In partnership with Equisafety

What’s the secret to being able to continue putting in the miles when the weather’s not on your side — particularly on a young, green, fresh or sharp and spooky horse? Your Horse asked its #Hack1000Miles community for their top tips and this is what they said:

1 Be realistic about what you can do

“The poorer weather and dark nights meant I couldn’t do consistent work with positive conditions to set us up for success so I turned my horse away for a few weeks. It took the pressure off us both — we are having programmed chill time” — Steph Dee.

“Don’t beat yourself up if you decide the conditions are too bad. Horses don’t know whether it’s a ‘riding day’ and won’t care at all about the decisions we make to give it a pass” — Frances Brennan.

2 Don’t be afraid to dismount

“Get off if things get too scary. I spent two years going for in-hand walks and doing lots of groundwork, so my mare was confident in-hand. If we came across things that she didn’t want to go past, I’d hop off and walk for a bit until we found somewhere to get on again. This built up her confidence and improved our trust immensely” — Martina Diehl.

“If you feel scared, tack up fully but go out on the lead and see how you get along. It’s good to just practice mounting and dismounting from various places” — Natasha O’Shaughnessy.

3 Always take the positives from each hack

“Get out as often as possible and make the experience positive, however short it is. Decide what you want to achieve beforehand, even if the goal is small,” — Alison Muir.

“Hack for short distances. Even if you only go around the block, that counts as a win” — Janey Outterson.

4 Ride with someone who is a good influence

“If possible, I would ride and lead from a more experienced horse or, if this isn’t possible, just jump off and lead in-hand for a while” — Camilla Mascall.

“Always go with a more experienced horse” — Tanya Bishop.

5 Use your voice

“I sang nursey rhymes when my girl was young and scared. It kept us both calm” — Athene Turner.

“I find myself using more voice, keeping a deeper set and using better contact, but most of all I just have to sit and ride it out” — Julie Morgil.

“My mare loves a bit of George Michael; I’ve been caught singing by shocked walkers a few times!” — Steph Dee.

 6 Keep calm and carry on

“Be brave, be calm, keep your heels down and shoulders back — think of your happy place and enjoy” — Dawn Louise.

This content is brought to you in partnership with Equisafety, the performance equine reflective clothing brand which has recently introduced the colour red into its selection of products. 

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