When Lindsay Warner heard about Your Horse’s #Hack1000Miles challenge, and instantly knew she had to take part with her 20-year-old Connemara pony Nessie.

“I discovered the challenge a few months after getting Nessie almost four years ago,” says Lindsay. “I thought it would be such a great way to build a strong bond with her, and I really have.”

After struggling to ride further than 600 miles for the previous two years, lockdown provided Lindsay with an opportunity to finally reach the 1,000-mile goal.

“It’s always been hard to fit riding in around a high pressured nine to five job,” says Lindsay, who is a financial controller for a renewable energy company. “It leaves no time for anything else, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Lockdown was great for me, as I got to work from home. I worked a much more flexible day, giving me the chance to ride most lunch breaks.

“I’m dreading going back to the office, as I will lose my lunchtime rides.”

Getting back into riding

#Hack1000Miles appealed to Lindsay as she’d returned to riding after an 18-year break.

“I had no desire to compete as I had done when I was younger, I just wanted to enjoy being out with my horse,” she explains.

“I had given up riding after I lost my best friend and pony Willow when I was 17, then my parents separated, so I just wasn’t around horses anymore.

“I got back into it after going riding while on holiday in Cyprus with my sister-in-law. We started riding together at home and I was hooked again.

“That’s when I decided to get a horse of my own, and found my perfect companion in Nessie.”

Lindsay keeps Nessie with her mum’s horses on the outskirts of the beautiful Tunstall forest.

“Riding in the forest has definitely been a highlight for me,” adds Lindsay, who admits that, like many horse owners, she finds winter a struggle.

“But at least I’m not a fair weather rider,” she smiles. “I just wrap up warm and stick my waterproofs on.

“Going out for rides has helped get me through some tough times over the last year. Hack 1000 Miles has really been a saviour in helping me to maintain good mental health.”

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