Island riders tested their skills in the Hunter Pace

Jeanne Barron canters on Screaming Hot Wings, following a jump. — Photo by Danielle Zerbonne

The Martha’s Vineyard Horse Council Hunter Pace ride was held Sunday in the State Forest on a picture-perfect fall morning. Sixteen riders of varying experience took their mounts, traveling along a six-plus-mile loop, down sandy fire lanes, onto tree-lined forest paths, and past the granite heath hen sculpture. If they chose, riders tested their skills by attempting several jumps set up in advance. No scores or track times were kept; the event was intended simply for the sheer pleasure of riding. Riders completing the course were greeted with a potluck of cookies, sandwiches, and orange-frosted cupcakes.