They gave me a mare with foal to hack - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 01-23-2016, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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They gave me a mare with foal to hack

I'm a bit confused if this considered normal. I wanted to work on my confidence hacking on my own. I found a hacking farm and phoned ahead, told them I'm not very confident and a novice but I wanted to hack on my own and asked them if they had a suitable horse. They confirmed that they do.

I got there and the mare in question had a 6 month old foal which was still with her. I expressed concern about the situation but the lady said that the mare is fine riding out without the foal. Of course, after a 5 minute trot the mare spooked (gently) and napped (hard). I tried every trick in the book but she would not go forward at all. Eventually, she got very flustered and I decided to turn around. On the way back she would not walk but rushed ahead and called out to her foal. By the time we got back (less than 500m) she was soaked in sweat and steaming.

Did I do the right thing to give up? Are mares with foal ridden without them usually? It didn't seem prudent at all.
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post #2 of 27 Old 01-23-2016, 08:25 PM
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Absolutely not.

The only time you should be riding a mare with a foal at side, with or without the foal, is if it's your own personal horse and you chose to do that.

At a professional barn under absolutely NO circumstances is that appropriate, especially not with a novice rider who has expressed concern. I would be horrified. Glad it went relatively well, but it may not of and you obviously didn't get your money's worth and were uncomfortable.

I would rate that place about a 0..
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post #3 of 27 Old 01-23-2016, 08:29 PM
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To be honest I would be very wary of anywhere that lets you turn up and hack out alone, especially when you have said you are nervous. I would expect them to want to assess you on an escorted ride to start with. In fact I don't know if I have heard of a place that you can just rent a horse and go out on your own, it is a very strange idea, how do you know where to ride, how long it would take, how do they know you aren't going to vanish into the night?

“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #4 of 27 Old 01-23-2016, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't pay them, if that makes a difference. The lady said I shouldn't as soon as I told her what happened.

Granted, the mare wasn't dangerous at any point, she wasn't rearing or bucking, just reversing and trying to turn around so technically she was suitable for a novice. I suppose...

I've never been around foals so I wasn't sure how the situation is handled. Well, now I know, thank you.
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post #5 of 27 Old 01-23-2016, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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To be honest I would be very wary of anywhere that lets you turn up and hack out alone, especially when you have said you are nervous. I would expect them to want to assess you on an escorted ride to start with. In fact I don't know if I have heard of a place that you can just rent a horse and go out on your own, it is a very strange idea, how do you know where to ride, how long it would take, how do they know you aren't going to vanish into the night?
I didn't expect to ride out on my own straight away either. I expected some sort of assessment and an escorted ride to start of with but the lady said I'll be fine and she seemed very confident in the mare. As for me stealing the mare, I drove there so they had my car as a hostage
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post #6 of 27 Old 01-23-2016, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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It could be that the foal wasn't the problem but my level of riding, I'll never know. I did hack on my own before and I was fine.
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post #7 of 27 Old 01-23-2016, 08:51 PM
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It could be that the foal wasn't the problem but my level of riding, I'll never know. I did hack on my own before and I was fine.
It was a totally unfair situation for both horse and rider, my 'blame' lies totally with someone who will send an unknown person out on a solo hack, and then compounds that by sending them out on a mare that has a foal..

LOL, I wonder if it was deliberate, at least they knew the mare would come home to her baby!

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post #8 of 27 Old 01-23-2016, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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LOL, I wonder if it was deliberate, at least they knew the mare would come home to her baby!
Ha, that's it! Here is a safe horse that knows how to come back, have fun...
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-23-2016, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Just thinking out loud, maybe the mare did see something in that bush that was rustling. I just looked it up and there are wolves in that area. Mind you, I doubt they would come that close to a farm but in winter - maybe.

I suppose if she saw a wolf we wouldn't be hanging around long enough for me to faff around with leg yields :)
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post #10 of 27 Old 01-23-2016, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
To be honest I would be very wary of anywhere that lets you turn up and hack out alone, especially when you have said you are nervous. I would expect them to want to assess you on an escorted ride to start with. In fact I don't know if I have heard of a place that you can just rent a horse and go out on your own, it is a very strange idea, how do you know where to ride, how long it would take, how do they know you aren't going to vanish into the night?
When I was a kid in the seventies, we used to ride rented horses all the time alone. That's how it was back then. My mother would give us kids five bucks each and we would take off for four hours (yep, a 1.25 an hour) with a lunch and hit the hills in Southern California. In the eighties and nineties people became more adept at law suits and that all changed. It's almost unheard of these days. Now for 50 bucks an hour (have to pay for that insurance) you can clomp along in a line with a guide.
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