Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Foxhunters love to travel! If you have a good travel story, share it with FHL. Click on How to Submit.

Horse Trailer Expert Shares Best Kept Secrets

Before the new hunting season begins, and especially for you who plan to put on serious mileage traveling to any of the exciting Hark Forward! events scheduled for the coming season, now is the time to take stock of your horse trailer and have it inspected by an expert. We asked an experienced dealer about safety considerations when transporting horses by trailer.

river vally1River Valley aluminum side and rear loading tag-along

"One of the first issues to address with trailer owners and buyers is horse safety and comfort," says trailer dealer Donna Martin, co-owner of the Ruckersville, Virginia based Blue Ridge Trailers. She said most people who have started to research their options know they should compare trailer sizes and floor plans to the size of their horses. However, she noted that there are several other angles to consider, too.

“While you certainly want to have enough space for your horse to feel comfortable, you should also prioritize light and ventilation, as well as how the horses will stand and balance themselves,” she advised. “How you intend to work out of the trailer also is an important consideration.”

Hunt Week at Lowcountry

lowcountry.LoriAuthor and Oz midst the Spanish moss, away down south

This trip was to be the first vacation I have been on for a long time, thanks mostly to our “special” naked cat Alf. With a tendency to occasionally attempt to have sex with a sleeper’s head, hallucinate, or attack without provocation, there are no house sitters lining up for the job of caring for him in our absence. Likewise, no family members or friends. Prozac or no Prozac. That, along with my employer’s— Kaiser Permanente’s—death sentence for time taken off, has us often traveling separately, if at all.

Staying home has not been a hardship since I am happiest at home, but with our horrific winter this year, this nervous traveler headed south on a trip I had watched people enjoy without me for several years. The bastards.

Hedge-Hopping in England

My top moment of any Blackthorn & Brook holiday comes as our guests pull up after a run having encountered their first hedge. They make a fuss of their horse, turn to me and grin.

“I see what you mean about sitting up!” is a recurring comment.

Hedge-hopping is a much discussed feature of our holidays. The subject is met with excitement, trepidation, anticipation, fear, bravado, and everything in between, as it really is an unknown quantity for the majority of our American guests.

With this in mind, we have put together a short video and accompanying blog below, explaining a little of how we prepare ourselves and our horses for popping the hedges in style. What follows is a collection of basic principles that work for us. If anyone has questions or comments—challenges, improvements, ideas—we'd love to hear from you.

A Dream Fulfilled


bb.deb1(l-r) Megan, Deb, and Marti

The inspiration for this trip happened quite by accident. While traveling with cousins in the southwestern part of England in May of 2012 , we happened to stop for a Sunday roast at the pub in the tiny hamlet of Highclere Castle, the home of the wonderful television series, Downton Abbey.

We had missed, by a day, a trail ride on the grounds of the castle. My cousin Marti and I have taken many riding trips and are always looking for a new adventure. We began to dream of a trip in England where we would ride in some of the places that we had read about all of our lives in English novels but had never seen. As we visited the Exmoor and the Dartmoor, the haunts of wild ponies and the characters of Daphne du Maurier, we became more excited. We did not, however, have any idea how to accomplish our vision.