Summer has come to a close, and with it we say goodbye to hot sunny days, wearing short-sleeve tops, and squeezing in a hack after work. However, it’s not all doom and gloom – there’s plenty to enjoy about riding in the run-up to winter.

The riders in the Hack 1,000 Miles Facebook group shared their favourite things about hacking out in autumn, and it’s sure to inspire you to get out in the saddle and make the most of the season.

1. The seasonal colours

The changing leaves creates beautiful shades of red, orange and brown to enjoy, particularly if you are lucky enough to have forest or woodland rides to enjoy.

“Dry and sunny yet fresh autumn afternoons. They have beautiful colours and evening skies,” said Sarah Hamilton.

“Being alone in the woods, just me and my trusty steed, with the autumn leaves,” said Nicki Smith.

“I think autumn is my favourite time of year to hack, it’s so pretty,” added Tamsyn Cheetham, who shared a photo of herself riding Clover (right) and her mum Claire riding Honey (left) (see main image).

2. No flies

The fly spray can now be packed away until next year as those pesky biting bugs have finally disappeared, making rides more comfortable.

“No flies is the best bit,” commented Anne Cahling.

3. The weather

There’s something satisfying about enjoy a ride on a crisp day where the sky is a cloudless bright blue and the sun shines but a bit of breeze has you reaching for an extra layer. The cooler temperatures means less sweating, which is something both horse and rider will appreciate.

“It’s nice not having to wash the sweat off the horse after hacking,” said Helen Postle

“I love the sunny yet crisp days,” added Angela Bartley.

4. Quieter roads

Now the summer holidays and harvest are over, many find the roads to be quieter – particularly around holiday destinations or in rural areas.

“It’s my favourite time of year to hack out,” said Ann Thomas. “There are less farm vehicles and no holiday traffic.”

5. Fewer people walking on tracks

In a similar vein, the colder weather tends to drive more people indoors, leaving tracks and bridleways empty.

“I love the autumn. With fewer people out and about we often have the tracks to ourselves,” said Karen Arckle.

6. Warming up afterwards

Towards winter as the cold starts to kick in, it can be satisfying to get out for a ride and then in to warm up.

“I love autumn and winter hacks. There is something so pleasing to my soul going out and getting wet and blown about while wrapped up all snug with Indy splashing in puddles and crunching fallen leaves,” said Kate Duffield. “Then warming up with a full English and a brew!”

“I love the autumn colours, and being all snuggly in my warm jacket,” said Mandi Ackerman. “When I get back to the yard I have a lovely hot chocolate and a chocolate bar.”

7. Softer ground

More rain after a dry summer can revitalise hard ground, making it much better under foot for our horses.

Both Kerry Flinton and Lynda Buckingham agreed that better conditions are one of the things they look forward to.

“Sunsets, changing leaf colours, softer ground, crunchy leaves,” listed Kerry.

“Crisp temperatures, clear skies and soft going,” added Lynda.

8. Foraging opportunities

For our horses, autumn brings with it a bounty of snacks to be enjoyed.

“My Shetland Ted would say he likes the autumn because there’s sweet chestnuts and fallen apples lying on the ground just waiting to be eaten,” shared Karen Arckle. “As the season progresses we get to take off his sweet itch rug and he can enjoy the sunshine.”

9. Halloween

“It’s spooky season – literally!” joked Charlie Madeley.

And with it, comes the chance to ‘spook-proof’ your horse to all manner of ghouls, ghosts and witches – or join in the fun and dress up yourself!

Lead image: Shared by Tamsyn Cheetham

Love hacking? Join our free #Hack1000Miles challenge and see how far you can go!

Subscribe to Your Horse Magazine – the perfect Christmas gift!

Find out what’s inside the latest issue of Your Horse

Get the latest issue