When the hedges just keep coming, you just keep riding and they just come at you so fast that you don’t have time to debate with yourself as to whether or not you may or may not die on landing and this can only be described as a good thing !! If I had time to think, and look at the approaching hedge and analyse its drop on the other side and the large ditch beneath it and the sheep staring at me on landing, I probably would have to say ‘no thanks’. But, as it happened, all that I had was my horse, Harry, galloping and popping them like they were the 1’6 feet clear round class.
Beyond that, they just kept coming, hedge after hedge after hedge, what an amazing rush of adrenaline as your horse just takes you over them one after another. Every now and again you find yourself looking around blindly to make sure fellow team members are still in situ in their saddles, which of course they are. I cannot quite describe the amazing feeling after jumping about 10 huge hedges in a row, I think for me it was mainly shock and I can only really thank my horse as I sat there like a limp fart much of the time occasionally patting him on the neck whilst galloping full pelt.
My friends horses range from a fantastic cob with the jumping ability of a stag in full motion and a flirty ex-racehorse who needs some vocal encouragement to avoid use of the handbrake prior to take off (she enjoys seeing her rider engage the air bag) but who can also jump like a deer when she opts to. We all had a fantastic day. The Kent and Surrey Bloodhounds are lovely and inviting, and should you part company from your horse (as occasionally is the case) there will always be someone there to catch you and your horse. Should you not be in the mood for a 6ft hedge, there is always a way around and a friendly field master to guide you on an alternative route. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Not only that but their super Photographer Julian Portch always gets some amazing full flight shots so that you can look back on your super day and smile.
There is nothing that can beat a day’s hunting, nothing at all and I have tried them all. Show jumping is over too quickly, dressage is like putting me in front of headlights and eventing deprives me of sleep the night before. Hunting however never ceases to bring a smile to my face, from the port and mince pies at the meet, to the hedge hopping and high fives as we go along, to the massive love for our horses after a fabulous day.
All I can say is try it, you will definitely like it. If you are not sure and need some advice, get in touch and take a look at my hunting guide and some info on hirelings , if you don’t fancy taking your own horse! There is also some helpful info here on the Kent and Surrey Bloodhounds page. Get cracking folks !!