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Hacking out

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  • Horses first time hacking out
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    02-22-2011, 08:41 AM
  #1
Weanling
Hacking out

Who else enjoys a good hack?

I want to start my horse hacking out away from the farm. My trailering options to take him on trail have fizzled out slightly and to be honest we are both getting bored doing arena work. Where I used to ride in the UK we would hack out when it rained or just when the weather was fine, I miss it and wanted to give my horse a chance to enjoy some away from the barn time.

Basically, he used to be a trail guide (4 years ago) and he has been back on trail once since. He was a little excited and a little flightly. Not so bad that we both didn't get to the end in one piece.

The road out the front of our barn is a no go. It's like a country lane, but its the country lane from hell. Cars get on that road and the drivers seem to lose all sanity and reason; they become racing car drivers who have to pass each other in order to win. The road is not overly long and it's pretty straight but the amount of cars that end up in the ditch or in the fields along the road is quite unbelievable.

I am going to try and take the back route. I think, i'll have to check, that there's a path from my barn past the back field with the 4 BO horses (who are all slightly crazy as no one works with them ever) and into the farm next door. If I take this path I can go along the edge of her property, with permission of course and onto the smaller country lane. If I continued on this road I think I could get to the park and the trails.

My horse has to my knowledge never been out on the roads before. What advice can you give when introducing a horse to hacking out? Any good bombproofing exercises I could try? I would love to have a buddy for him but my friend tore her rotator cuff and hers was the only horse I trust at this ban to stay relatively calm when away from the area. I could ask the barn manager to trailer her horse in but I bet she'd just want to trailer straight to the trails.

I'm not feeling nervous about taking my horse out, I used to hack out so much and really liked it, plus I was never nervous doing it on school horses even though I had a few scary moments.
     
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    02-22-2011, 09:11 AM
  #2
Trained
I'M A HACKER!!! I LOVE HACKING!!! It's my thing :) I agree completely, I hate the arena. The least time I have to spend in one, the happier I, and my horse are!

Being an Eventer, yes, yes, yes - work in the arena is important, but conditioning is as well - and luckily I have a horse who is a Pro at the sport and gets his job done well, I don't have to spend that much time in the arena to "train" and "prepare" him. So I get to spend more time out :)

I am lucky though, I have 80 acres of land to ride on, so I don't have to expose myself to the roads and traffic, but I have had to before I moved here. I've ridden on and by and across many roads before - is there any way you can lead your horse around near the roads first, to get accustomed to traffic driving by and to the sounds and movements?

When you are on him, and out by the roads, just remain calm and quiet. The more you expose him, the better and the quieter and calmer you are, the better.

I've had some explosive movements, even on my bomb proof Nelson, I just try to get as much control as quickly as possible, while sitting deep and long in the saddle.

Definitely, if you can have friends, bring them with you :) If you don't have friends, make sure you notify the BO's and those at the barn that you are heading out. Even if you have to write a large note and hang it up in the barn - stating when you left, where you are going, etc, etc, etc.

Stay safe!
     
    02-22-2011, 09:26 AM
  #3
Weanling
Thanks.

You're lucky with 80 acres. We have roughly 50 I believe but most of it is divided into pasture for the horses.

I can lead him down the drive way to look at the incredibly scary fast paced road at the bottom. Luckily where he first lived was a park and people would pull into the drive way and drive around the place and he got pretty accustomed to cars moving around him then, it was a while ago but I bet it wouldn't take much to get him re-acquainted. Plus at the barn he's at now theres a small road way that goes past the field I ride in so cars tend to come and go a lot while he's being worked anyway. He's definitely not frightened by trucks or vans either, once a van pulled into his field to gather some manure up and he pulled it's window wipers off. I denied owning him that day

We've spent over a year going over and over the basics in the arena and it's getting boring. He's getting to the point where after we've been in the arena for about 25 minutes he's just done. He lowers his head and looks at me like "this is so boring!" I really want to spice up his life a bit. I'm making jump standards to add more variety but I thought getting out would be a refreshing change.

I would love to go with someone, but I think I would really like to try to go myself too, he listens better when he's alone. If I did go alone i'd leave a big note and tell the guy who lives there plus my mother would probably make me call her before I left and when I go back, she's scared of horses and tends to worry.
     
    02-22-2011, 09:39 AM
  #4
Weanling
I cannot wait to go hacking when the weather gets better! But it will be my first time on Lola and she can be very nervous. Not of cars though..just everything else XD I will definitely be bringing one or two other people with me on horses and then I would say one or two will be walking on foot so I should be ok...
     
