Wow this is a great thread! I am proud of being a happy hacker - it is Jos' favourite activity, hence why we are off to do endurance riding next year. I get bored in an arena (unless I'm having lessons, that's a different kettle of fish) and showing also bores us to tears now, so it's out into the countryside to cause chaos and confusion for us!! ;D
There is a slight inference that those who compete "do most of their riding in an arena" and don't enjoy their hacking. It is possible to do both! I did BSJA and BD with my older horse, and he was a super hack, in fact he secured himself a fabulous loan home where he is now currently semi-retired on the basis of his hacking skills and the fact that he is a fabulous escort for his loaner's daugher's horse.
With Gazdag I do BD, he is schooling Med/Adv Med with some higher movements, competing Novice shortly moving up to Elementary, and is also learning to jump. We do all our schooling in a grass paddock of 30 x 30m ish, and hack 2-3 times a week. He has done non-competitive endurance rides, hacks alone or in company, in front or behind, and we have a blast out hacking.
In addition to agreeing with the fact that hacking is great and needs skill, I would add that it is possible to enjoy it, be good at it, AND compete successfully! I think some of the hackers who feel looked down upon by competitive riders, are in danger of in turn looking down on competitive riders! It's not a "them and us" guys, the two are not mutually exclusive!
I would agree with that although my inclination is more to hacking than anything else. It's important not to descend into some kind of inverted snobbery A well schooled horse is a joy to hack, and there are plenty of horses that compete and hack very nicely too. The other thing to bear in mind is that whilst you generally need to be able to ride well to compete effectively it's quite possible to imitate a sack of spuds out hacking and get away with it
Post by Dragonmaster on Dec 2, 2011 12:17:13 GMT 1
Sorry, Jenny, I didn't mean that. I know lots of people who compete also hack and enjoy it. So do their horses I bet. However I am interested to hear what people think are the skills required to go hacking, what skills does the horse need, and how you gain those skills? What 'training' do you do?
I would say the most important thing is a thinking horse that will look to you for guidance if it's not sure about something because it knows you are reliable and trustworthy. All things to be gained through good handling and preparation, gradually increased exposure and positive experiences
I,to,am a happy hacker but have never thought of myself as a "proper" rider as i have never competed or been to any form of show (inc.gymkanas)sp? I have always envied people who are able to ride a dressage test or jump a course and i very often feel like a fraud,as i know the way i ride needs alot of improvement. However,after reading this thread it has made me think twice about feeling bad that i "just"hack out........my girly can be quite spooky and can often stop refusing to move.........yet we have always finished the ride on a positive note. So, yes,i have a long way to go re:improving my riding,and as much as i would love to be able to ride a good dressage test,next time i get back to the yard in one piece i will think that maybe i am a "proper" rider after all! ;D ;D So................thankyou for this thread,its really cheered me up! xx
I agree with Jenny. We are all horselovers. Regardless of whether we compete or hack or combine the two (endurance: extreme hacking! And you need a well-balanced, well-schooled horse to compete at the top levels) and I try very hard not to get drawn into the 'them and us' argument!
Post by anastasia55555 on Dec 29, 2011 20:53:57 GMT 1
I didnt really learn to ride until i started hacking. So much to learn, so many unpredictable things to face and so many contributing factors. Apollo still takes me by suprise every now and then & still have moments when im not 100% sure what to do. Personally i think its a different kind of riding and it should be given as much respect as any other discipline
I've never in my life wanted to compete, do dressage or any other discipline, although I have no objection to learning the moves, and always loved jumping. Agreeing with the previous comments I've always liked to plod around the roads & tracks and gallop across stretches of field, wander through woods, climb up & down hills and paddle through water. Birds and animals stay put as they see the horse not the human, it's great to wander close to deer and other shy creatures that would normally scoot away. Not only do I feel relaxed, my horse gets to learn new things, sees a bit more of his environment, gets confidence just as a competition horse does... while I'm riding I can practice all sorts of moves as you say, and concentrate on being centred & balanced, I can dangle my feet out the stirrups if I want, eat sweets, wear jeans, a vest and a pair of old boots, it's meditative riding. Us happy hackers should never feel like we're not skilled or that our horses don't work hard, mentally aswell as physically; we all just choose to do what we like
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