New horse out hacking

Tam82

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15 November 2018
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Hi, i have been riding for over 26years but havnt owned a horse for a long time. I have now purchased one and he is coming early next month, at what point to i havk him out? And do i havk him out alone first? As ideally want him to get used to hacking alone, it wouldnt normally bother me but i had a nasty accident on a horse i was trying to buy and ended up with a crushed pelvis. Im just at the last stage if my recovery. So i need to try and get it right especially if i end up gaving an accident on my own. Many thanks
 

Pearlsasinger

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In your position, I would take it slowly. If you want to hack him alone, lead him along a short circular route, then ride him with someone walking with you before you set off on your own. I hope though that the horse you are buying will be supremely confident on his own and able to accommodate your understandable initial nerves.
 

CMcC

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In your position, I would take it slowly. If you want to hack him alone, lead him along a short circular route, then ride him with someone walking with you before you set off on your own. I hope though that the horse you are buying will be supremely confident on his own and able to accommodate your understandable initial nerves.
What I was going to say!
 

amymay

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I always hack in company on the first couple of ocassions, just to get the lie of the land as it were.

Providing I'm happy I then crack on alone. I personally don't get this 'leading' malarkey. If you buy a horse that's sold as good to hack, I don't see the point. It's also potentially dangerous.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I always hack in company on the first couple of ocassions, just to get the lie of the land as it were.

Providing I'm happy I then crack on alone. I personally don't get this 'leading' malarkey. If you buy a horse that's sold as good to hack, I don't see the point. It's also potentially dangerous.

How on earth can leading horse on a quiet safe route you intend to hack along be dangerous? Any-one with any wit at all would lead in a bridle and go either at a quiet time, or if at all possible, on a quiet route.
 

Tam82

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In your position, I would take it slowly. If you want to hack him alone, lead him along a short circular route, then ride him with someone walking with you before you set off on your own. I hope though that the horse you are buying will be supremely confident on his own and able to accommodate your understandable initial nerves.
His advert states good to hack alone and in company but does take confidence from his rider
 

Tam82

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I have riden a couple of times recently but only in a school, i think its because i wont know him, and so want to take it slowly, i just didnt know whether to just bite the bullet and hack on a route but just walk all the way round of do a route in company first, there is no short route i can take out havking unfortunaly, not thats a circuit, and i dont want to go up the road and end uo just turning round. It wouldnt have even bothered me before my accident 🙈 xx
 

dogatemysalad

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You are probably not going to be able to give him the confidence he needs to hack alone immediately. I'd suggest taking a few days to ride in the menage, hack out with a babysitter horse and then ask a friend or instructor to hack him solo so that you can be reassured and better able to feel confident riding on your own.
Don't expect too much of yourself, everyone is apprehensive at the start of a new partnership. Trust is a two way deal. Good luck, I really hope you have fun with him.
 

Tam82

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You are probably not going to be able to give him the confidence he needs to hack alone immediately. I'd suggest taking a few days to ride in the menage, hack out with a babysitter horse and then ask a friend or instructor to hack him solo so that you can be reassured and better able to feel confident riding on your own.
Don't expect too much of yourself, everyone is apprehensive at the start of a new partnership. Trust is a two way deal. Good luck, I really hope you have fun with him.
Thankyou, i wont have a saddle for about 4 days as i cant get a saddle fitter till then but thought about lunging him. Spending time with him and then maybe having a couple of lessons, i am getting a dressage saddle for him as i know i wouod feel a bit for secure and he is currently ridden in one also, so yes i have a friend who will ride any thing and she has said she will take him out for me, but i know he is a one rider horse and will thrive on a bond so didnt know if having some one else ride him would hinder?
 

LaurenBay

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If you haven't actually got him home yet could you possibly arrange with current owner to try him on a hack out? after all just because his ad states good to hack doesn't mean he is. I'd want to see him at least in traffic and in open spaces, even for a 15 minute hack to check that he is indeed safe. I am sure he is fine, but sadly there are so many dishonest sellers out there, I'd hate for you to get him home, spend money on new tack etc and find out he is not good to hack.
 

Tam82

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If you haven't actually got him home yet could you possibly arrange with current owner to try him on a hack out? after all just because his ad states good to hack doesn't mean he is. I'd want to see him at least in traffic and in open spaces, even for a 15 minute hack to check that he is indeed safe. I am sure he is fine, but sadly there are so many dishonest sellers out there, I'd hate for you to get him home, spend money on new tack etc and find out he is not good to hack.
Good idea, my friend took him up the road on his own, unfortunatly there was only about 3 cars that passed him but he was fine, i am going to ride him tomorrow so i could ask,who woman who is selling is in her mid 50’s and hacks him alone. He was a happy hacker in holland for an old couple before.
 

