2024 Hacking Thread

she then chooses to walk through the deepest part of the flooding
I cant read your horse's mind. But she may know there is firm footing there. Maisie hated getting her feet wet. But, riding her, I learned that where there is surface water it often indicates that there is a firm surface under the puddle. Where water can soak down, there are fewer surface puddles and the track can be muddy and slippery.
 
We had puddles yesterday too, something of a novelty as we don’t often get them here as everything drains so quickly, monkey looked but went on through without issue.
We get areas that will flood as the soak aways can't cope. The river will burst its banks. Few areas turns into ponds.
She has always been extremely careful on where she puts her hooves, this is clean water. 😂
 
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Hacked out this morning, tried barefoot as done that before but he was footy so turned around and put his boots on. Did 45 minutes then spent next 30 minutes looking for the hoof boot left in the mud. There is a hill which is being used by a quad bike going up to feed horses - retired don't go out - and the bridle route used by many horses and dog walker is now like a mud slide. I actually got off and led buddy down it as he was sliding. When i went to look for the boot, I walked all through the mud didn't find it, went on a bit then gave up. On the way back down in the mud, i saw it some kind soul had found it and put it up on the bank but of course i wasn't looking on the bank!
 
Glad you found it @diplomaticandtactful , they are expensive items to lose!
only second time one has come off in many years, the track was appalling all ruined by one selfish neighbour who has ruined it for everyone else. Folks walk their dogs there daily, it is now like a mudslide, it was unsafe to ride down it, Buddy was going to fall. All because they can't be bothered to create a feeding station at the gate at the roadside and take the quad up it 3 times a day and churn it up. It is one of the very few circular designated riding routes and going up through the woods is now unsafe as trees down and so slippery.
 
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Oh no, sorry to hear you came off. Everywhere is so wet and muddy at the moment, it’s a real challenge.
I think she's talking about the hoof boot.

I have been lucky so far with ours, I ended up going through water that was deeper than I realised, stopped to if check both present and correct.
I avoid really deep going though, I don't want her to put extra strain on her legs, we are still doing rehab.
 
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This morning is just beautiful and Sid and I headed out just after 9 (too much traffic before). With R my sharer he typically just pootles around the Heath so I feel I should take him further afield to keep his experience topped up. Today we went down to the Chilworth road, which has in the past been the cause of his most serious napping.

Today he did have a couple of cheeky tries at turning around once he realised where we were going, but I was stern and he stopped trying. We walked across the Terrifying Railway Bridge without turning a hair, even though a track-cleaning train was going underneath it making lots of noise and diesel fumes. We got to the main road, where in the past he has utterly, completely refused even to turn left onto the road, never mind walk along the pavement, and today he headed off like a pro, really calm and easy. The traffic is fine, he doesn't give a jot or a tittle about the traffic, but the front gardens of the houses are a challenge, there is something new and scary in every single one. As we went further along (honestly this whole stretch is only about 500m tops) I could feel his bravitude slipping away, garden by garden, until we got a dead stop and hasty back up by the little pond next to the railway station. I sat quietly, did nothing, and asked for forward. I got forward. He got big pets and a treat.

He was a bit hesitant crossing the level crossing, where the paintwork has just been redone and is very bright chequy white and yellow. But he went, and then we were on the lane and homeward bound. We had a nice long trot to settle him, and when we got to the bridlepath I let him stop and steam and eat some sedge.

Normal service resumed, we went back up onto the heath to the jumping ring - but someone had bloody well cleared away all the jumps AGAIN. Why would anyone do that? What is it about? I wish I knew. Anyway, we went down a path where there's a nice jump at the side, jumped that, had a fab fast canter right across the central clearing, then strolled home.

I always feel a bit virtuous when we have done something that is challenging for Sid. I feel I need to keep him ticking over on this sort of thing - he can't just be an off road hack and nanny horse. I might want to hack to an event and have to do roads! So I was very pleased with him. He got his Mini Horselyx when we got home.
 
Just walked him out yesterday, it had rained until 7am, so he was pretty wet. Obviously enjoyed himself, as he was very perky and forward. Half term this week, so am a bit tied up and limited, time wise. The track still looks not great, after the stranded truck.20240211_085858.jpg20240211_085848.jpg
 
Well, that was fun. A hack of 2 halves. It was damp, drizzly and dreary first thing, but I really wanted to ride, so off we went. Absolutely cracking ride, Hogan happy as Larry, as was I. Lots of lovely long trots - I even had to slow him down a couple of times! So - Heading home up the track home and he did a cheeky grab at a gorse bush - except it wasn't a bush - it was a big loose piece of gorse which came away when he pulled. Total Hogan panic. The gorse was alive, and it wanted Hogan. He whipped round, I shot sideways (still hanging on with one leg, and a handful of very useful long mane) while he cantered in the opposite direction to home. I should point out that sh** for brains cob didn't think to drop it out his mouth, so to all intents and purposes, the bush was chasing him. Finally he let go, and I managed to sort myself out. He jogged home, very full of himself, having shown that bloody bush who was boss.🙄 I got the giggles as we went - mainly relief I think.
 
