An Ode to Hacking...

Ambers Echo

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 October 2017
Messages
5,168
Hacking!

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways:
When lawns are mown and dogs bark out of sight
When paint on roads and man-holes cause such fright
When buses groan and roar and air brakes hiss
When cars won’t slow at all and barely miss
In rain and shine in dusk and dawns fresh light.
I hate thee all the hours , try as I might
To shed my fear and grow a pair at last
I hate thee when its slow and when it’s fast.
I hate thee with a passion and I pray’d
That I could get her fit some other way
I ride with gritted teeth & laboured breath
And hope this quest won’t end in grisly death!

(With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
 

Ambers Echo

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 October 2017
Messages
5,168
I wish I loved it. I Every winter I have to go through this phase till I get used to it again. I don't really hack on roads in summer as we can use the farm ride. But in poor weather it has to be the local roads. I'll get over it! Yes please do write a pro hacking sonnnet or poem to redress the balance.
 

AFB

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 February 2017
Messages
1,362
I hate road work, it was what pushed me to get transport. Although I've only actually boxed up to hack twice and taken advantage of competing/XC schooling since :D
 

catkin

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 July 2010
Messages
2,112
Location
South West
He listened very attentively whilst I told him about all the wonderful views he would see and places he would go!
The deal is that I will keep him safe and he keeps me on his back - he's mulling it over
I'm sure he'll come to the same conclusion as my Fellboy - that it's fun going out and about :) (especially if you meet people who tell you what a handsome and clever chap you are.....)
 

SEL

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 February 2016
Messages
6,533
Location
Buckinghamshire
New yard and we have a pig to go past - thought we'd put our brave pants on today. Pig was in its shed fast asleep so we'll save that treat for another day.

But I'm with you AE - i dream of safe off road bridle paths without stupid dog walkers!
 

Palindrome

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 July 2012
Messages
1,164
Location
Northern France
I love it, I am having a go but English is my 2nd language so don't hesitate to tell me if something is not correct:

Hacking

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
When the sun sets and hares abound at night
When the silence reaches its all time high,
After a canter in a field uphill
Giving the reins a time for a chill.
When the horse exhales an almighty breath
in winter seemingly the dragon’s hearth
And all is stillness and crisp and calm joy
For the wren from horses does not coy
And thus its song enlightens our march
Below the beech trees, branches like an arch,
I love thee all the hours , but please mind
Forget to lower your head and you’ll find
On the ground, from your proud steed soon parted,
So remain careful and concentrated.
 
Last edited:

McFluff

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 April 2014
Messages
1,319
I love hacking, until I have to go on roads. Then I just don’t do it. Means I have to box out to hack. So I agree with both ode’s - roads are my issue!
 

JFTDWS

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 November 2010
Messages
20,885
I love hacking, until I have to go on roads. Then I just don’t do it. Means I have to box out to hack. So I agree with both ode’s - roads are my issue!
I find cars are much more respectful (baffled?) if I'm carrying a bow and a few arrows :p

(for clarity, I don't hack with them, but I do go on the road to get to one of my fields)
 

McFluff

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 April 2014
Messages
1,319
I find cars are much more respectful (baffled?) if I'm carrying a bow and a few arrows :p

(for clarity, I don't hack with them, but I do go on the road to get to one of my fields)
Haha - that is quite an image. Round here they go so fast I'm not sure they'd see a bow till its too late. I've had too many near misses in my car to even consider taking my horse onto that road!

Now that might work to slow drivers down!
Now wondering if there is a market for armour piercing arrows...my OH already refers to horse archery as my training for the zombie apocalypse. It would certainly even up the odds a bit!
 

Pearlsasinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 February 2009
Messages
32,776
Location
W. Yorks
I find cars are much more respectful (baffled?) if I'm carrying a bow and a few arrows :p

(for clarity, I don't hack with them, but I do go on the road to get to one of my fields)

Fancy dress seems to have a similar effect :D Again, we don't just hack in fancy dress for the sake of it but our RC does hold Fancy Dress rides/comps quite regularly.
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 March 2011
Messages
748
Location
London
I learned to ride in order to hack.

