Here are the reasons this was a bad idea:
- We'd had him for less than a week
- I'd only ridden him 3 times, including the tryout
- He'd never been hunting before (but he had walked out with the hounds)
- He's ... uhhhhmmm ... a little out-of-shape. Unless you consider round a shape.
Here are the reasons this was a good idea:
- He has a great brain.
As it turned out, he was AWESOME. We ended up going second flight (slow, no jumping, but still a good gallop or two) and it was perfect for him. He watched the hounds but was not at all bothered by them - one even came loping up behind him and he barely flicked an ear. He was a little uncertain about the cows, and he had a tendency to leap over ditches, but otherwise he never put a foot wrong. He was more than willing to keep up with the 2nd flight leader, who was riding an ex-Intermediate level eventer! I definitely need more brakes hunting, because when we were galloping he completely ignored the loose-ring snaffle I was riding him in. Ooops!
He got a TON of compliments on the hunt, mostly involving how cute he is. Good thing HE thinks "cute" is an acceptable compliment! The huntsmistress even commented on how well he did, and said that in another three outings he'd be an old pro at it. Coming from her I'll take that as a compliment of the highest order!
MC generously took some pictures from the hay wagon, so of course I must share:
Easy to pick out in a crowd!
We did a lot of walking during the holds... he hasn't figured out that he can stand around and relax yet.
Fuzzypony on my right on Taran, Hubby on my left on Reddums.
I love this shot!
Gratuitous ear pic. Because, how can you not?
Post-ride, Paddy decided it was time for a roll. MC is holding Paddy (and the camera), I'm in the background holding Red.
I had a super, awesome fun time and am SO glad we decided to take Paddy after all. Now we just need to get a bit more fit, find some brakes, and we'll be set for the season.