing with their hunt clubs riding horses that are considered to have been fairly hunted are allowed to compete.

The Virginia Field Hunter Championship includes a mock hunt and is open to just two members from each of the Virginia hunts. Off the track Thoroughbreds have a Field Hunter division in the annual Thoroughbred Makeover event held at the Kentucky Horse Park. The Pennsylvania National Horse Show’s Hunt Night is always a prominent showcase of field hunter skills in an indoor arena. The Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championship Finals is judged over a week of hunting at different Virginia hunts cumulating for a finale held in conjunction with the Virginia Fall Races. And the Warrenton Horse Show’s Hunt Night has the ever-popular Staff Class and Hunt Team Class in an outdoor ring under the night sky.

Many hunt members thrill at competing with their foxhunting mounts, so these competitions are always popular. This year, several hunt members have had a banner year at multiple competitions. Devon Zebrovious of Piedmont Fox Hounds Hunt in Upperville, Virginia, placed high at three events. Cameron Sadler, MFH of Moore County Hounds in Southern Pines, North Carolina, won blue ribbons at two events. And Joel Merle-Smith, MFH of Keswick Hunt Club in Keswick, Virginia, shared horses with his wife Nicolette to have success at three of the competitions.

Virginia Field Hunter Championships

 Held at the Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia, the Virginia Field Hunter Championships was open only to Virginia hunt clubs. The competition started back in the 1950s.  Each Virginia hunt club nominated two riders to compete. This October 23, 2022, there were approximately twenty-five riders from thirteen hunts that rode in a mock hunt. The top riders from the mock hunt were then invited to the outdoor course for the individual round showcasing various skills needed for the hunt field.

Dawn Colgan with Old Dominion Hounds riding her Thoroughbred Bay (Dixie’s Boy Adam) was named the 2022 Virginia Field Hunter Champion. Best Turned Out was awarded to Devon Zebrovious (Piedmont Fox Hounds) riding Mapleleaf Celeste, owned by Bridon Irish Draughts, who also placed eighth overall. Zebrovious has been Reserve Champion here three times in the past. Joel Merle-Smith’s wife, Nicolette, rode her homebred Hermione MS to seventh place. Joel had ridden Hermione MS to a blue ribbon earlier this season at the Warrenton Hunt Night.

Pennsylvania National Horse Show - Hunt Night

 On October 17, 2022, the 76th annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg held its popular Hunt Night under the bright lights of the indoor arena. This show is one of the largest indoor horse shows in the country. Keswick Hunt Club won Hunt Night Champions with their seven members accumulating the most points over the other hunt teams competing from eighteen different hunt clubs. This was the tenth time that Keswick has won the championship. There were over a hundred riders in total competing in the various hunt classes that night. Joel Merle-Smith, MFH, riding his Thoroughbred Breezy (Winter Storm Warning), and Nicolette riding her homebred Fortune Cookie were both on the winning team for Keswick.

The horse show also features a very competitive sidesaddle division. Devon Zebrovious (Piedmont Fox Hounds) rode Tortuga, owned by Brenda Madison, to win Champion Ladies’ Side Saddle Hunter. Zebrovious has dominated this division in recent years, as she has won the Champion Ladies’ Side, Saddle Hunter, three other times with her now-deceased horse, Quest. Last year she was Reserve Champion with Tortuga.

Thoroughbred Makeover

Mike Mike & Sadler, Cameron Cameron Sadler and Mike Mike are wonderfully Zen during the Thoroughbred Makeover Cameron. Photo by CanterClix.

The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky hosted the finals for the Thoroughbred Makeover on October 15, 2022. The Thoroughbred Makeover was created by the Retired Racehorse Project to inspire a second career for racehorses after they have left the track. Of the ten divisions or sports that are part of the event, the Field Hunter division is always popular in the makeover. Riders had to first qualify at regional events before they were invited to participate in the finals. The Field Hunter division consisted of a mock hunt with Iroquois Hunt and an individual round in the Park’s indoor arena.

This year Cameron Sadler, MFH (Moore County Hounds) won the Field Hunter division on her Thoroughbred, Mike Mike. Trained by Sadler, Mike Mike (Handsome Mike) is a 2016 gelding that made 29 starts with two wins. His last race was on September 20, 2021.