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The weather on Thursday and Friday was horrid with heavy continuous rain so Harvey got a long weekend and I caught up a bit with the housework. Because the ground everywhere was saturated it was only roadwork at the weekend, so I had a couple of nice local hacks

Sunday was actually quite warm in the sun so Harvey had a bit of turnout with his rug on.

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Taking pics of Harvey in the field is always a bit tricky as this is the only view I can get! :)
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Hacking
10 miles
3 hours

Totals
Hacking
85 miles
25 hours 15

Schooling
50 minutes
 
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Well, that was fun. A hack of 2 halves. It was damp, drizzly and dreary first thing, but I really wanted to ride, so off we went. Absolutely cracking ride, Hogan happy as Larry, as was I. Lots of lovely long trots - I even had to slow him down a couple of times! So - Heading home up the track home and he did a cheeky grab at a gorse bush - except it wasn't a bush - it was a big loose piece of gorse which came away when he pulled. Total Hogan panic. The gorse was alive, and it wanted Hogan. He whipped round, I shot sideways (still hanging on with one leg, and a handful of very useful long mane) while he cantered in the opposite direction to home. I should point out that sh** for brains cob didn't think to drop it out his mouth, so to all intents and purposes, the bush was chasing him. Finally he let go, and I managed to sort myself out. He jogged home, very full of himself, having shown that bloody bush who was boss.🙄 I got the giggles as we went - mainly relief I think.
From my limited knowledge, I don't think the horse can open its mouth in panic, it clamps it shut.
I think some of the licking and chewing and yawns is therefore viewed as a relaxation of the lower jaw.

Glad you are okay.
 
I have been riding, just not doing anything interesting.

However, today went out to explore a new route I thought would work. After all the worst that can happen is you have to turn around and go home, but only a bit of busy(ish) road, lots of country lanes and a mix of bridle ways and byways to make a nice circle. Ive never ridden this as I thought it involved a faster road than it actually is (only 40 and I thought 60) so once I found that out not reason not to!

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Lovely lanes and offroad bits!

However, what I thought was a bridge over the railway wasnt!!!!

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Had to ring network rail for permission to cross. They asked how long we would be. My reply, ideally no more than 2 minutes, but the horses have never crossed before. Luckily they said we had more than 15 before even needing to start worrying, but the horses were fab, so 2 mins it was!

I then had to do small tree clearance off the bridle way so we didnt have to turn around, but luckily was able to shift it enough it dropped so we could hop over and then back home for some well earned food.

I do love how good the boys are, can pretty much take them anywhere.
 
We went out on Friday, again, grey and drizzly, but a nice ride. He was very forward after meeting a dog, that for some reason, bothered him. I think it was possibly because it just stood and looked at him - it's stillness spooked him. Also, flipping ponies everywhere. They might look distant, but he was on it - this was the third lot we saw.20240215_085632.jpg
 
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Short early morning hack today, luckily in the sunshinr which was slightly surprising.

So much rain (again) last night everything is disgusting again so just road work. Even then we had a bit of wading to do!

Happy ears on the way out of the yard.

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I have been riding, just not doing anything interesting.

However, today went out to explore a new route I thought would work. After all the worst that can happen is you have to turn around and go home, but only a bit of busy(ish) road, lots of country lanes and a mix of bridle ways and byways to make a nice circle. Ive never ridden this as I thought it involved a faster road than it actually is (only 40 and I thought 60) so once I found that out not reason not to!

View attachment 121586View attachment 121587View attachment 121588

Lovely lanes and offroad bits!

However, what I thought was a bridge over the railway wasnt!!!!

View attachment 121589

Had to ring network rail for permission to cross. They asked how long we would be. My reply, ideally no more than 2 minutes, but the horses have never crossed before. Luckily they said we had more than 15 before even needing to start worrying, but the horses were fab, so 2 mins it was!

I then had to do small tree clearance off the bridle way so we didnt have to turn around, but luckily was able to shift it enough it dropped so we could hop over and then back home for some well earned food.

I do love how good the boys are, can pretty much take them anywhere.
I would be worried about metal shoes on metal rails.
My brain would be telling me about them being live.

Mine is reluctant to go over electricity cables that people have across the road to charge their electric cars. Hosepipes no issues.
But I can guarantee she would need to to do sniff test is it safe to cross first. I am not saying she doesn't trust me or look to me, she just needs to be sure I am doing my job properly of keeping her safe, so she checks for herself. 😂
 
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I would be worried about metal shoes on metal rails.
My brain would be telling me about them being live.

Mine is reluctant to go over electricity cables that people have across the road to charge their electric cars. Hosepipes no issues.
But I can guarantee she would need to to do sniff test is it safe to cross first. I am not saying she doesn't trust me or look to me, she just needs to be sure I am doing my job properly of keeping her safe, so she checks for herself. 😂

I cant say I was super relaxed about the whole thing, I wont lie! But it was a long way back around!
 
Sid has a level crossing on a couple of our routes. He has always been very good. There's only one where we have to call the signalman because there isn't enough space to see what's coming. He stops the trains for us. Then once I can scramble back on we're in the gallopy field!
 
We have a couple of level crossings, there’s nothing live in the tracks, ours only have diesel engines. I can’t imagine they’d let anyone walk or drive over a live track.
 
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