Today is Columbus Day for those readers outside of New England. New Englanders take Columbus Day very seriously, much like Texans celebrate Texas Independence Day and Confederate Heroes Day (don't ask), and as such, I had the day off from work.
My hunt hosted the Fall Foliage Hunter Pace out of the kennels so I was sure to sign up. We competed in the field division which is supposed to pace along at first field speed. Well, it was basically the pace from hell. We got lost about six times. Brego was not enthusiastic about leading the pack instead of following. He sucked back quite a bit and my jumping bat was as effective as limp noodles in getting him to move out. But he still managed to jump everything I asked, even if he slowed to a trot to look at it before going over.
He led our team across a deep river crossing and through some pretty treacherous trails, in between us getting lost. So all in all, I can't fault him one bit. He got us back to the trailers safely and only 12 minutes over the optimum time which was good enough for second place.
I made a mental note of the work we would have to do to school cross country on our own in the spring before we start eventing again. I almost think he does better by himself than leading a small group. He tends to "look backward" at the horses behind him and slows down for them to catch up which is not conducive to forward movement towards fences. The last time I schooled cross country with another rider he was terrible until we separated and we were on course alone. Then he listened and moved forward. He just doesn't like to lead, I guess.
Anyway, schooling for eventing is a long way off and Brego is in no danger of becoming a staff horse for the rest of the hunting season. So middle of the pack is just fine and that is where we are both most comfortable. It was an otherwise beautiful fall day and the colors were incredible. Not a bad way to spend a bank holiday.