Tanq has been a rock-solid, equine citizen lately. He is for sale and is going to make someone a very happy owner. This past week, he’s been foxhunting and to a combined test, and did a super job at both!
Friday, I took him over to hunt with Loudoun Hunt West to see how he’d do. Tanq’s a pretty cool cucumber, so I figured he’d be fine. He goes out alone, or in company, he is easy to rate at all 3 gaits – even galloping, he’ll come back to a slower speed with ease, and these are all good starting points. He was very alert, and a touch worried about so many horses at once, not to mention, that was more canines than he’s ever seen at once. There must have been 30 hounds, and while we’ve had a few crazy days with the farrier’s dogs, neighbor’s dogs, and our own dogs – up to 9 dogs careening down the barn aisle – this was a LOT for a young horse to take into account. I found a nice lady on an experienced horse to follow, and we had a great time. The first 30 minutes he was nervous as the huntsman cast the hounds, they were crashing through the underbrush, and baying and the huntsman was calling and blowing his horn. Tanq’s nerves are quite tolerable though. We walked a couple of circles, let him eat a few bites of grass and then we’d move out again. After a good run though the woods, where we went through ditches, streams, up and down hills, we came to a gravel road and I noticed the horse of the lady I was sticking with was missing a shoe! So she had to go in, and a few others went in as well. I thought that we’d probably only be out another hour or so, as we’d been out for over an hour and I figured cubbing season meant about 2 or 2.5 hours, but we were out closer to 4 hours!
We had some really good runs, and Tanq got a chance to gallop up and down hills, through streams, through underbrush, the works. We were in second field as I didn’t want to over-face him with jumps as well his first time out, but he’ll be fine with the jumps. Tanq figured it out pretty quickly, and was already starting to watch the hounds, slowed himself before I had to when the horse in front was slowing, I was pleased as could be with him!
The next day, I’d already entered him in a combined test. I figured that the hunting would do our dressage no favors, and I was right. He wasn’t terrible, but it was cold and pouring rain, and I think he was a bit stiff. We ended up with a 37.5 (62.5%), and a clear jumping round. I’m not sure how we placed, because there were some delays with the scoring, and we were all soaked and cold, so we left. Two 5s on the test, but everything else was 6s and 7s.
Doug braved the horrible weather with his camera and might have some pics from the dressage, but the rain was too hard and no shelter, so he didn’t grab it for the jumping rounds.
But, Doug got some new camera stuff and I want to share some of his awesome pics…
And this one, I’m going to try to see if I can make it the top border on the blog…