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The Fox Hunt

Madison, 11, and Fender Bender (aka Ben)

 

Somehow, I find it so very addicting. Addicting like I can’t stop. I don’t want to not think about it, or give up on it. It’s not like playing with a toy or a puppy; it’s running till my heart is warm, till I can’t feel my feet, till when I can hear a hound’s cry. This isn’t just a sport, it’s my favorite sport, Bear Creek Hounds foxhunting. I had the greatest day of my life.

It was a January day at 8:30 A.M when I had an experience of a lifetime—one that  took my breath away. It was cool, crisp, and clean; everyone’s tack was nice and oiled and ready to go. Hounds were sniffing around to get a feel. My legs shook with cold nervousness.  And then I heard the huntsman’s horn. Hearing that shining horn blow was like music to my ears.

I love it when I hear the crack of a whip. People’s horses jump in shocking motions! The Masters call out the “flights” as the horses and hounds dash forward. We were squeezed right in with first flight. We closed in tight together as we headed to our first coop! All that was running through my head was “What’s on the other side?!”  But then, I just gave rein and a little heel and I landed softly as if I landed on a cloud. I remember the mud squishing under my pony’s hooves.

As I looked up the riders were gone in a flash. It felt like I was flying through the air. As we ran as fast as we possibly could, we splashed through all the mud puddles. I could finally see the bright red coats of the hunt staff swishing through to cold air. Suddenly we came to a hard stop and I fell forward a little bit onto my pony’s neck.

And just as suddenly I saw Mr. Guy take off and then I saw Mr. Phil take off saying “Watch for holes!” Holes are my worst enemies. Just when Mr. Phil shouted  the warning I fell right in a hole and it felt like there was no end to it! I felt like I was falling into another city! I shouted with all my might “Hole!”  Luckily my pony and recovered from our drop and we just kept galloping.

Soon enough, within a blink of an eye, the 1st flight was dodging branches and holes at a pace I didn’t think was believable. My eyes watered when the breeze flew past my face. When I saw the horses ahead do a quick turn on their hind legs, my heart felt like it sunk. As we ran and ran I looked aside and I saw rows of narrow trees being left behind. The scenery of foggy woods made me want to go faster. But when I find a hound running next to me, I can’t do anything but smile!

Mr. Guy blew his horn and his hounds came running as fast as they can. We waited for the hounds to come in. It amuses me when I seem to see a splash of blood anywhere on the bodies of hounds.  I knew that they must have had a huge fight with a fox or a bobcat or a wild hog. As we trotted back to the kennels my legs gradually release and I come in with the rest of the field with pride and confidence.

But when we come to the end I felt gloomy as I dismounted, already hoping we can go out again soon! Ending a foxhunt is like leaving something you love. But the one thing that gives me cheer in my day, is hearing I’m going to another one tomorrow. Foxhunting is my life and will always have a place in my heart until the day my heart stops beating. I love the Bear Creek Hounds!

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