Sam Bateman and her 10-year-old gelding Solly have beat the #Hack1000Miles challenge, despite confidence issues and Solly having the tendency to be rather opinionated.
This is Sam’s first time completing the challenge and, since joining in June last year, Sam’s motivation has been boosted tremendously. “The challenge really makes me get out and hack. Knowing I’m not alone with a naughty horse and confidence issues is reassuring too.”
While Solly can get nappy at times, Sam says “Actually most of the time he is really good. It just when he's naughty it can unnerve me. The increase in work has suited him and lately he’s been really good.”
The pair got out on a fair amount of double-figure rides too, one particularly long one ending up at almost 20 miles. “I had planned a long one that day but I hadn’t expected it to be that long,” laughs Sam, “It was great to try out some different tracks.”
Bridges and beef
Sam also found the confidence to take Solly over a motorway bridge, “It’s in the direction he usually won’t go. He made an attempt to play up but I was ready. After that he was good as gold.”
Nearing the 1000 mile target, Sam took Solly on more explorations in the direction he normally didn’t like, finding themselves in a field of beef cattle. “They were all very inquisitive, Solly nearly had a meltdown when one of them touched his bum!”
Regaining lost confidence
Summing up her accomplishment, Sam says, “This time five years ago I'd completely lost my confidence with Solly both in the saddle and on the ground but with help, hard work and good friends I got my confidence back.”
Unfortunately, a traffic accident two years ago led to Solly having four months off, and Sam’s confidence plummeting again. “I didn't even know whether he would be rideable again and if so what he would be like in traffic. Thankfully my fears were unfounded, but my confidence was back at an all-time low.
“Thanks to my dear friend Joanna Tinsley for telling me about this challenge. I never dreamt we would do it but this challenge certainly makes you get out there. Also 90% of it was done solo which is amazing.
“Good luck to everyone doing the challenge, I’ll definitely be restarting.”
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