Elaine Rannie is the latest rider to have completed the Hack 1000 Miles challenge. She finished in a speedy seven months, after joining a Facebook friend who had signed up.
“I just love to ride,” gushes Elaine. “I am lucky enough to have three Icelandic horses, who are affectionately known as the Three Amigos.
“I imported Sara, who is 18, from Canada in 2007. I got Moðnir and Orka, who are 10 and eight, from Pentland Hills in Scotland in 2014 and 2017.”
A fork in the road
But Elaine suffered a big knock to her confidence when she had two bad falls from a young horse.
“There was a time I didn’t think I’d ever get back in the saddle again, let alone ride so many miles,” she says. “Support from good friends and having three fabulous horses made this possible, and I now ride for long distances on my own.
“Icelandic horses have great characters and are so biddable, willing and, most importantly, they are fun. They can be forward and fast, but also gentle and level-headed. I always feel safe when I’m out on them.”
How Elaine fits it in
“I’m an assistant finance director for the children’s charity Barnardo’s. It’s long hours but I mainly work from home and it’s flexible. This certainly helps in winter, but I am an early riser and in the summer you will often find I am in the saddle just as the sun is rising — it’s my favourite time of day.
“I try to ride at least four of five times a week, no matter what. There is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes,” adds Elaine. “I had great fun up in the Scottish Borders riding in the snow earlier in the year.”
Why she’s loved the challenge
“Apart from being out and about with my horses, I have to say I’ve most enjoyed being part of the camaraderie on the Facebook group. Everyone is so friendly and supportive, and it’s great to be able to meet people from all over and share in the highs and lows of our passion for horses.
“It doesn’t matter how much, or little, you ride as long as you enjoy it,” she advises. “In my opinion, there’s no better stress relief than hacking.”
When we posed the question of whether she was aiming for another 1,000 miles, there was no hesitation.
“Oh yes, definitely,” she smiles.
Could you Hack 1,000 Miles? Find out more about our fun, free, achievable challenge here.