I Seek A Chase

I always wanted to ride side saddle.  I always wanted to wear a black, skin-tight riding habit – like Catherine 'Skittles' Walters, whom rumor had it, was sewn into her habit:  the sections stitched together as she stood patiently in her flimsy undergarments.  If she wore any at all – and very few knew that for sure…well, only the well-paying ones.


I always wanted to ride to hounds.  But with no killing involved.  And with no one getting 'blooded'.  I wouldn't be interested in riding  home with a smear of blood on my forehead to honor my first 'kill'.  In fact, there'd be no honor in it at all. 


But I want my blood to be stirrred.  I want to mill amongst the black, pink and red coats.  I would like to finger a delicate glass filled with something dark and mildly alcoholic as I keep my seat.  I want to keep my horse calm, as the dogs fume and push at its legs like a nervous, active sea.


I want to ride.  I want to crash through hedgerows and brush, thunder through the crisp and misty morning, tinged with autumn, scented with the burning wood of distant fireplaces.


But I've had none of that.  I've done none of that.  I've worn none of that.


But this morning I got just a hint of what I was wishing for.


I was walking to work, looking and listening.  I saw in the distance someone walking their dog.  A small, multi-colored animal, rather low to the ground.  But it wasn't silent.  It wasn't barkiing.  It was baying.  A sound you don't hear in the city.  As I came closer I saw that this lively creature was a beagle, pulling at its leash, with its eager nose to the ground:  lifting it up only to emit its thrilling, yodeling cry.


As it passed me, on some search-and-discover mission known only to itself, its owner – a lithe, attractive, gray-haired woman – gasped to me:  "Where'd that fox go?"


How that made me smile.  I was smiling when I crossed the street.  I was smiling when I turned the corner.  I was still smiling when I got to work. 

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11 responses to “I Seek A Chase

  1. First class as usual, Aubs.

  2. And I am smiling now. And for a long time to come! :)And holy crow, look at that woman's waist!!!! *jaw droppage*

  3. Aubrey! As an equestrian, I must say I adored your post. When I was much younger and living in New England, I'd go on fox hunts with my trainer every fall. The rush of adrenaline is literally addicting. Every fall I crave it, but alas, I'm pony-less. And I must say, as pretty as side saddle looks, for me, its unbelievably uncomfortable… probably since I fell off a lot while doing it. My pony was a speed demon. 😀

  4. Aubs I read this and fell in love. I love the sound of beagles when they bay. There is a fox hound at the dog park that bays as well. I love that.

  5. i've never heard that sound, and now i wish i could. i've never wanted to ride either, and now I do, a little. awesome post.

  6. You always write so beautifully. Alas, I think perhaps you were meant for another time, another place. If you believe in reincarnation, maybe you WERE a part of it. Hmmmm… fascinating to think about.

  7. I would like to finger a delicate glass filled with something dark and mildly alcoholic as I keep my seat.Hey, that would make the whole experience for me. This is gorgeously visual, and stirred my own blood a bit, though I always wanted to be one of those daring women who refused to keep her legs from being parted by the saddle. 😉

  8. Lauri: Catherine Walters was an exquisite – albeit uncomforable – horsewoman.
    Precision: Aren't you sort of locked onto the side saddle? It must have been vastly uncomfortable – sorry about your tumbles!
    MC2: Wouldn't it be lovely?
    emily: that would never do – a lady must always ride straight, dignified and in pain. It's what makes her a lady.

  9. a lady must always ride straight, dignified and in pain. It's what makes her a lady.Bah. Well, I did say woman, instead of lady. I think, though, I would have held this secret desire in my heart, never to be fulfulled in reality. That sort of lady. 🙂

  10. I also love the woman who was walking the dog — what a sharp wit. She must have loved that you got it.

  11. wow, you sure see some fascinating, exciting things where least expected, just on your way to work. i'd love to go riding to, without the hunting and probably without all the doggies either (though i've never heard a dog baying, so i'm curious what it sounds like…).how someone could ride with such a tiny waist is beyond me, though.

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