Chateau de la Verrerie

Chateau de la Verrerie  is not far from home for us, since we have a special connection with it.  We also have fond memories of the fine dining at la Maison d’Helene, the hospitality of the Comte de Vogüé and his family, and a hunt with his harriers, not to mention a wedding there.  Let’s raise our glasses in a toast to Chateau de la Verrerie, as it remains deeply rooted in our memories and, we hope, in yours.

By |August 3rd, 2011|Foxhunting|Comments Off on Chateau de la Verrerie

Pocket and Pasture

Our foxhunters are out to pasture, while our polo ponies are now in work.  And our daughter’s pony, Pocket, is fat and happy in his green pasture, despite being asked to take a little work this summer. 

By |June 7th, 2011|Foxhunting|Comments Off on Pocket and Pasture

Don’t Jump Ahead of the Horse!

This the time of year when we begin to get our field hunters into some show jumping and cross-country schooling.  The Chronicle of the Horse just arrived in my mailbox and had this great story on “Don’t Jump Ahead of the Horse” and is about J. Michael Plumb.  I have to say it is the type of form I am striving for in foxhunting and show jumping. 

J. Michael Plumb was the first equestrian in the US Olympic Hall of Fame.  This brief video is worth watching, and watch his leg position, which never slips the fraction of an inch. 


By |May 30th, 2011|Foxhunting|Comments Off on Don’t Jump Ahead of the Horse!

Schooling Your Horse (book review, rated 5/5 *****)

by Captain Vladimir S. Littauer, Arco Publishing 1956

DeNemethy, Museler, Podhajsky certainly hit the high points of the classics. The one thing I’d add in that vein would be Harry Chamberlin’s “Training Hunters Jumpers and Hacks” and everything by Gordon Wright.  Next was would be Captain Vladimir S. Littauer’s  Commonsense Horsemanship and Schooling Your Horse.  Then, everything by George Morris and perhaps, the three-volume 1935 Cavalry Manual–Horsemanship and Horsemastership.

Simply put, Schooling Your Horse, is a classic and if you could learn everything in this easy to read book, you would be a master showjumper or field hunter.  There are chapters on Hunters, and he doesn’t mean show hunters, which is a tribute to the fact the book was written in 1956.   It is as relevant today as it was then.  Simple, informative and a no-nonsense method which works.

By |May 30th, 2011|Book Reviews, Foxhunting|Comments Off on Schooling Your Horse (book review, rated 5/5 *****)

Hunting with Hounds in North America (book review rated 1/5 *)

By Andreas F. von Recum, Pelican publishing company, 2002

I was initially excited to receive this book in the mail, which is out-of-print and collectible, but after reading it, I cannot figure out who the intended reader might be.  The mention of foxhounds is given 2 pages and all of the other hounds from sight hounds to deer hounds are summaries, at best.  I would have liked to see a more in-depth coverage of these great hounds which have been imported and bred in North America.  This is more like a school report on the subject of hounds and their quarry, although the one interest chart, aside from some of the photos which were pleasant from old art to modern hounds, showed that:

Coyotes travel at 40 mph, weigh 20-50 lbs, and are 32-37 inches in length

Red fox travel at 30 mph, weigh 10-15 lbs, and are 22-25 inches in length

Gray fox travel at 28 mph, weight 7-13 lbs, and are 21-29 inches in length

Most Thoroughbred horses have been clocked at just under 40 mph on the track and weigh 1100-1200 lbs and the English Foxhound, while it may reach 65 lbs, is also said to travel at around 40 mph.

By |May 30th, 2011|Book Reviews, Foxhunting|Comments Off on Hunting with Hounds in North America (book review rated 1/5 *)

From Ranch Hands to Royalty

For over 20 years, Meg Anderson and John Lake catered all manner of shindigs at her Cherokee Ranch and Castle, which is now an open-space foundation,  for then-owner Mildred Montague Genevieve “Tweet” Kimball.  They recently published a book, which contains not only recipes, but reminiscences of the horse people, the cattle woman herself, and the charmed life she lived at the Colorado landmark.

I knew Tweet fairly well, which is as much as anyone can probably say, as she was a character unto herself.  I particularly enjoyed attending political dinners and being invited to sit next to her, as it was better than sitting at the Governor’s table, as literally everyone who was anyone, and then some, would stop by her table to say hello.

John Lake doubled as Tweet’s butler and upon making the faux paux at one of our closing hunts of calling one of her traditional Bow Tie servings at the castle a “hors d’oeuvres,” he pleasantly went on to tell me, “Actually, this would be called a canapés.  Most of us use the words hors d’oeuvres and canapés interchangeably.  Tweet was very clear on the different meanings of these items.  For sit-down dinners and buffet style, she served canapés.  These were bite-sized items passed before dinner on silver trays, usually on crackers or toast points.  Hors d’oeuvres are dips or items that require a toothpick.  Appetizers would be served as a first course at a sit down dinner.”

By |May 15th, 2011|Cuisine, Foxhunting|Comments Off on From Ranch Hands to Royalty