Christine Rogers from Florida, USA, has completed her #Hack1000Miles challenge with her Quarter Horse mare, Secret.
“My husband gets me a subscription for Your Horse magazine for my birthday each year. I so enjoy reading all of the articles and riding tips from across the pond! I joined the Hack 1000 Miles challenge after reading all of the inspirational and motivational posts.”
Her horse Secret lacks confidence on the trail and is difficult to ride out alone. But joining the challenge motivated Christine to get out there and work her through her confidence issues.
Christine says: “The weather is not really conducive to riding here in the summer. Mid 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with high humidity, bugs and mud. However, this summer I was determined to work through Secret’s remaining training and confidence issues. When I started tracking my miles I became obsessed!”
Working through issues
In the beginning rides were slow going. “When I first started the Hack 1000 Miles challenge I wasn’t sure that Secret was the horse for me. She was purchased to replace the horse that I had been riding for 20 years.
“My mare Mystery was retired at age 35 and sadly left us last year at age 37 and Secret was not filling Mystery’s shoes very well.”
But as time passed Christine found that Secret’s behaviour improved greatly.
“We started having fun, low stress rides with just the right amount of enthusiasm. I told my husband ‘even I can’t think of anything Secret has done wrong in quite a while’.
“She’s really come a long way with her confidence and feels like a different horse out on the trail.”
Time and miles in the saddle
Christine and her husband took some camping trips with the horses, and really started racking up the miles once the weather cooled down a bit.
“By doing the Hack 1000 Miles challenge I have developed a bond with Secret and an understanding of the horse that she is. There has been no magic training exercise or method that has contributed to our improvement or relationship. Just time and miles in the saddle.”
Christine was surprised when she added up her miles and had ridden over 1000 miles with four weeks to spare.
She smiles: “I am very proud of all that Secret and I have accomplished during this challenge. She is so much more confident and extremely fit, it’s not easy to tire her out now! I’m looking forward to starting my next year of the Hack 1000 mile challenge. I’m going to continue working on Secret being more responsive and trusting of my cues while out in strange places.
“My non-riding friends ask me what I won for completing the challenge...they just really don’t get it.”
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