Yesterday was a riding day and I went foxhunting. It is cubbing season here. That is when we take out the young hounds with the older ones and prepare them for the coming formal season of hunting. They learn to stay with the group, listen to the huntsman, and discover all the scents and sounds of the great outdoors. The goal is not to find game but to train puppies and condition the older hounds.
We hunt early at seven in the morning here, and while getting up in the dark is not on my favorites list, watching the sun rise as I drive to the meet is. The early dew steams in the morning rays creating misty valleys filled with the promise of adventure. I get up before dawn, feed my horses, clean the stalls, groom the one I am going to ride, turn out the others and head to the fixture for the day. A fixture is the place we will meet to hunt.
The hunt is short, young hounds get tired easily, so do out of shape riders. On the way home I marvel at the wonder of it all. The natural interaction of man with his world. Being taken back in time, being reminded we are one of the animal kingdom. Sometimes we lose sight of that in our man-made world. It is good to be reminded of the balance of nature and that we are meant to be a part of that picture.
Did you know that hunters are the best land conservationists? They understand the vital need to keep the wilderness, preserve farmlands, and pure water supply. They know the human's place in the world. Foxhunters will work tirelessly to save the countryside.
Yesterday, I went foxhunting, rode across land that will never be developed. Fell in love, as I do every time, with the beauty of nature and thanked God for creating this natural balancing act that keeps our world a thriving planet.
Gone hunting; when you hear someone say that, thank them for doing their part to preserve your world.