    03-04-2011, 01:10 AM
  #5
Foal
Smile Hi phoenix

If you want to hack out I would suggest do it at first with your Horse on a halter.
Just take him on a nice afternoon and go for a walk with him, so that he can get used to all the new surroundings, noises and smells.

I know it sounds boring but that is what I have done with all my Stallions.

If your horse is trusting you and you are the leader of him you will find situations where he is hiding behind you when he frightened about something.
He will wait until you have solved the problem.

I hope that helps a bit.
Let me know.

Talk to you soon

Astrid01


Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix    
Thanks.

You're lucky with 80 acres. We have roughly 50 I believe but most of it is divided into pasture for the horses.

I can lead him down the drive way to look at the incredibly scary fast paced road at the bottom. Luckily where he first lived was a park and people would pull into the drive way and drive around the place and he got pretty accustomed to cars moving around him then, it was a while ago but I bet it wouldn't take much to get him re-acquainted. Plus at the barn he's at now theres a small road way that goes past the field I ride in so cars tend to come and go a lot while he's being worked anyway. He's definitely not frightened by trucks or vans either, once a van pulled into his field to gather some manure up and he pulled it's window wipers off. I denied owning him that day

We've spent over a year going over and over the basics in the arena and it's getting boring. He's getting to the point where after we've been in the arena for about 25 minutes he's just done. He lowers his head and looks at me like "this is so boring!" I really want to spice up his life a bit. I'm making jump standards to add more variety but I thought getting out would be a refreshing change.

I would love to go with someone, but I think I would really like to try to go myself too, he listens better when he's alone. If I did go alone i'd leave a big note and tell the guy who lives there plus my mother would probably make me call her before I left and when I go back, she's scared of horses and tends to worry.
     
    03-04-2011, 01:58 AM
  #6
Super Moderator
I was thinking the same thing; take him walking down the back lane past the BO's horses, with him on a leadline. Just go for a walk together and bring treats in hyour pocket if you need to distract him. Cell phone, too.

I am spoiled in that I have access to a 480 acre wooded park right across the road. But having ridden there for 11 years, even that gets boring. The horses know every turn.
     
    03-04-2011, 08:46 AM
  #7
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrid01    
If you want to hack out I would suggest do it at first with your Horse on a halter.
Just take him on a nice afternoon and go for a walk with him, so that he can get used to all the new surroundings, noises and smells.

I know it sounds boring but that is what I have done with all my Stallions.

If your horse is trusting you and you are the leader of him you will find situations where he is hiding behind you when he frightened about something.
He will wait until you have solved the problem.

I hope that helps a bit.
Let me know.

Talk to you soon

Astrid01
I was thinking of trying this once the weather gets better. Last summer after every ride i'd cool my horse off by walking him all around the barn. He got quite used to going past the BOs crazy fools. I might get my friend to come for walks with me into next doors property, she won't be riding because she had surgery yesterday and will be out of everything for a while, I bet she'd come too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I was thinking the same thing; take him walking down the back lane past the BO's horses, with him on a leadline. Just go for a walk together and bring treats in hyour pocket if you need to distract him. Cell phone, too.

I am spoiled in that I have access to a 480 acre wooded park right across the road. But having ridden there for 11 years, even that gets boring. The horses know every turn.
Treats are a good idea, and I can let him graze if he gets a little nervous. I bet even that much space can get dull once you've done it for that long.
     
    03-04-2011, 08:56 AM
  #8
Foal
That is true.

Good luck


Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix    
I was thinking of trying this once the weather gets better. Last summer after every ride i'd cool my horse off by walking him all around the barn. He got quite used to going past the BOs crazy fools. I might get my friend to come for walks with me into next doors property, she won't be riding because she had surgery yesterday and will be out of everything for a while, I bet she'd come too.



Treats are a good idea, and I can let him graze if he gets a little nervous. I bet even that much space can get dull once you've done it for that long.
     
    03-04-2011, 12:49 PM
  #9
Yearling
Would your friend let you ride her horse and pony your horse off her horse? I've done that before and it worked great.
     
    03-04-2011, 01:58 PM
  #10
Weanling
I could try it with the barn managers horse, the horse my injured friend rides is pretty calm but he and phoenix don't get along great, he's not hers but when she rides him he's great. I guess I could ride him and pony phoenix if they didn't act like babies. Her horse is too green to pony anyone with, he's 5 and needs a lot of work.
     

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