This is Sadler’s fourth time competing in the Thoroughbred Makeover and her second time winning the Field Hunter Division. Also this year, Sadler placed third on Mike Mike in the Amateur Eventing division and was awarded the United States Pony Club Champion for the highest-placed Pony Club member.

Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championships Finals

 TAR Devon z hedge Liz Callar photo permission via callTAR Devon Zebrovious jump a hedge during the TARFHC. Photo by Liz Callar.

Formerly known as the North American Field Hunter Championships, the 38th annual Theodora A. Randolph Field Hunter Championships has a long format that covers a whole week to crown its eventual champion. The first four days consist of hunting with several Virginian hunts alongside the mounted judges, with ribbons given for each day.  The finalist competed on the fifth day at Glenwood Park in Middleburg, Virginia on October 8, 2022.

The event is named for Mrs. Theodora Ayer Randolph, who was Master of Piedmont Fox Hounds from 1954 - 1996 and Chairman of the Virginia Fall Races for many years. Due to Mrs. Randolph’s love of steeplechasers, the finals are always held in conjunction with the Virginia Fall Races, also held at Glenwood Park.

The first scheduled hunt with Middleburg Hunt had to be canceled due to Hurricane Ian crashing the party. While it was a soggy start, the competitors hunted during the week with Blue Ridge Hunt, Rappahannock Hunt, Piedmont Fox Hounds, and finally Loudoun Fairfax Hunt filling in at the last minute.

The overall champion was Mary Crane (Norfolk Hunt in Virginia) on Forever Bernardini, who also won the Top Thoroughbred award. Devon Zebrovious (Piedmont Fox Hounds) also competed in this event on Mapleleaf Celeste, bagging Best Turned Out Champion and fourth overall. Cameron Sadler (Moore County Hunt) missed going around a stump in the individual round, but despite going off course, she still won eighth overall on her horse Zapper. And her Moore County Hunt won the Hunt With The Most Competitors trophy. Sadler has competed and judged this competition many times and won it a few years ago with a Thoroughbred named Battalion.

Warrenton Horse Show – Hunt Night

 rsz 1whs joel ms cookie whip hannah jones photography permison via emailJoel Merle-Smith at the Warrenton Hunt Night. Photo by Hannah Jones Photography.

The popular Hunt Night at the annual Warrenton Horse show in Warrenton, Virginia, is always held on the Sunday before Labor Day. The venue is outdoor, which makes for a dramatic setting under the arena’s bright lights and the night sky. While there are several classes, the two favorites are the Staff Class and the Hunt Team Class. In the Staff Class, riders must jump a course as expected, but there are other elements they must perform to simulate the skills that staff must have in the hunt field. Cracking a whip at a hand gallop always brings a cheer from the crowd. The Hunt Team Class was a jumping course with three riders, mostly going single file and keeping a consistent distance and rhythm until the last fence, which they jump altogether.

This September 4, 2022, the Staff Class was won by Beth Woodson (Warrenton Hunt in Virginia) riding Finley (she would later place third at the Virginia Field Hunter Championships with Finley). The Hunt Team Class was won by a hunt team from Rappahannock Hunt, beating out a dozen other teams.

Joel Merle-Smith, MFH (Keswick Hunt) competed in several of the classes offered that night. While he didn’t get pinned in the Staff Class on his wife’s horse, Fortune Cookie, he did win the Gentlemen’s Hack on his family’s homebred, Hermione MS. Joel is starting his first season as a Joint Master with a bang.

With all of these competitions coming to an end, there are still two field hunter championships currently running qualifiers around North America: The Junior Field Hunter Championships and the MFHA Field Hunter Championships. See the Foxhunting Life | Facebook page for information on those upcoming qualifiers.

Originally published on October 28, 2022.

Fun Without Ribbons

Horses

rsz 1blair snivley and blaze meredith newman photoBlair Snivley and Blaze at the 2022 MFHA FHC Virginia Qualifier. Meredith Newman photo.

This past weekend Blair Snively and her horse Blaze, members of the Bedford County Hunt, competed at the MFHA Field Hunter Championship Qualifier hosted by Deep Run Hunt at the Pine Crest Farm in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia. Not to highlight only the competitive winners (like there were just two riders the whole day) but let us feature the rest of the riders who just want to show up and have fun on the horses that they love. Despite the long day. Despite new, now-forbidden equine romances. Despite our horses deciding, “I’m out!” Blair’s recount of the day is a great representation of why we love to compete in these Field Hunter competitions.

