Hacking alone advice please?

HairyBo

New Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Hi Everyone.

I have a lovely big hairy irish cob who is great when hacking in company, he always goes first, can be quite forward going but the worst he does is to throw his weight a little when we go further than he would like but he NEVER gets away with it. I am now considering hacking on our own but am i bit nervous about this as he can be quite nappy. i am scared of him tanking off with me when we are out on our own, especially on a road or something!

Can anyone offer any advice or should i just stick with the safer option of hacking with others?

Thanks x
 

Soot

Paranoid!
Aug 7, 2007
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Go for it.
Make sure someone is on the yard the first time, keep a mobile phone on you, lots of high viz on yourself AND on the horse, and go for it!
 

lisa+pilgrim

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Feb 6, 2009
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yeah totaly agree with both soot and ff, safety incase something goes wrong is paramount, but as for gettin him out the yard alone, have you tried walking him out alone in hand first, so he gets use to not having another horse there but your with him to give him his confidence that he would normally get from the other horses, you could start long reigning then soo he gets use to walking out by himself and not relying on you being up front making all the desicions. but i would just give it a go first, choose a small hack, thats quiet, that he knows and is happy with, and remember keep relaxed and confident, and if things start to get hairy, just jump off and lead him back. your safety comes first. if your safe, you can keep him safe.
 

HairyBo

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Jan 18, 2009
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I have led him a few times down the road on his own, usually to dry off and show him off! :) He does prat about sometimes but usually just give him a quick tug of the lead rope and he's ok. He only sometimes bad to lead when there's food around though, so usually just in the field! He always looks to his "mum" when we're out anywhere hacking, bless him!

Thanks for all of your advice, I guess its all trial and error. It looks easy written down though because I know you're all right, its just i over think things at times and think of bad things that can happen! x
 

Soot

Paranoid!
Aug 7, 2007
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its just i over think things at times and think of bad things that can happen!

Just take it easy at first. Don't set yourself any big goals, other than to get home safe ;). Keep it at walk and add trot when you feel comfortable. Or trot only if he's silly in walk, etc! Just try to find your comfort zone and relax!
 

georgie1

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Jul 23, 2006
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Hacking alone IS a big thing and you have every right to be a bit nervous...i know i was!!! And yes i also 'think about' all the things that could happen.

Just take little baby steps for you and your boy. ditto what all the others have said about Hi viz and mobile etc. Perhaps as a transition to hacking completely alone, maybe have someone on foot when you go the first time without other horses.

And then just keep it short and calm, have a realistic spot or a route you want to take and get there...even if it possibly means hopping off if you feel safer (i used to do this) and walking with him until you feel safe to pop back on. Be determind and get to your destination. Make the distance or route really short to start with and a round one, even if it means going round a tree!! so your not 'turning round on the spot'. the feeling when you get back from a 10mins solo hack is amazing :)

Good luck hon.... obviously the above is just stuff i did with my very nappy girl and we do now hack alone ok so just my experience, hope it may help.

Gx
 

Joyscarer

Active Member
Dec 30, 2006
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If you aren't sure then there is no reason to jump straight into hacking solo. There are measures you can take to get him more used to being on his own and increase your confidence too. Walking out in hand is one of them but I was think more along the lines of working with him when you are hacking out in company.

You say he likes to go first, this is a good thing. What you can do is work on extending the gap between you and your companions and see how that goes.

Then you can work on your companions doing another loop whilst you take him another way that leads home that he knows well so he doesn't get too concerned. :)

When going solo, try leading him in hand away from home (if he needs it) and then riding him when you turn for home.
 

HairyBo

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Jan 18, 2009
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This is all great advice everyone!

Joyscarer-I am glad you said this about lengthening the gap between us and his friend because last night i actually tried this. I wasnt sure if it was the best thing to do at first taking him further away from his buddy while we were out but to be honest he was fine. He seemed more interested in getting it done and home for tea than his friend! He was a bit more on edge than normal but he was still an angel.

I think the going out and then getting off and leading him if either of us are a bit too anxious and feel unsafe is good idea too because he pretty much follows me over his friend anyway, so if i were the only one there i would hope he would stick with me for a security blanket!

I think i might try taking my OH out with us? He isnt horsey but is good with him and if anything was to happen he is strong enough to have more control over him than me from the ground.

I know that as soon as i have done it a couple of times we will both be fine! x
 
Last edited:

MaisieMoo

Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2007
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Firstly, make sure that there is someone at the yard when you leave and who will be there for the duration of your hack.

Take your phone, hi viz, a packet of treats and a spare lead rope.

Just take it slowly, if you find yourself in a situation where you feel unsafe or the horse is really messing about there is no shame in getting off and leading for a bit.

Keep your hacks shorter at first and build up to longer one - even if you need to take someone on foot the first few times to get both your confidence up!

Enjoy solo hacking!:D
 
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