Is hacking ‘in a field’ sufficient?

ed&arch

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As title really..
We live on a 600acre dairy farm with plenty of accessible fields (mainly flat and “horsey friendly”, although OH may not agree:p)
The drive directs onto a very busy B road therefore hacking on a road isn’t really an option unless I box up and move 2/3miles off the busy road to back lanes.

Would you class riding in open fields, hacking? We tend to school (flatwork) in the field, the next session will be riding in the field a bit more casually with a nice trot, canter and gallop etc at a relaxed/less intense pace (although sometimes I do question that) to build fitness.

Is there anybody out there that doesn’t do road work but still succeeds at getting the work into their horse? Should I be making more of an effort to get on the road?
 

eggs

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We only hack around the 10 acre field at home as the road is just too busy.
 

Red-1

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Yes. I used to keep my horse on the edge of Bretton Park. I think we may have had about 70 acres of accessible hacking, including parkland, a quarry, flattish bits, sloping bits, XC fences etc. Horse was happy as Larry, some days we went and did some flat work, some days had a walk out, others did some bank scrambling, others popped some fences.

The horse learned to go up and down hills, and his dressage scored a 16 under the old system BE so it must have been beneficial.

I wish I had 600 acres to go at!!!
 

Steerpike

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I train my endurance horses ( up to 160km) on a 600 acre farm but I can't use all of the margins, I have to cross one busy main road to get to the majority of it, but I also lunge and do pole work so they are not hacked every day.
 

JFTD-WS

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I thought this was going to be a "is it ok to hack around a tiny 2 acre paddock and call it hacking" and I was going to say that it's better than nothing but far from ideal.

In your situation, however... Who would choose to ride on the roads if they could avoid it - other than for specific training or hoof conditioning purposes, possibly.
 

ed&arch

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I guess the argument is, horses do tend to see and experience a lot more on a hack! I find mine is more spooky at competitions because he doesn’t see such things on a hack?! Or just because he’s a ‘typical’ Section D who uses any excuse to get out of work :D
 

PapaverFollis

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Lol, what's your perimeter distance because I'm think at least 6km if the farm is perfectly square!! That's a reasonable hack to start with! If you are worried about them not seeing stuff I'd set up "attractions" on the spot to train the past. It sounds amazing.

No envious at all! Lol.
 

tallyho!

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Yeah, awful. No, I wouldn't hack around a 600 are farm if I had one. Main roads all the way for me. Give me a bus with airbrakes any day than some grass underfoot. Wouldn't want my horse to have a canter in field, oh no, really really wouldn't recommend riding on grass. Sends horses loop de loop. :p

Let me know if you need a companion though, I've heard it improves things if you can at least take a few other riders with you.
 

splashgirl45

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that would be my dream, my own place and hacking round my own fields and never touching a road....bliss....you could always put a few logs on your route to give them a little jump as well....ideal if you ever have to fell trees as you wouldnt need to cut them up just plonk them somewhere random.....
 

ed&arch

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that would be my dream, my own place and hacking round my own fields and never touching a road....bliss....you could always put a few logs on your route to give them a little jump as well....ideal if you ever have to fell trees as you wouldnt need to cut them up just plonk them somewhere random.....

I’m not sure the cows would know what to do with them, but yes I’m working on it ;)ha ha!
 

scats

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We have a private farm ride on the yard and I only hack around that (there are various routes). I do hack down the lane too, but I won’t chance the main road at the bottom, it’s horrendous.
 

ycbm

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I have permission to ride on about 600 acres. I stay on the roads (admittedly quiet) because I can't stand all the badly hung gates. It might be different if I owned and could maintain the gates.
 

ed&arch

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I have permission to ride on about 600 acres. I stay on the roads (admittedly quiet) because I can't stand all the badly hung gates. It might be different if I owned and could maintain the gates.
Luckily there aren’t many gates here but fences everywhere.. so I do need to ‘plan’ my route and open fences before I set off
 

flying_high

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I think it depends on the fields. I had permission to ride on a neighbours 300-400 acres of fields. But they were unmanaged clay ground, that had horses or cows in without being rolled, and therefore were largely poached and rutted and I didn’t enjoy it that much. Plus clay is either soggy or rock solid. I didn’t end up using it that often.
 

