Do I hack too much?

Is there an access group that needs your help or a bridleway that needs attention? Maybe you just need help getting your horse past post boxes...
Snipper
Posts: 412
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:25 am
Contact:

Do I hack too much?

Postby Snipper » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:05 pm

My horse is older and has worked hard in the years before I got him. He is happy, fit and well, but I am conscious of the wear and tear his legs have sustained throughout the years, so I am always careful not to ask too much of him, as I want him to have a long, happy and comfortable life. I mostly hack him and occasionally give him a short schooling or lungeing session, or pop over the odd very small jump, but this is only really once in a while. He has been well-schooled and behaves perfectly, so I don't feel the need to keep working on his manners or way of going.

It hasn't been directly said to me, but a few comments from people at the yard have made me feel like I should be doing more in the way of schooling. We both enjoy hacking out and don't compete (although I might manage to pluck up the courage to do a small clear round at a local show one day). I feel that although he likes to be ridden, he doesn't necessarily need to be doing more at his time in life, and as we are both enjoying what we are doing, what does it matter? Am I wrong? Should I be working him harder and asking more of him? I really want the best for him and feel bad that I might not have been doing the right thing by him.

hessy
Posts: 395
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:40 pm
Contact:

Re: Do I hack too much?

Postby hessy » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:01 pm

I think you are already doing the right thing by your horse. You have said he is happy, fit and well doing what you are doing now.
I dont see how schooling would be any better for him than hacking apart from the softer ground so am sorta confused about that

You have already answered your own question :) "I feel that although he likes to be ridden, he doesn't necessarily need to be doing more at his time in life, and as we are both enjoying what we are doing, what does it matter? "

If you yourself want to do a bit more with him such as doing a bit of local gymkhana type stuff or a pleasure ride, you could try it and take it slowly to build it up and see how he copes. If he shows any signs, whether physical or mental then you can stop. They will tell you.

Plus there is no such thing as hacking too much, its really beneficial as long as you monitor the ground and dont overdo the fast work. :)

I hope that helps. I would start and worry about that sort of thing too, its easy for an outsider to just say stop worrying. Its hard lol! because you care. Just have fun! :)

dominochase
Posts: 409
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:56 pm
Contact:

Re: Do I hack too much?

Postby dominochase » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:50 am

I think that as long as your horse is happy and healthy, as you have said he is, then do what makes you both happy. There is no point pushing competing or schooling if neither of you are going to enjoy it.

After all riding is supposed to be fun! Both for horse and rider! And a horse that is getting out and seeing lots is much less likely to be 'stale' and unhappy like a horse that is over schooled and never hacked.
It's a lot like nuts and bolts –
if the rider's nuts, the horse bolts!
[b]Nicholas Evans[/b]
[img]http://static.zooomr.com/images/1078553 ... 33bf_m.jpg[/img]

mja
Posts: 108
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:56 am
Contact:

Re: Do I hack too much?

Postby mja » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:06 pm

If your horse is happy and you are happy and he is healthy then ignore other people! Having fun is the most important thing and no one knows your horse better than you do.

If he is older then why push him at this stage in his life when youo like hacking and what ou are doing? As long as he is kept mobile to avoid stiffness and joint issues in veteran years and he is happy in his work then stick to your guns!

HollyGee
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:11 am
Contact:

Re: Do I hack too much?

Postby HollyGee » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:37 am

Hi Snipper
I think you are right to let your old man have a more chilled life, after all the saying goes "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" (ok, dogs, but you get my gist!).

As horses get older, their joints become stiffer, their conformation can change and they are more susceptible to things like hot and cold, and any old injuries might start to twinge with certain exercise.

If you and your horse are happy pottering around the countryside and aren't bothered about half passes and roll kur then I say carry on doing what makes you happy - it's nothing to do with the others at the yard - after all, you can school while out on hacks with things like transitions, half halts and bends if you want to keep him on his toes.

Good luck!

horse_girl
Posts: 286
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:26 am
Contact:

Re: Do I hack too much?

Postby horse_girl » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:11 pm

Quote HollyGee: "If you and your horse are happy pottering around the countryside and aren't bothered about half passes and roll kur..."

Ha ha, this rings a bell! There's nothing I hate more than seeing people grabbing their horses up by the mouth when out hacking - come one, if you're going to give your horse time off from schooling then at least let him be a horse!!!

I would say you should set schooling time for the posh outline etc, and hack time for lettin it all go. Then the horse will associate schooling with work and having to concentrate, and hacking with fun - ie a reward.

Hacking should be FUN people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

User avatar
H&R_Editor
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:40 pm
Contact:

Re: Do I hack too much?

Postby H&R_Editor » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:03 pm

Snipper, we have a great feature in the next issue all about how to keep your horse happy and healthy for life. It was written by Jane van Lennep and it's really helpful. Don't miss it, on sale July 15th. However, I have to say it sounds like you are doing the best for your horse and always put his welfare first. Good luck, it sounds as though you have lots of fun together.


Return to “Hacking happiness”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests