Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Purrfec’ Granary

Back in the late 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America. The pair had left Britain, where post-war ration books were still in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. What follows is Part IV of their adventures, which have included Part I: “How to Bridle a Green Field Hunter,Part II: “The Witch With Warts,” and Part III: Pink Gin: The Beer Swilling Timber Horse.

purfec granary2 rosemary coatesIllustration by Rosemary Coates

Sarah and I clearly remember Billy telling us about Purrfec’ Granary. Billy mucked out for us but he also had a way with words. This is how he described her infuriating ability to demolish stone walls and gallop off toward the rising sun.

“She lie down against a wall of stone—it's a trick she learned—and she do gently poosh that darned wall clean over. Then off she go wid ’er tail over herself!”

Stinkum Dinkum and the Christmas Eggnog

dinkum.coatesIllustration by Rosemary CoatesBack in the late 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America. The pair had left Britain, where post-war ration books were still in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. What follows is Part VI of their adventures. Find the first five in the Horse and Hound drop-down menu, under Humor. 

Dinkum was a hideous black horse with a foul temper. He acquired his stable name, Stinkum, right from the start. Billy, who mucked out for us, warned us about him as soon as we set foot in the barn.

Preparation’s a Pain; Hunting’s a Hoot

lori brunnen on ozzyLori and OzzyIt took forty minutes in the pea soup fog early this morning to bring the horses in. Something about the early morning darkness convinces them they are feral. Although with Ozzy’s skin he would last about two minutes in the wild. Not to mention his feet....

Horses are apparently unable to connect the sight of human figures in the dark with the same people they see at least twice a day 365 days a year. This mental dilemma triggered an extended episode of BAF.*

Last night, also in the dark, found me in the backyard manning the grill. I was making dry-rubbed drumsticks for the tailgate, following Roger Mooking’s recipe, whoever he is.** My original plan was to grill them in the morning, and then I came to my senses. Also baked some S'mores cupcakes. I did not have a cupcake tin so I just filled the paper cups and crammed them tightly into a baking pan. My hope was that maybe squeezing them together would give them more support and shape. They exited the oven shaped like amoebas but luckily they tasted better than they looked. Hubby liked them but was suspicious and wanted to know “what is the brown stuff on the bottom?” That would be Graham Crackers, Rick. As a Boy Scout, Rick went home with a headache before his first overnight. Obviously before the campfire was even lit. The chicken looked just like the photo in the magazine.

Pink Gin—The Beer-Swilling Timber Horse

Back in the late 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America. The pair had left Britain, where post-war ration books were still in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. What follows is Part III of their adventures, which have included Part I: “How to Bridle a Green Field Hunter,” and Part II: “The Witch With Warts.”

pink gin2.coatesIllustration by Rosemary Coates

We had not been long in the States when Pink Gin arrived at Bryn Mawr Farms. Billy, who mucked out for us, was, as usual, the first to find fault with him.

“He do get drunk, he do. Proper beer-swiller he be. And he eats eggs and molasses with all his feed. Lord, if only I could eat like that!”

Pink Gin (not his real name) was a timber horse with a record of wins. Since most timber racing is in the spring, pre-season training often means blizzards and temperatures averaging ten degrees Fahrenheit. This was one of the reasons for the high-calorie diet that included beer and eggs.