I know, Y-Fronts…I mean not even smart, clean Y-Fronts but a huge, baggy, grungy pair that could have once been sort of blue with a burgundy trim. Hot right? NOT! They were clutched in his right hand and he was standing transfixed in the middle of the bridlepath. But in an instant, he had turned tail and started to leg it. Huge leaping strides. Did I say he was naked? I mean, not a stitch on, naked as the day he was born. But let me tell you, girls I like a little gaze at a fine figure of a man every now and then. I’m not adverse to the sight of some smooth skin and a taught thigh. However far from being a titillating sight, this was what I had come to christen “ugly naked guy”. Long, dirty blond hair, in a very tatty, ropy pony tail down his back. Skinny, leathery and definitely unwashed. Right here in my own very rural neighbourhood. Most mornings, when there is the promise of a full, clear sunrise with a crisp pink sky, bleeding into pale blue, a thick dew and the air beginning to be warmed by a hot sun, ugly naked guy is out, spilling his giblets somewhere around the green roads and bridlepaths of my village.
Have you ever seen someone put their pants on whilst running through a blackthorn hedge? This guy hasn’t got a stitch on and he manages to get those grubby Y-fronts on in one smooth move whilst diving head first through the hedge attempting to conceal himself from me. A blackthorn hedge, nettles and brambles are trampled underfoot. He has no shoes on. He doesn’t yelp but then cowers behind what he thinks is cover (a tree trunk). The horse I’m riding shies massively and shoots forward, which wouldn’t be a problem but I’m leading another horse (who is much more sensible) who is less alarmed and suddenly I find myself being stretched. Do I hang on to both the ridden horse and the led one? Or do I let go? Decisions, decisions…. And it’s only 6am on a Tuesday morning……
So why am I out at 6am on a Tuesday morning confronting the local naturist and nearly falling off my horse? I’ve recently been extremely honoured by being asked to take up a mastership of the Berks and Bucks Draghunt. I mean…me?!? Little ole me?!? I have been hunting on and off for about 35 years, with many different packs across the south of England and also abroad in the United States. I like to gallop and jump and I love to watch hounds work and I’m addicted to the social side of riding through amazing country with my fellow horsemen and women. I’ve run dealing yards, livery yards, showing yards. I’ve worked in hunting, racing, dressage and showing both in the UK and the USA. I do a lot of judging of show horses and side saddle and I still team chase, do a bit of show jumping and lots of hacking.
I no longer work with horses, but they are a pretty all-consuming hobby now as I run several businesses. So, when the call came from the Berks & Bucks, azs I did a little cough and squeaked “Of course, I would love to”. 6am riding is now all about getting those horses fit for one of my passions, draghunting. The two horses are Brooke and Monty. Brooke is 7 a 16,2hh bay gelding Irish Bred and rather handsome. Monty is 21, 16hh palomino Gelderlander gelding who has a movie star ego. I’ll be writing about my experiences as a new master and my life in and around draghunting with my horses to hopefully bring you some insights, tips and more than likely a few laughs. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it!
Jane Owen MDH