Emily Miller, 13, is one of Red Rock Hounds' (NV) devoted young riders who not only show up to hunt, but also work behind the scenes to support the Masters and staff. "We are so proud of our junior field here at Red Rock," said Angela Murray, MFH, "They bring so much to the life and give light for a bright future here at our hunt! Our juniors play a big role in the hunt field as young staff members, in the barn exercising and handling staff and members' horses, and in the kennel with the care and training of hounds."
In addition to Emily, Murray recognized other special assistants. "Three of our very dedicated junior members are Dakotah Crossley, Sydney Lessinger and Emily. These young people travel on the road with us to 'away meets' and could probably run the show without us! They ride harder, know the country and hounds better, and have that natural feel for being true fox hunters!" Emily answered several questions about her experiences as one of the Red Rock juniors.
1. When did you start riding? How did you become interested in foxhunting?
Answer: I started hunting about three years ago and it has been amazing. I have lived in Red Rock since I was three, and I remember going down to the barn every day with my dad and petting all the horses. As I got older, I would see the hunt every once in a while and seeing them gallop across the fields made me feel a certain way. It gave me chills down my back, because all I wanted to do was ride with them. My parents eventually set up lessons and ever since I just grew up riding.
2. Do you remember your first hunt (or your first few times out)? How has it changed now that you have a little more experience?
Answer: My first hunt ever was very snowy and icy and I was very nervous, but everyone was there for me and I felt much better. Back then,I definitely think I was much more nervous going out, but now all I want to do is hunt through the country. Everyone I've been around since then has given me much more confidence. I have more experience jumping, and just riding in all, and it has improved greatly since then.
3. What is your typical hunt day like? What is your country like?
Answer: Our typical hunt day starts with getting all the horses and hounds ready to go. With the hounds, we usually go up to the kennel, collar them, and make sure everyone we want to take out that day is there and ready. Usually we will hunt from places besides the barn, so we have to trailer there. Once we get to the area we're hunting in that day, we get the horses tacked up, hounds ready, and head out. Lynn Lloyd, MFH, our huntsman, packs up the hounds in the beginning of the hunt until we get a good distance from the trailers. We then follow the hounds where ever they lead us and hopefully get a coyote!
4. Who is your favorite hunt horse/pony, and why?
Answer: My favorite hunt horse is Chancellor! He is my baby and I love him to death. I feel he and I have a special bond, because he just seems to know who I am when I'm walking around the barn petting horses. Chancellor protects me when we're hunting, which is a really special connection to have with a horse.
5. What is the most challenging part about hunting, and what is the most fun part?
Answer: Since I am a junior hunter, I always try to understand more about where the whips are at all times, and what they do whenever the hounds go in any certain direction. I also really look at how Lynn handles the hounds and situations we might get in. It's very challenging, because it definitely takes time to understand, but it will be all worth it in the end when I'm older. I would have to say the most fun parts are galloping through the country after the hounds and seeing them hunt. It's an amazing feeling. I would also have to say jumping out there because that is super fun!