LaurenBay

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He sounds lovely, but you just want to make sure he is the right Horse for you. Could you possibly ask owner to walk on foot with you and go for a small hack? If he is an genuine as lady says he is then she wont mind you taking him out, just to make sure that he doesn't do anything silly and that you are comfortable riding him
 

FestiveFuzz

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Agree with PPs I would want to take him for a hack before parting with any money, especially as they're saying he takes his confidence from his rider which could mean he's less than generous if your nerves do get the better of you.
 
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It depends how honest the seller is
'Takes confidence from rider' could just mean he needs a reassuring pat sometimes, and a bit of a growl (depends what sort of horses the seller is used to!)
Or it could mean he needs you to very positively drive him past every remotely spooky thing every time, or he will turn and head home!
Either way definitely try and hack him before you take him home, and if you do have a very positive friend get them to take him round your familiar hack first. If he is lacking confidence and isn't filled with it from you, then you could end up with 'problem places' on your familiar hacking territory and it is much more difficult to get over it if the horse actually thinks there IS a reason to be worried, rather than just MAYBE.

To be honest if I was a bit nervous and looking for a horse to hack I would be going for one which was described as 'Loves hacking, 110% bombproof, alone and in company' (even though I don't really believe in bombproof, but its a much more definite statement of their behaviour)
 

hopscotch bandit

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Hi, i have been riding for over 26years but havnt owned a horse for a long time. I have now purchased one and he is coming early next month, at what point to i havk him out? And do i havk him out alone first? As ideally want him to get used to hacking alone, it wouldnt normally bother me but i had a nasty accident on a horse i was trying to buy and ended up with a crushed pelvis. Im just at the last stage if my recovery. So i need to try and get it right especially if i end up gaving an accident on my own. Many thanks
I always say 'start as you mean to go on'. Hacked mine out the next day which was about 15 hours after she arrived at the yard. Told the yard I was going for a hack on my own and pootled off.

My advice is to just crack on with things. By all means take someone with you when you hack out for the first time at home but don't fall into the trap of having to take someone all the time as your horse will never be confident on its own. Try him before you buy, preferably on his own and not with company or you will never know if he lacks confidence or not. You don't want to end up with something that is a head case and that wont' let you ride him away from his pals.
 

Summit

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I always hack in company on the first couple of ocassions, just to get the lie of the land as it were.

Providing I'm happy I then crack on alone. I personally don't get this 'leading' malarkey. If you buy a horse that's sold as good to hack, I don't see the point. It's also potentially dangerous.
If you search for this subject on the forum there are LOADS of people suggesting to lead out in hand to gain confidence.

Same situ as you OP, but only for 10 years. Yes a horse may be great hacking out alone but it’s a big deal for a horse to move to a new yard and have a new owner so I don’t think it fair, or safe, to assume that you should just “get on with it”. The horse needs to gain his own confidence with new surroundings. My horse was sold as “hacks alone”, which he does, but he’s still finding his feet and getting used to me. Unfortunately I’ve just broken my hand so have no choice but to lead him out at the moment and to be honest it’s doing us both the world of good. I can get him used to my voice from the ground and I let him eat a bit of grass here and there so it’s a nice experience for him.
 

Summit

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Agree with PPs I would want to take him for a hack before parting with any money, especially as they're saying he takes his confidence from his rider which could mean he's less than generous if your nerves do get the better of you.
Again, said horse may happily hack alone in his current yard but have a total loss of confidence with a new yard and owner :confused:
 
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I would try him as much as you can before he arrives. Horses behave differently with different people. My last horse was a delight for the trainer to ride in the forest, but for me he was a nightmare! I had been riding for 40 odd years, but with a big break, and in my 40s had lost confidence. I transmitted all of my worries to him and he became afraid of every tree stump or odd looking bush that we saw! If he is good with you on a trial it achieves 2 things: 1. you will know what to expect, and 2. when you get him home you will hopefully feel confident and that will be good for both you and the horse
 