SpringArising

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I also thought this was going to be a 'If I ride around my horse's paddock does it count as a hack?' post.

My yard has the most incredible hacking up and down hills where you don't have to see a car for miles on end. But I like to pass through villages now and again on him to give him something else to look and think about.
 

JFTD-WS

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I also have a lot of off road hacking and usually chose to come back through the village, and do the odd bit of roadwork here and there. But I thought that was just me being perverse and annoying...
 

SpringArising

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I also have a lot of off road hacking and usually chose to come back through the village, and do the odd bit of roadwork here and there. But I thought that was just me being perverse and annoying...
Nope. Plus can you really beat the sound of clip clopping on tarmac?! (and having a nosey though everyone's front room)
 

maisie06

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As title really..
We live on a 600acre dairy farm with plenty of accessible fields (mainly flat and “horsey friendly”, although OH may not agree:p)
The drive directs onto a very busy B road therefore hacking on a road isn’t really an option unless I box up and move 2/3miles off the busy road to back lanes.

Would you class riding in open fields, hacking? We tend to school (flatwork) in the field, the next session will be riding in the field a bit more casually with a nice trot, canter and gallop etc at a relaxed/less intense pace (although sometimes I do question that) to build fitness.

Is there anybody out there that doesn’t do road work but still succeeds at getting the work into their horse? Should I be making more of an effort to get on the road?
Sounds perfect to me. A friend keeps her horse on a similar set up, the farmer has left horse friendly tracks around the headlands for his liveries and you don't have to go on a road, perfect! personally I would never ever ride on a public highway these days, far too dangerous as drivers just don't care, there's no real punishment if they hit you or your horse and they know it....and to be verbally abused isn't nice either, I have given up riding now as the lack of safe hacking was one of the reasons why.
 

scats

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Nope. Plus can you really beat the sound of clip clopping on tarmac?! (and having a nosey though everyone's front room)
As much as I love having off road hacking, I do really miss road hacking and wish we had a little circular route that we could do that didn’t involve the most horrendous main road. It’s bad enough trying to get out of the junction in a car, let alone on a horse, sadly.
Annoyingly, about 300 metres up the road, you can get to a much quieter road that leads to the beach. But the main road is just awful and Millie is such a spooky idiot that I just couldn’t chance it.
 

JFTD-WS

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Nope. Plus can you really beat the sound of clip clopping on tarmac?! (and having a nosey though everyone's front room)
More of a dull thudding as mine aren't shod, but yes, it's a very pleasing sound. And 99% of the drivers are very polite, to be honest. Quiet country rounds are very different to busy main roads, but I do enjoy the odd bit of roadwork - at least, I enjoy it when I have plenty of off road tracks to play on too!
 

Lintel

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Plenty of folks round here dont hack on the road- no doubt it is dangerous, even with the most steady steeds... it's the drivers!
We still hack mainly on the roads but we were nearly toast today when someone cut in front of us with a trailer, biggest fright I have had for a long time. They clearly hadn't thought about the length of their vehicle.... or my boys nose!

If I was going to buy a horse I would regard it as "good to hack" that to me means traffic is involved to a degree, but it sounds like you have an amazing safe set up ENJOY!
 

BBP

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A friend of mine took hers round Adelaide 4* with just hacking round a field. Admittedly it was a very big field and we used to canter laps and laps of it, but we had nowhere else to ride. Yours sounds ideal.
 

NinjaPony

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I hope so because that’s what I largely do at the moment. My current resolution is to get him out to new places in the box a bit more, we have a countrypark near by but you have to go up a busy road and then cross over a motorway bridge and you always meet impatient golfers. I’m starting to lose my nerve on the road after a few near misses with dangerous drivers. Luckily we’ve just have a new track fenced all the way around the new 20 acre field which I’ve been using, and I also ride in the big three fields over the road. It’s not quite as good as lots of varied hacking but we are lucky to have lots of big fields to ride in, and better than being squashed on the road. In September we are moving to Gloucestershire and will have direct access to thousands of acres to off road riding on our doorstep and I can’t wait!
 
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