Solo hacking when did you start?

NooNoo59

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 December 2011
Messages
1,009
Location
kent
So the young Welsh I have bought had been an angel and have started hacking out on my own just down the road and back to get his confidence. Tonight we set off and he was much spookier than usual and then he spotted deer in the woods! I decided to turn back and he was beside himself high blowing bucking etc I got off in the end as I didn't feel very safe. He is rising five and is on the whole very good although have only done road hacking up to this point. As this is the youngest I have ever had I wonder if this will improve with time as if that had happened in an open field I think I might have been upside down in the dirt! Any advice?
 

Summit

Well-Known Member
Joined
31 July 2018
Messages
407
Might be the first time he’d seen a deer :)

I did in hand walking with my boy when I got him to help build his confidence, let him graze a bit too, made it a nice experience.
 

Nudibranch

Well-Known Member
Joined
21 April 2007
Messages
6,213
Location
Up North
I've had to hack babies solo from day one as I've nearly always had horses at home. However I walk out in hand from 2 and long rein from 3 on our own which sets them up well.
 

Trinket12

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 December 2017
Messages
279
Location
Vancouver, Canada
We have a horse at the therapeutic center who is 28 and the most bombproof chillest horse ever (she's had students ride her that have had anxiety attacks, who have problems staying still and are shouty and not an ear flicker) unless she sees a deer. They are the devil incarnate, she's a Clydesdale cross and I have never seen her move so fast!
 

silv

Well-Known Member
Joined
10 April 2002
Messages
1,544
Location
new zealand
A great many horses are terrified of deer, I think it is because they are quite flighty and move very quickly. I would give your horse the benefit of the doubt. Has he been up in the woods before? Can you do a route that he knows inside out from being on it with a friend?
I have a very sensible horse but sometimes in the forestry he can be a bit spooky, I think they hear and smell things that we don't in my case its wild pigs, which are equally terrifiying to horses. I tend to talk loudly or shout which seems to keep any deer/pigs away. There is no shame in getting off but try to keep your anxiety levels down if they are high as that will transfer to the horse. Frequent stops to graze also helps make it a positive experience.
 

Abby-Lou

Well-Known Member
Joined
26 September 2013
Messages
541
Yes pony always on high alert with deer. I once had a new born pop out on lane as it thought I was its mother returning a special moment, but we snook off quick as not to disturb
 

NooNoo59

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 December 2011
Messages
1,009
Location
kent
Our short circular route is thru a busy village so I wanted to start on a quieter route. I did try and carry on but I felt very unsafe and I am not having an argument on a road. I am going to walk him down there this afternoon on the lunge.
 

HLOEquestrian

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 December 2010
Messages
167
Location
West Sussex
The two times I've come off out hacking have both been as a result of two separate horses coming across deer!

I've always hacked young ones out on their own fairly soon, but I agree with the above I'm not a fan of hacking and turning back on yourself to come home, far better to do a circular route if you can. Maybe try and long rein the same route to build back both of your confidences up?
 

BOWS28

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 February 2018
Messages
502
Location
Hertfordshire
I would never hack out and turn around and come home. This is the beginning of teaching them to be nappy. Short routes around the block will do fine but should always be a circular route as mentioned above. Doesn't have to be a long one. Walking out in hand is also a good way of building confidence as some find it very comforting to have someone on the ground. My older mare is still awful to hack alone. Shes spooky, nappy and sharp but turns into a dream if someone is walking along with us.
 

JFTDWS

Wears headscarf humorously...
Joined
4 November 2010
Messages
20,919
Location
East Angular - ish
I tend to spend some time riding and leading before I hack them solo - or hack with a friend / lead in hand if you don't have another. When they're calm around a few routes that way, I'll take them for a walk hack after some arena work - ideally a circular route, but I have done out and back routes successfully (I think it depends on the horse) but I always change how far we go and where we turn back!
 

hopscotch bandit

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 February 2017
Messages
2,770
I would never hack out and turn around and come home. This is the beginning of teaching them to be nappy. Short routes around the block will do fine but should always be a circular route as mentioned above. Doesn't have to be a long one. .
This 100%. I nearly always hack a round route, as like you say they get nappy. Mine will jog the whole way home when turned on a straight hack and next time we approach that very area where we turned she will expect to do it again. When she plays up because I want her to walk on and she wants to turn I will react and give her a smart tap with my whip. In retaliation and then she will do a mock objection, i.e. swish of tail and quick swoop of neck as if she is pretending to follow through with a buck. She will walk on then, but its a very funny walk, like a wiggly line lol.

