Monday, November 9, 2015

Event Recap: Myopia Hunt Fall Hunter Pace

I had been looking forward to this event all summer since a friend and I did the Myopia Hunt Club spring hunter pace back in May, which was just tons of fun.

It was no less fun this time! We had an awesome 60-something degree day on November 1st and it was a little cloudy, but the rain held off. We did the non-jumping division again and the optimum time was 1:19:35. We finished in 1:38:14 which put us 0:18:39 off of the optimum time for 35th place out of 61 teams! 

My friend used the "Track My Hack" app again. I think a recent update makes it average the lines though, because we definitely did not take any trails that were even close to being that straight! It still gives a great overview though.
The course was just over 6 miles - slightly longer than the spring pace. I was wishing I had clipped Maggie before hand, because she was quite sweaty by the end! 6 miles on a 60 degree day in a fuzzy suit...that would make me pretty warm too. We didn't push it for the second half of the course and got passed by a few teams, but that was ok with us, we had nothing to prove. Plus without knowing the optimum time before hand it's a total guessing game anyway!

Foliage on display. Photo by S.
Lovely fields. Photo by S.

Despite doing the non-jumping division, I did opt to take Maggie over a few of the smaller fences at the beginning of the course, just for funzies. She went over things well, for the most part, though a little stickier than in our last lesson. I was totally forgetting to 'let go'! We garnered one refusal at a rail jump in the woods with a bunch of pine branches stacked underneath it. I don't think she had seen a jump with that much brush under it before (we haven't jumped an actual brush fence yet either...that'll be fun when we get there...eek) so she stopped and looked. We got over it fine the second time though!

Photo by S.

Photo by S.

The thing that really strikes me about these hunter places is simply how lucky I am to be able to participate in them.  Yes, you're essentially paying to go on a trail ride, but it's a trail ride with an air of competition (which, personally, I'm a fan of) and also, for these Myopia paces at least, we get to ride on land that isn't normally open to the public.

I'm not someone who is hugely into history in general, but I can appreciate living where I do. The Myopia hunter paces connect preserved trails on town-owned land and state forests with private trails on century-old estates that have been passed down within families since they were first settled as early as the 1600's. I really feel privileged to be able to ride around these places, where there really is an aura of history and old-world charm in the air.

We probably should have cantered around this field for the sake of time, but we really just couldn't help walking and enjoying our time there.

Photo by S.

These giant old trees were just simply stunning.

I think it's pretty safe to say that a good time was had by all! I'll definitely be penning in some hunter paces again during next year's season. 

Big thanks to Nature of Light Photography for capturing this moment as we cantered in to the finish! Used with permission.

Snacks after the pace. Maggie says, "MOAR CALORIES PLZ!"
Rio, S, Maggie, and myself. Photo by random guy in a truck reading the paper while waiting for his riders to get back. Thanks guy!


  1. Looks like a really fun day. That canter photo is awesome!

  2. This looks so fun!! I really want to find a hunter pace near me!

  3. what a beautiful ride - you guys must have had a total blast! i've only ever been on one hunter pace but we pretty much loved it. such a fun way to get out with the horses and friends :)

  4. I would love to do a hunter pace, looks like you had a great time

  5. I would love to do a hunter pace, looks like you had a great time