My horse Blaze was a veritable rockstar at the qualifiers during the appointments class, the flat class, and the rigorous mock hunt. I smiled the ENTIRE time because it was truly a joy to ride him.

We were selected among the top eight for the individual round, out of over twenty riders in our division against the likes of riders and horses from Keswick, Deep Run, Farmington, and Bull Run.

My horse was tacked from 9:45 am until 4:30 pm. Blaze had met a girl earlier that morning. He was tired. When asked to go away from the spectators and compete in our individual test, he reminded me why we aren’t staff. Blaze is a field hunter through and through. He wants to be with the group, he doesn’t see the point in galivanting off to lark on our own.

To say that I am not colossally disappointed would be a lie, but Blaze was so tired and just done. I tried to ride through it with patience and told him how much I love him as I held back tears.

This is the hard part of riding. Sometimes we are set up for winning, and then, it just doesn’t happen. I wish everyone could have seen what Blaze can do. But I am also so proud of Blaze. Best of all, I am super stoked that my teammate Kallie Hainline and her mare Dee (whom Blaze is not allowed to see anymore) won second place and are representing Bedford County Hunt at Nationals!

It was an honor to ride with so many amazing people this weekend. I made many new friends, saw a new country, and was hosted by a gracious hunt with beautiful grounds.

We had fun and were safe, which are the only requirements that I ever ask of my horses. These are the lessons that I am trying to instill in my young son in his first hunt season. They are hard, humbling lessons in grace.

VA MFHA FHC flyer

Originally published on November 7, 2022.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perspective

Hunt Reports

rsz dana burke photo hillsboroLeilani Gray photo by Dana Burke.

Leilani Gray gives a hunt report of a very popular hunt that occurred early in October in southern Middle Tennessee. This is Leilani's first season as the Huntsman for Hillsboro Hounds. Her husband Johnny Gray retired at the end of last season.

After today's hunt, all the field members were saying that it was the best hunt of the season. With all but one of our 19 1/2 couple back in the trailer safe and sound, and the last one out having been collected quickly afterward, all the staff was able to smile and appreciate the fact that the members had such a fantastic time.

The day started like most of the past month, with a clear blue sky and dry as a bone ground. At first, there were a couple of attempts by the pack to carry an old line and a couple of good deer-schooling opportunities. Then, as a cold line appeared to disappear, we pushed forward and struck what appeared to be heel line. No... it was just a sneaky coyote that took us on a fantastic (for some) run.

All things considered; the hounds were fantastic doing exactly what they were supposed to be doing. The coyote, on the other hand, took us directly to Exit 27 on Interstate 65. Okay, we didn’t go quite to the interstate, but we were only a quarter of a mile from it when we all viewed the coyote going south. Hounds were hot on the trail just seconds behind. So for all those members having a fantastic time, staff was galloping down the roads and hillsides paralleling the interstate. It was just a bit nerve-racking for us.

The coyote continued to bob and weave within a quarter of a mile of I65 for about four miles straight south until we finally cut off the front end of the pack and began collecting hounds. Again, all in all, the day was successful, productive, and stressful... oh, and fantastic!

Originally published October 23, 2022.

"Well Done, Chaps!"

Art

rsz art print"Well Done, Chaps!" by Cathy Antkes Choyce.

Cathy Antkes Choyce drew this wonderful scene, showing those “invisible tethers” that tie a hound to the huntsman.

The print is 12" x 18" and is drawn with colored pencils. She used a photo reference from McCauley Bowers.

Well done, indeed, Cathy.

Originally published October 23, 2022.

A Dorset Huntsman Convicted of Illegal Hunting

Latest

rsz tvh hw 158kPhoto by Gretchen Pelham

Mark Pearson, Joint Master and Huntsman for the South Dorset Hunt, was found guilty this October of illegal hunting. A video of Pearson was taped by hunt saboteurs that allegedly showed him “encouraging” the pack to kill a fox, violating the Hunting Act 2004. The incident occurred last December 2021 in Dorset, located in southwest England.

