This is to be my record of a year spent hunting down here in Cornwall. A long season awaits with two new horses and less than a fortnight after the puppy show that first text arrives, cubbing begins! Cubbing, or autumn hunting in modern parlance is not only a training ground for hounds but also for horses as the more sedate pace, shorter time spent out and smaller fields lend themselves to educating the novice. Early starts are the order of the day at this time of year, meeting at 7 am usually requires a 5am rise. There is little in this world though that will get a man out of bed faster than the prospect of hounds and horses!
That first alarm of the year brings with it the prospect of a new horse, Rex a 4 year old broken by myself this summer and ready now to see hounds for the first time, and although a total gentleman in his training so far the fact he is standing at 17.3hh means that any bad manners might be a problem!
Our first morning starts on a large piece of covert thick with lush green bracken at this point in the year,hounds disappear in to it keen to get going again, the more experienced hounds cajoling the youngsters and taking the lead. Old faces are met again, hounds horses and people. The new horse is fascinated by proceedings rather than overwhelmed by them. Brief snippets of the wonderful music are heard from the covert, a taste of things to come! By 9am we have seen enough for our first outing and leave the field amongst summers colours of purple heather and green bracken a promising start on what I think is a promising horse. We will be out again within a week, The season beckons!