Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fox hunting; Alberta style!

I went to my first fox hunt of the year on sunday. It was so much fun! We weren't able to go all last year with Brigit being sick.

I think I finally figured out the secret to having a fun hunt. The pelham. The first time I took Brigit on a hunt I made the mistake of riding her in a snaffle. By the end of the day I had blisters through leather gloves and my shoulders hurt from her pulling and yanking down on me, she just wanted to RUN flat out the whole time. Last year we went in a kimberwicke which helped a lot but since we've been riding sidesaddle in a pelham with success, I figured I'd give it a try. It was definitely the trick! She wasn't pulling and I wasn't sore! It was just a nice day out cantering around and jumping.

Now by "Alberta" foxhunting I mean it's just a mock hunt. We have a huntmaster and other hunt officials but we don't have hounds and there's nothing to chase. So we just follow the hunt master around and jump.

We were at a beautiful ranch called "Palmerra" this weekend. The hills are scenery are so beautiful! I was sure glad we stopped for lots of rest breaks though because my poor out of shape, flat land pony was definitely getting tuckered out!

Unfortunately I forgot my camera at home so I had to borrow a few pictures to post here.


And no, I'm not brave enough to try doing a hunt sidesaddle yet! My mare just gets a bit too nutty with all the other horses and I still haven't figured out this jumping aside business! lol


  1. Cool!!!! Are you a member of a hunt? At least you don't have the anti hunt protesters where you are. I've never been on a hunt but I've always wanted to. Don't think I could jump very high in a side saddle, the highest I've jumped aside has been 1 1/2 foot, I just can't get forward enough aside to deal with Hattie's big jump.
    So the pelham made a difference? The judge at our last show mentioned about having Hattie in a pelham for equitation but I've never ridden with two reins as she always goes well in a normal french link full cheek snaffle. I might have a look out for a french link pelham then.

  2. Yup I'm a member of the hunt club pictured. It's pretty fun to tour around.
    haha Yeah there wouldn't be much to protest with us, we don't have dogs or actually "hunt" anything. Just follow the huntmaster around and jump man-made fences and stop for the odd "beverage" along the way.
    I have that same problem with Brigit, I can't seem to get forward and stay forward long enough. She's got such a big round jump that I tend to get "snapped" backwards and my back is just killing me after a few jumps.
    As for the Pelham, yes it's made a really nice difference. The two reins is easy, I bet you wouldn't have a problem with it and the horses tend to adjust easily to them as well. If you've got a nice sensitive horse, you ride mostly off of the snaffle rein, the curb rein is there in case you need a little extra "Whoa!". I've never seen a french link pelham but I use a straight bar one and I like it better than a plain broken one.

  3. Hey, what part of Alberta are you in? I am very interested in doing something like this, and live in the Calgary area! Would love more info about your club, or any others you know of? Thanks!!!

  4. Hey Cassandra! I'm just north of Calgary. If you are on facebook, look for the Alberta Sidesaddle Association's page. We're just in the midst of getting the club officially up & running. Our members are from all over; south of Calgary, north and as far up as Edmonton. It's a lot of fun! We will be at the Mane Event in Red Deer, the Horse Showcase in Edmonton and likely at the Calgary Stampede this year.

  5. Hi Michelle! I will definitely take a look for them on facebook! Is that the group who runs the fox hunts as well? I was invited to do an event like this a few years ago, but had a falling out with the person who invited me, so I never had the chance to be involved. But it is something I would very much like to do! I believe his was through people with the Calgary polo club though. Where are you, north of Calgary? I am in Airdrie actually, and have been trying to find somewhere closer to there to board my horses!!!

  6. Who runs the fox hunts, and do they have a website or email I can contact them in regards
    to registration and joining?