#Hack1000miles SEIB Ambassador Bert Sheffield
Our #Hack1000miles SEIB Ambassador, Bert Sheffield is a Canadian Para-Equestrian Paralympic Team member and dressage rider with Rheumatoid Arthritis, based in the UK.
She's also sponsored by our #Hack1000miles sponsor who urged her to get involved with the challenge.
"My sponsors, SEIB Insurance, asked me to get involved as they know that hacking out is a vital part of how I educate and keep my horses fit," says Bert. "I have been posting hacking photos on my social media accounts for ages so it was a very logical thing and it feels great to be part of an initiative to help more horses and riders enjoy the benefits of getting out of the arena and into the countryside."
For Bert, hacking is a vital piece of her training puzzle and she uses it with all of her horses. "I use hacking because of its four main benefits," she says. "All my horses hack to improve their fitness. The slow steady base of cardio exercise done while marching around the roads and headlands helps to prevent injury when they are working gymnastically much harder in the arena. Mixing up their work, cross training is really valuable. Working on a wide variety of surfaces has been shown to also have a protective role against injury in the sports horses."
Bert also uses hacking to build self-confidence and life experience for the less experienced horses. "They get to see the big wide world, preparing them mentally for what they will face when competing. With the more experienced horses, hacking gives them the mental space to relax and unwind. Between the big shows, they do a lot of hacking. Walking and trotting on the grassy trails helps to develop a relaxed, efficient, regular rhythm. Nothing improves the walk like striding out on a long rein for miles."
Bert's top tip
As Bert explains, hacking doesn't always have to be the same: "We hack around the fields, on headlands as well. It doesn’t have to be ridden either! We lead and long-rein the babies out for their first introductions to the world outside the stable gates."
More about SEIB
Bert's sponsors, SEIB have been in business for over 50 years and were the innovators that introduced horse and pony insurance, horsebox and even property insurance that truly reflects the needs of the equestrian community. The rest of the market have followed and many of the introductions that SEIB made have now become the industry standard. SEIB continue to innovate, as horse owners and riders they know what insurance people with horses require, to remain protected and keep their horses healthy. To find out more visit the SEIB #Hack1000miles sponsor page.
Photos: by Rich Neale.