Emma Shackell, Event Rider April 21, 2015

Finally, summer is here! This means lighter evenings, longer days and more time for riding! Hacking is a great way to vary your horse’s workload and keeps them fit and active for the summer months ahead.

Teaching your horse to calmly and confidently cope with traffic and distractions will prepare them well for the busy, hectic environment of a competition. Here are my top tips on how to stay safe when out and about on the roads:

  1. Wear high visibility, fluorescent clothes.
  2. Fluorescent and reflective ankle bands and stirrup lights are helpful in attracting the attention of motorists.
  3. Riding two abreast can be beneficial, especially if one of the riders or horses is inexperienced, but riders should return to single file where the road narrows and when approaching bends.
  4. If hacking near a busy road, your horse must be able to deal with cars, motorbikes, lorries and the odd plastic bag.
  5. Remember to be courteous to other road users.

Hacking is a great way to improve fitness and build trust between you and your horse so remember to stay safe and enjoy yourself!

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