Tam82

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Thanks for all your advice people, i did ride him last saturday on a small hack with the owner on her other horse, and he was fine, not totally relaxed but that brob cus his rider was on another horse, unfortunately he is too far for me to travel to keep seeing him as i also work, but he is arriving in less than 2 weeks now so for the first 2-4 days i will lead him round the school, spend lime with him and lunge him, the saddle fitter isnt coming till day 4 of me having him, and then after that have a lesson in the school a couple of time, try to build something and then fingers crossed take him out. I hope this sounds like a good plan! X
 

splashgirl45

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i would say your plan is ok except that i would hack him out with another horse as soon as possible so you gain confidence and hacking out hasnt turned into a big deal.....once you have hacked out a couple of times with company it wont be so scary to hack out on his own, good luck
 

Tam82

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i would say your plan is ok except that i would hack him out with another horse as soon as possible so you gain confidence and hacking out hasnt turned into a big deal.....once you have hacked out a couple of times with company it wont be so scary to hack out on his own, good luck
Thanks, he comes on the 8th and a saddle fitter is due on the 12th its the earliest i could get! So maybe hack out that week with someone then? X
 
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In your position, I would take it slowly. If you want to hack him alone, lead him along a short circular route, then ride him with someone walking with you before you set off on your own. I hope though that the horse you are buying will be supremely confident on his own and able to accommodate your understandable initial nerves.
^^ this is what my thoughts are too. Play safe, play cautious. If you're unsure, then hack out with a Schoolmaster to accompany you for a bit until you've both gained confidence.

I would also be doing groundwork with the new horse from the time they come off the lorry; start early. Make the horse move away from you (i.e. pressure), backwards/forwards. Pick up feet etc etc. Don't forget to "reward" for the behaviour you want. My new mare was bolshy and rude when I got her last autumn; not her fault just the fact no-one had ever "explained" to her that she should respect humans-space, so this is where I started with her.
 
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Also make sure that when he arrives but before you can ride him, you still get him plenty of turnout and exercise.
Have seen many horses arrive at their new homes and given 'time to settle in' or enforced non-riding due to saddle issues, and get far too fresh and full of themselves during that time. If you are lunging, lunge until he is actually tired. He will undoubtedly be a bit sharper in a new home, so if he is tired already that will take the edge off it.
Good luck :)
 

ihatework

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I personally wouldn’t be leading him out and about, for me that would be a last resort.

I would get you & him in a strict routine the minute he gets home and ride / exercise him every day for the first fortnight.

I also wouldn’t hack alone to start with, I never do with a new one and I’m pretty confident hacking. Get 2-3 good circular routes familiar to him with company. As soon as possible do those rides leading (from on top!).

Only when you feel positive, relaxed & confident do you attempt it solo. You have to be prepared to keep any nerves under control and ride them forwards if they are a little unsure. Otherwise that is when you run into issues.
 
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My boy hacks out worse with company, spooks more, rushes to trot or canter, tries to race the other horse etc. But when I take him out alone he is the safest and plod of a horse I've ever owned.

Mu boyfriend will walk with us sometimes, but I would recommend getting someone to walk next to you for the first time out at his new yard, and for me I rode my boy the very next day I got him out for a hack :)
 

Orangehorse

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If you want a horse to be a hack, then you need to take him for a hack. Preferably with the owner. Would you buy a show jumper if you hadn't seen it jumping at a show? Or a hunter out hunting. I think unless you are a "producer" of whatever kind, willing and able to take a punt and have something you want to bring on or improve, you need to buy a horse that its doing the job NOW that you want it for.

(I heard of someone who bought a horse she just wanted to hack, it was an excellent hunter. When she got it home she discovered it wouldn't go anywhere without company, not out of the drive gate. Perfect in company. It stayed in the field until she was able to sell it as a hunter, cheaply as it hadn't been ridden).
 

MrsJingle

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(I heard of someone who bought a horse she just wanted to hack, it was an excellent hunter. When she got it home she discovered it wouldn't go anywhere without company, not out of the drive gate. Perfect in company. It stayed in the field until she was able to sell it as a hunter, cheaply as it hadn't been ridden).
My own horse is an ex hunter - I bought her as a 10 year old and she had done nothing but hunt - consequently we spent the first 3 months doing nothing but hacking out alone......I can't tell you how many battles we had in those first few months but she is one of my favourite ever horses so well worth the effort and I was well aware that hacking alone could be problematic for her before I even bought her.

OP i do wish the owner had allowed you to hack the horse out alone from their property - even if they walked along with you. But it is what it is and hopefully it won't be an issue at all, take all the help and foot soldiers you can get in the early days and yes I would be hacking out right from day one, even if it is just at walk with a foot soldier to begin with.
 
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