You get to see some weird and wonderful things while out hacking, but what is the strangest thing you've ever spotted while out on a ride?
We asked our Hack 1000 Miles challengers – here are a few of their stories:
Naked men! Not me but my friend spotted one making a dash for it starkers. His house was one of those fancy ones with a full glass front, I guess he didn’t expect people to be up at that time. I’ve also seen a man taking his parrot for a ‘walk’.
We live in Cornwall, very lucky to be by the seaside but unfortunately it also means we can often see absolutely nothing through all the fog.
Two toddlers running down the middle of the road. We had to stop traffic whilst their mum ran and caught up with them.
A herd of wild portaloos!
A few years ago me and Roxy went for a hack along the beach, one of our regular routes. We were going around some rocks when Roxy stopped and planted, ears forward and snorting, she wouldn't go forward but wasn’t turning or backing up. I couldn't see round the other side of the rocks. After some coaxing she walked on, still snorting, and there on the rocks was the biggest seal I've ever seen, I was so pleased that all she did was freeze.
Pauline Rodgers Planck
I've found men’s underpants but never the guy that lost them.
We came across a man lying face down in the heather once. He was lying very still so I got off to see if he was OK – luckily he was just a very tired runner. Phew!
The aftermath of a big wild fire on the downs. Ara was not impressed with the smell.
I once saw a lovely pair of cranes. Unfortunately Pepper wasn’t up for bird watching so I didn’t get photos.
About 15 years ago I was riding down a road and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen came out from one of the houses and said “hello”. I had to return the same way and by that time there were TV cameras and the two interior designers working on the show Changing Rooms. They stopped for a chat and when the episode was shown there was a brief glimpse of us walking down the road.
We saw a red kite while on a fun ride – there was no one else around, it landed right in front of us. The horses just stood and watched it.
A naked rambler.
There are a few memorable ones, like elephants when the circus came to stay in field opposite. I’ve also seen a naked cyclist sprawled out sunbathing and a goth complete with long hair, make up, tight leather pants and knee length leather boots with 6" stilettos trying to ramble.
Miki AmIbovvered Waddington
Not something I’ve seen but some poor dog walker came across me having a wee in what I thought was a hidden spot. My high vis and 16h horse did not help my disguise.
A stiletto in a hedge, it was there for months.
Out hacking on a single ride we saw a man playing bagpipes, a vintage steam roller and the ubiquitous pigeon appearing from nowhere, lucky we have good ponios.
A man on his knees in a field praying. It scared the living daylights out of the horses, I’m still laughing about it six years later.
I rode past two donkeys in a field, accompanied by a very well dressed lady complete with large hat, sat in the middle of the field on a stump reading a book. We went very sideways past that, full on banner tail and dragon snorts.
We saw a man just wearing a long coat and nothing else in the woods once.
I saw a ceremony apparently welcoming in the spring which involved lots of semi clad people beating drums and dancing in the woods. Ponio was very surprised, I wasn't, I live in Stroud.
I came through a field on a bridleway, to part way down a dead end road. At the road I came across a camera crew with a massive drone about to film a car chase. I was asked how I got there as the area was supposed to have people around at the entrances to stop people coming down. I guess they missed one of the paths. I was asked if I could be on my way and get off the road!
My old pony once decided to let himself out and wait for my Arab and I to return on the corner of a busy road. I nearly had a heart attack when I spied him a hundred yards away but he just stood and waited on the grass verge until we got there, then turned around and let the way back home.
Someone fly fishing on a school field – apparently he was just practicing.
A few years ago I cantered up a path in a wood to find someone cooking their dinner on the pathway. I found out during the conversation that ensued that he was a homeless person. I apologised for disrupting his meal and carried on!
A camel, zebra and reindeer when the circus came to town. Definitely not an everyday occurrence.
A little kid who asked me “is that a real horse?”
We've (accidentally) hacked through an orienteering championship. We regularly hack on the same course as runners and cyclists, there are also BMX tracks so we’ve seen people doing all sorts of acrobatic stunts on bikes, people camping, a zip wire course and often go past tree cutters. We meet a lot of lost people, too. My boy's fairly bombproof with 'stuff' but a different colour leaf is another story.
A pagan ceremony complete with chanting, singing, full pagan costumes and people waving huge flags. I was riding a youngster and his eyes nearly popped out of his head, I had to ask the head priest to stop waving the flag about.
The Red Arrows at about 200 feet.
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