Hacking your horse simply means riding for light exercise, and it is a very important part of horse care.
The main benefit of hacking is that it helps to improve fitness and stamina for your horse and for you. Regular exercise is important for all animals, and horses are no exception. Walking and steady trotting can help to strengthen the muscles and tendons in your horse's legs. Regular hill work will also help to build muscle and improve heart health, so it is important that you hack your horse on a wide variety of different terrains.
Switching between varying surfaces, like moving from road to grass or off road tracks, can help your horse to improve balance and coordination as well, so variety is very important. Wider spaces are ideal for building speed, while narrow tracks are best for improving your hand to leg coordination with your horse.
Unfortunately, a lot of riders only hack out on roads, and they do not give their horse enough experience on other terrains. But at our stables, we have some great off road hacking spaces so you can train your horse on a variety of different terrains.
Hacking out is not just about the physical benefits, it also has mental benefits for you and your horse. If your horse is only used to roadwork, it does not get the opportunity to experience different situations and landscapes. That means that it may feel uncomfortable when it eventually does go off road. But regular use of our off road hacking areas will help you to acclimate your horse to a wide variety of different situations, so it is more comfortable riding on a variety of terrains. It’s also a more pleasant experience for you because off road hacking is far more scenic and relaxing than roadwork.
Off road hacking also gives the horse more freedom of movement when compared to roadwork. On a road, it is important to maintain a straight track and stick to the side of the road for safety purposes. This can get very boring for both the rider and the horse, and you are both likely to switch off. Off road hacking, on the other hand, is a lot more interesting and both the animal and the rider will be far more engaged.
It’s important that your horse has a varied and interesting schedule if they are going to live a happy life. In much the same way as a person may feel a bit down if they are stuck in the same routine day in day out, your horse can get bored of staring at the same four walls and riding in circles all day long.
If you want to improve your horse’s physical and mental health, and make sure that they live a well rounded life, off road hacking is a vital part of their routine. If you keep your horse in our facility, you will have access to off road hacking areas on a regular basis, and both you and your horse will benefit from it. Get in touch today to learn more about our off road hacking facilities.