From 1996 until 2007, our two horses, Willy and Petey, lived at the Ft. Leavenworth Stables. I have so many stories of the people and horses and critters that lived in that area, in that era.
A lot of members of the Ft. Leavenworth Hunt Club (Fox Hunt, don’t you know) keep their horses at the stable there. I was never a Hunt Club member, my riding skills are not in their league! I did ride with them one time – I “hill-topped”. And I found that Willy did not have the ability to stay behind the head hunt people – he wanted to race all the horses, even though we were not on the same level, and we were not jumping the obstacles – he just raced ahead, until I decided that my life was very dear to me, and I turned him around and we rode back to the barn.
I mention the Hunt Club, because I think it is really funny that a vixen and her kits lived behind the stable, in some underbrush, next to the outdoor arena there. The arena was lit for night riding, and because I had a job, I often rode under the lights, pretty much by myself.
There was one night when I was just riding and jumping over very low and simple crosspoles in the arena. It was a very warm and humid night, and my glasses were fogging up so much that I took them off and put them on top of an upright barrel so I could see where we were going.
A little later, I saw three foxes watching Willy and me from the bushes near the arena. It looked like a vixen and her two kits. Not long after, the two kits started following me as we rode around the ring, jumping over the low jumps right after I did. It was magical. The little foxes were having a grand time following my horse and I, and their mother came closer to the rail, watching them.
This went on for a good thirty minutes. I decided that Willy and I had had enough riding, so I slowed him to a walk, and walked him over to that barrel to retrieve my glasses. One of the young foxes was two quick for me, though, and she jumped on the barrel, grabbed my glasses and started to run off with them.
She ran to the other end of the arena and stopped for a minute – digging. I yelled at her to drop my glasses!! I got Willy over there as fast as I could, dismounted, and saw just one tip of one of the temples of my glasses sticking out of the sand.
The foxes ran off, and though I saw them many times after that, they never followed me into the riding arena again.