Bland Hack

Every hack should be enjoyed and although I always enjoy riding, the context of the hack is sometimes questionable and tedious.

Our RSO was away this weekend and so all the lesson kids were out on hacks with the rest of us. Consequently, the rides were split, yet again. This was fine and the girl taking our hack is pretty cool so that didn’t bother me.

I was put on Shadow. Poor Topaz has seemingly hurt his back again and with Kenny still out of work, the only big horses were Shadow, Bella and Harry. Obviously, Shadow was given to me as he’s the biggest and I’ve ridden him a lot so don’t need a hand. Our yard was working to its full effect today with all the girls helping on the hacks.

We went up the hill and I just knew Shadow wasn’t really in the mood. The sun was bright and had burned away the fog that had lingered over our valley all morning so it was warming up nicely.

Sadly though, the fields are all still bogged down with the rain. The path leading to the only section of field we’re currently allowed on was like a pond. Shadow needed some encouragement to get through the puddle. Or should I say pond.

Yesterday, I’d managed a nice canter in spite of the bog of the field but today, Shadow was not having any of it. Down the field we went and on the way back I did manage a few strides of canter. I completely understand, cantering on boggy fields is a pain in the bum so wasn’t really dismayed.

His trots were nice and I was working on my new rising trot movement. Working on that flick motion is not the easiest as I’m so used to rising so high but keeping my rise small is getting easier.

He walked nicely down the cobbles, despite the horse in front needing so much encouragement to continue down. I remember thinking, thirty minutes isn’t the funnest anymore. I could seriously do with extending my rides but not sure how to approach that. The same routes are getting rather boring for me now, as I’m sure the horses must feel at times. I know today was one of those days and most of it couldn’t be helped but the need for a hacking horse of my own gets stronger by the week. Fingers crossed a job shows up soon.

As we were waiting at the bottom of the cobbles, waiting to trot, a woman trotted from behind us on her horse and spooked a few of our horses. Shadow semi spun toward the sound but kept calm and patted him and reassured him.

Anyway, a fast trot by Shadow which I think I was partially responsible for ensued at the bottom of the cobbles. My rising was so light and quick that I was trying to slow it down but couldn’t master a small rise and a slow one at the same time. I’m not sure how to handle this one lol.

On the back lane, the fast trot was impressive, the non canter was not. So had a firm word with young Shadow. Not happy with his handsomeness. I long for a day to go out riding with my hacking RI again. Amazing the difference the horses mentality is when they’re not feeling the responsibility of other riders and walking leaders.

So that’s my frustrations of today but hey-ho, next week’s another week. Looking forward to my lesson on Thursday. Hope I haven’t forgotten anything.



This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Are there any other routes you can do now you’ve been there a while? I know most places have set hacks though. Look forward to Thursday because that’s far more interesting for you. Sometimes a day away from it is actually more beneficial – sounds to me like you could do with meeting up with your mum’s friend again?

  2. May be its worth having a chat with your instructor? I know I did a while ago and set out a few targets / challenges for myself as to what I wanted to do. It really helped and it gave me a better idea about my riding and what I wanted, plus it gave my instructor something to work with. You could ask about doing a 45 min or an hour hack, changing the route?

  3. We’ve all had those bland days, where riding is routine and horses aren’t feeling it either. I’ve no doubt longer hacks would be great for you, and the longer you’re out, the more likely it is that there’s more potential route variations 🙂

    I came across some rising trot advice from an eventer I follow and chat to on Twitter: your bum should leave the saddle, but not your breeches! She also said not to rise high on a sharp horse: they may not still be there when you come back down! Both made me smile 🙂

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