I hope that you have all had a lovely Christmas, and are looking forward to both New Year’s Eve celebrations, and hunting the following day! Bluey had colic on Christmas Eve, so we have not been out over the festive period, and will not be out again for a couple of weeks.
After getting back from Australia we got stuck back in to hunting, starting off with a meet where Bluey pulled a shoe off a hundred meters or so down the first farm track! We followed that with a lovely meet overlooking Newport, where the mulled wine was plentiful, and sadly so was the rain- which came down in torrential torrents once we were up on the mountain.
I had a weekend off in order to go to the hunt ball of our lovely neighbours at the South Pembrokeshire. They put on fantastic social events and this was another cracker, by the end of the night the four of us visiting from the Tivyside were left on the dancefloor with the hosts’ most hard dancing followers.
The first weekend in December was a particularly crazy one as I hunted Bluey with the Tivyside on the Saturday, went up to the North Cotswold Hunt Ball, and then came back to Wales to hunt with the Three Counties Bloodhounds on the Sunday. After a day riding little Bluey side saddle through some thickly wooded slopes it was quite the novelty to be out on the beach on Beast, a 17.2hh Irishman, kindly lent to me and turned out by the TCB joint masters. I really enjoy visiting the bloodhounds, they show very good sport and are incredibly welcoming. Beast was a strong ride, and I was relieved to get him off the beach after hearing that on his previous two excursions he had had his rider off!
Bluey’s next outing was to a side saddle meet hosted by the Pembrokeshire Hunt. Due to ice, hosting meets, and absent side saddles there were just three of us out aside, but we had a really good day. Their country has lots of open field and stubble, and so their field master led us on a very fast day, ending with crossing in to some of their wetter land, and having to pretty much swim across a bog. We were all surprised to hack home with all shoes and overreach boots in place.
Our final day of 2017 was a quiet Tuesday, escorting my friend who was taking her new horse out for his first day with hounds. Bluey did a good job of chaperoning the very well behaved newcomer, and we had a surprisingly busy weekday.
We have an exciting 2018 ahead, I am hoping to use my C&WW subscription and get out to my favourite English pack, as well as visiting the VWH, the Bicester with Whaddon Chase, and our neighbours at the South Pembrokeshire and Llandeilo Farmers. Our season at the Tivyside ends in early February, which while it makes the year short, allows for lots of visiting before everyone else finishes up!
All the best for 2018 x