The hunt saboteur testified in court that she watched Pearson, “dressed in the red coat of a Master”, dismount and then yell “Carry on!” to the pack by the gorse. Which she interpreted as encouraging the pack to kill the fox. She continued to testify that when Pearson emerged from the gorse, he kept saying “hunt on” and “carry on” four times after he remounted. This she inferred that Pearson wanted the pack to carry on to the fox.

Pearson’s rebuttal was that he was blowing his horn to call the hounds back and was yelling “leave it” to the pack. It should be noted that the video by the hunt saboteur was taken from some fields away. 

The justice decided that even though Pearson had several decades of experience with hounds, he should have had control over the hounds before they slaughtered the fox in the gorse. Pearson was fined £6,000, a victim surcharge of £190, and costs of £620.

Another fox had been killed earlier that day by the same pack, but that incident was dismissed as an unfortunate accident by police. Two hours later, when much of the hunt had left, hunt saboteurs monitoring the event heard the hounds baying and filmed the incident described above.

Sounds like this video, taken from a long distance from the pack, was just poor enough quality that the hunt saboteur was able to give her own translation to what was being yelled by Pearson. Now, I’ve not hunted everywhere, but I don’t believe “carry on” is a standard call to a pack. But “leave it”?  Sure. 

Originally published on October 23, 2022.

3 Ways Equilibrium Can Benefit Your Fox Hunter

Special Blog (Advertisement)

The leaves are starting to change and the mornings are getting a little cooler, that means it's time to pull out the stock tie and fill up your flask. Depending on where you are in America, your hunting season might have already started, either way, Equilibrium could give both you and your horse the balance you need.

insta photo foxhunting

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Young Horses

New experiences of any kind can be stressful and anxiety inducing in any discipline, add in hounds and 40 or so horses and you've got a recipe for a disaster for yourself, your horse, and potentially someone else. 

Chelsea Gammon, founder of Folly and Friends Mustang Sanctuary, a Pennsylvania based 501c charity for retraining mustangs, regularly takes the recently domesticated horses out with local hunts. If you didn't know mustangs make fox hunters, you're not alone!

"I credit CannaHorse Equilibrium for helping them to cope with their anxiety. Unlike acepromazine or other sedatives, it doesn’t affect them physically or affect their mental clarity, so they can retain everything they learn." said Chelsea in a recent Instagram post sharing a morning out with a young horse. 

Top level eventers like Ema Klugman find the same benefits when taking young horses, often OTTBs for their first off property cross country experiences. "When you trailer anxious horses off property, they normally carry that travel anxiety into your ride. With Equilibrium, you can go right to work and give them a positive experience." Said Ema.

Active or Older Horses

The potential benefits of Equilibrium extend beyond just anxiety. A growing number of human athletes have reported significant improvement in their recovery and cannabis has shown, to them, to provide a viable alternative to the dangerous and addictive opioids they had been taking. Super Bowl winner Rob Gronkowski, UFC stars Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor, Gold Medal/World Cup soccer legend Megan Rapino, and golfers like Bubba Watson all credit cannabinoids as benefiting them in some way.

If your horse is hunting a few days per week, they might benefit from some added help from the inflammation and lack of rest that over exertion can cause. Published studies have indicated relief from exercise induced muscle damage in humans, reduced tissue degradation in animals. 

Nervous Horses or Nervous Riders

While you may be able to have a nip of jumping juice from your flask, we don't advise it for your horse. Even for an older horse, there is a lot going on in a busy hunt field, from hounds running between horse's legs, to a brisk wind at the top of a hill, any number of things can set even the most seasoned horse off. Ema Klugman feels that "Amateur and junior riders often worry when their horse feels anxious. Equilibrium can help riders feel more confident when their horse is more relaxed." When combined with a nervous or older rider, this could potentially lead to serious injury. 

"Two of the worst accidents I saw during my 25 plus years of hunting were competent but strong older horses ridden by gentlemen who were maybe a bit past their prime. In both cases the horses had been sedated before the meet moved off and the horses lost their footing on the other side of a coop." said Laurel Byrne, MFH and a former board member of the Masters of Fox Hounds Association. "There is really too much going on in the field for horses to not have their wits about them, especially if the rider is a little nervous. What I love about Equilibrium is that the horses seem to lose that fiery edge, but maintain their ability to focus. To me, it's a much safer option for horse and rider."

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