The way I associate it in human terms is when the boss lets you do an unexpectedly early dart one Friday afternoon, and every Friday from there on you wait for the same offer and get frustrated when it doesn't come about :)
 

NooNoo59

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 December 2011
Messages
1,009
Location
kent
Good advice here. Think I will lead down to the woods just to try and see the deer again. Also got a friend with a bike to go round the village
 
Joined
16 February 2009
Messages
9,567
Location
Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
My old boy (two horses ago now) saw a deer in his field, and I can honestly say that on this occasion it was the only time in his entire go-slow life that I'd EVER seen the lazy old bones do a flat-out gallop!! With snorting, bucking and farting to boot! Deer are weird wild things, and every horse I've had has gone crazy when they've smelt them.

I would be inclined to chill out a bit with your horse for a few days; he's only a youngster all said and done, and perhaps you just need to do some groundwork in the yard, lunge or long-rein if this is something you've done before, and work on him with a halti or pressure halter until he's nice and respectful.

When you feel the time is right, then take him out in hand (wearing a bridle if you're on the road) and if you can, do a circular route. Ditto others' advice re. NEVER going out and back the same way; I've only had to do it once or twice on mine (i.e. delivery lorry blocking road so we had to turn and come back home), and the next time out I had a very nappy horse - luckily the riding where I am is all circular routes, but I'd hate to think of the consequences if I had to go out and come back the same way, IMO its only bound to produce nappiness.

Then, again when time feels right, saddle up and walk him out in hand, and if/when it feels good, hop up and ride home. If you have someone who could walk or cycle with you, to give you confidence, this would be helpful. Or even better, a schoolmaster horse alongside, just for a while until you are ready to tackle solo hacking again.

If you are really struggling, then I'd strongly recommend getting a professional alongside to help you.
 

JFTDWS

Wears headscarf humorously...
Joined
4 November 2010
Messages
20,919
Location
East Angular - ish
What sort of uber-deer do you people have?! Aside from a bit of natural curiosity first time they see them, I've never had (or known) a horse bothered by them round here - and we've had them jumping out in front of us, herds buggering off across our path etc. Is it just exposure? We have so many deer round here that you just wouldn't be able to hack if your horse was a proper wally about them!
 

catkin

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 July 2010
Messages
2,059
Location
South West
If you have to do an out-and-back route (sometimes circular is just not possible) then have a 'purpose' for going - for example I have a great route for youngsters that involves going to a neighbours house, stopping for a chat and/or we carry something in a saddlebag to 'deliver' then come home. The break seems to help and the standing and carrying are other good lessons.
 

J&S

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 June 2012
Messages
972
We saw a deer on one of our canter tracks the other day. Pony was alert , not too spooked but she only wanted to trot smartly up to the point where the deer came out, then cantered afterwards. I always feel if there is one deer there is likely to be another, I think that she felt the same way! A friend and I were out in the New Forest some years ago and as we rode along an open track a herd off to our left actually came and chased us! Two forest ponies and two middle aged lady riders raced off hell for leather!
 

Fanatical

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 March 2009
Messages
1,570
Pretty much straight away after backing, with someone on a bike. I prefer them to learn to look to the rider for support, than just follow another horse.
 

windand rain

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 November 2012
Messages
6,003
Depends on the horse we have been taking the lead rein pony out and about but obviously she is with people She has been without horse company and with it and is fine but an off lead I would take out on its own within days of being backed as it is easy to do too much circling in a school and much better to teach out hacking either with or without another horse or foot soldier depending on the horses previous experience of being out without a rider
 
Top