‘Hold Your Neckstrap And Get On With It'

Horse & Hound|December 27, 2019

‘Hold Your Neckstrap And Get On With It'
Despite an unfortunate start to the day, H&H’s Catherine Austen is picked back up by her invaluable hunting friends — with the help of a hipflask
Catherine Austen

JUST when it was all going so well…

I’m not going to bore you with the minutiae of exactly what caused my lovely, bold, kind horse to stop, then obliterate the first fence of the day today, pitching me into the sodden ground and breaking her martingale and reins. I don’t know why it happened. In my overanalytical, anxious way, I am probably going to obsess about it, day and night, for weeks. Obviously it was my fault — but why?

Anyway, that’s for me to worry about. The bit that matters is just how bloody kind people are. There really is no friend like a hunting friend. The whole thing was exceptionally public, and so many people helped retrieve her, find the bridle she had managed to get rid of, tie it together, get completely unhurt but upset me back on, and so on.

Hounds were flying away from us, and three members of the field — my best hunting friend Sara, Hannah and Hannah’s daughter Iris — missed the whole hunt to stay with me and potter quietly along until they eventually came back to us.

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December 27, 2019