I hadnt read any books. Now I have educated myself, I think NH has a lot to answer for by emphasising that horses are flight animals and herd animals.

My OH pointed out that horses have been bred for centuries to be safe transport from A to B. Hacking is never entirely safe but then neither is driving a car.

And horses were bred to hack solo. Most 19th century horse owners could only afford a single horse.

Amber and I differ in our view of hacking. I believe that both horse and rider need to learn to hack and to learn to hack together. Just as people learn how to jump. You dont put a student who has never jumped on a horse that has never jumped and expect them to jump a course. The same goes for hacking.

You dont jump high till you can both jump low. Same goes for hacking. Start short and easy and build it up.

Staying with the car image - First lesson in hacking. Richard Maxwell insists that before taking a horse on a public road one must check steering and brakes. He did this first from the ground, backing up the horse and then turning it 360 degrees in each direction.
He then mounted and did the same.

That is my reprimand out hacking. If a horse has not heeded me or done something I did not ask for or dont like, I carry out that routine.
 

Ambers Echo

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 October 2017
Messages
5,168
I don't disagree Skib.

Actually, I am quite proud of myself..... there is a narrow, walled bridle-path that Amber (and many horses) dislike which is a short cut - and a traffic free route - from our yard to small roads. There is a very narrow entrance into the bridle path from an open field and it is overgrown with overhanging trees. So you have to go from light to dark, open to enclosed, spacious to narrow and to get into this scary dark place you have to squeeze through a VERY narrow entrance. I avoid it because people have been knee capped on the wall of the entrance as horses rush through.

Yesterday I decided we were going to learn to calmly and politely amble through that passage way. Initially she would not get within 20 metres of it. I did this a la Tik Maynard: from the ground till Amber went back and forth without me on a line. Then I hopped on board and walked back and forth about 10 times till it was no issue at all.

I do the work. I just don't much like it! Perhaps one day I will.
 
Last edited:

JFTDWS

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 November 2010
Messages
20,885
Now wondering if there is a market for armour piercing arrows...my OH already refers to horse archery as my training for the zombie apocalypse. It would certainly even up the odds a bit!
The right arrows from the right bow can definitely pierce armour - or so I'm told, anyway. I'm fairly sure this is listed as a reason for jarmaki - getting enough force to put an arrow through the armour of a knight below you in battle (other theories include mountain lions and shooting at people off battlements, apparently). I also believe I've heard from a coach (not mine) that hoodies relating horse archery and the zombie apocalypse exist, possibly purely for your OH ;)
 

Skib

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 March 2011
Messages
748
Location
London
Actually, I am quite proud of myself....

Yesterday I decided we were going to learn to calmly and politely amble through that passage way. Initially she would not get within 20 metres of it. I did this a la Tik Maynard: from the ground till Amber went back and forth without me on a line. Then I hopped on board and walked back and forth about 10 times till it was no issue at all.
Quite right to be proud. That is excellent. You have made me happy too. And great that the Tik Maynard learning works for you too.
 

Ambers Echo

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 October 2017
Messages
5,168
Ah well a few steps forward and a great leap back:

Amber and Dolly approaching the Passage Of Doom
Unexpectedly came there a dog bounding out of the gloom
A spin and a run as the horses took fright
A great game of chase thought the dog in delight

And the ride ended rather too soon......
 

Trouper

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 May 2015
Messages
979
I don't often look in this section of the forum so I realise that I have missed some real gems!!!! Well done all.
I like hacking but am always aware that "there be dragons" in every hedgerow which can take the gloss of it. It set me thinking why we are more anxious about incidents out hacking when we can equally have crashing falls in an arena or at an event. I wonder if we feel somewhat the same as our horses - we are away from base and away from our "herd" support and it is subtly preying on our minds in the same way it is doing to our horses - even tho' we can think more rationally about what dangers we are meeting and what we are going to do about them.
Just a ponder.
 
Top