To ensure that every time you hack, you and your horse have fun, stay safe and make the most of your outing, check out or handy hacking articles.
The Your Horse team loves hacking too!
10 helpful hacking tips to get you started
Spearheaded by the magazine’s editor, Aimi, and her thoroughbred Bee (left). Aimi hacks every weekend and has done for years. Here are her tried and tested tips for exploring the countryside as you #hack1000miles…
1 Ride with friends and family
If you have a horsey family, hacking is a great way to spend quality time together. Alternatively, arrange for your friends to bring their horses to your yard or take your horse over to theirs so that you can hack together. That way you can catch up and get some miles in — double bonus!
2 Ride a loop
Turning around and returning the way you came is sometimes unavoidable, but it can lead to your horse becoming nappy and not wanting to go forward. For this reason, you should try to ride a loop whenever you can.
If you do need to turn around, make sure it’s always at a different point so that your horse can’t predict when you will go home.
3 School as you hack
Being a competitive rider shouldn’t mean you’re confined to an arena. Make every mile count by schooling as you hack, too. A horse who continues to work on a contact and listen to your aids while surrounded by distractions is ideal preparation for a competition environment.
4 Vary your route
Avoid always riding the same route and/or trotting and cantering in the same places. This will help keep your horse on side and he will be a more enjoyable ride.
5 Box up and hack somewhere new
If you find yourself bored of riding in a similar area all the time, box up and take your horse somewhere different. Exploring new areas is a lot of fun.
6 Make time to hack every week
If you have a busy day job, hectic family life or find yourself struggling for some “me” time, put hacking in your diary and make sure you go. The fresh air and one-on-one time with your horse has endless benefits for your physical and mental health.
7 Plot your route
There’s nothing worse than wondering where you’re going or where a particular road may end up, so make sure you have an idea where you’re going before you set off. Download a mapping app on your mobile phone too — just in case you need to refer to it while you’re out.
8 Sign up for a fun ride
They come under several guises — Country Canters, sponsored rides, pleasure rides — and they’re all great fun. Choose the distance that best suits you and your horse and enjoy. Many include optional cross-country fences, too.
9 Wear high vis
It’s very important that you and your horse can be seen by all other road and bridleway users, so always put on your high vis.
10 Tell someone where you’re going…
…And what time you expect to be back. Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged too. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
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