hacking alone


New Member
Feb 14, 2010
can you all give me some advice on the best way to introduce my new horse to hacking out alone. I have had him for only two weeks and he is going out very nicely with other horses. He is 7 years old and I have no idea if he has hacked out alone much before. He gets very nervy if the other horses go out of sight on a hack, which is quite normal.

Your thoughts please.


Active Member
Dec 30, 2006
Well you can practice getting further away from your companions and swapping the file order about and see how that goes.

You can do some in hand hacks on a familiar route all tacked up and if that goes ok then get on halfway round and ride home. If not, just continue in hand.

Lastly, do always go with your instinct. Do new stuff when you sense you and he are in the right mood for it. If either of you are having a slightly off day then don't bother!

Waikato Valuta

New Member
Aug 8, 2002
I always just do it. If he's fine hacking out with someone then it should go fine. Just take it slow and take easy paths where you know there wont be any sudden surprises.

Also with youngsters I ofter talk them of walks and long rein them before riding them out.


New Member
Sep 29, 2007
Wonderful Wales
Start small. Take him on a familiar route, if you wish you could lead him out alone on the route first. Always try to ensure that it's your idea to head for home not his. Therefore if you think you may encounter a problem turn for home before then. Talk to him plenty in a steady cool voice and breathe. Remember if he feel you are tense or anxious he will not trust you to lead him. As good experiences build you will be able to increase your routes and enjoy the summer together:).


Active Member
Aug 22, 2007
you can do it either of two ways I suppose. If you think he's going to be really nervy on his own then practice with other horses in that you can take the lead on hacks and practice trotting and cantering stretches one at a time. Or, you can just plan a short hack on his own, maybe only half an hour if you can - poss lunge first to get some energy out and then use the hack as a relaxing walk afterwards? it all depends on how you feel he'll react


Active Member
Aug 15, 2005
When we first got Kal I walked him out in-hand on the intended route first . . . letting him sniff and take it all in . . . then I walked out with someone on the ground with us on the same route . . . and then I braved it alone. He was champion!

Good luck!



New Member
Feb 14, 2010
Thank you all very much for the sound advice. I will take it slowly one step at a time and let you know how I get on.


New Member
Jun 24, 2008
when out on your hack in company, try taking the lead and asking him to walk out so that you leave the others behind, if he is happy to do this, then try turning round and hacking past your friends, repeat this but lengthen the distance between you all..... once he is happy to do this you could try taking him out on his own with someone on foot, or on a bike (if he's ok with this) and get them to ride ahead or drop behind...... it's all about gaining his confidence, little steps at at time and if he get worried, go back a step


New Member
Feb 14, 2010
thank you lacatte that is a very good plan which i can do easily and happily without feeling pushed and stressed. Unfortunately, the people around me are saying to just get on with it but I know he is not ready. Why are people soooo pushy. Anyway I will follow that plan and let you all know the progress over the weeks. He was freeze marked yesterday so can't ride for 4-7 days. Nice to know that I am not being namby pamby just sensible.


New Member
Oct 14, 2008
Sheffield South Yorkshire
Well you can practice getting further away from your companions and swapping the file order about and see how that goes.

I'd be wary of doing this. If I tried to make even the 21 year old mare I ride walk off from all her mates on a group hack she'd be very resistant - I think they are very much in a herd mentality in this situation. But she will hack out alone happily as anything.

I think you should just go for it and try leading in hand if you want to work up to it.

Skippys Mum

New Member
Nov 25, 2007
Why not try long reining or taking him for some in hand walks while his freeze mark is healing? Another vote here for leading out and riding home here - maybe with a person on foot to help you mount somewhere strategically placed? I also like a foot soldier the first time I try to hack out alone:)

Fabio's Filly!

New Member
Oct 30, 2008
When we first got Miro we knew he was bad hacking and deliberately took him on his own most of the time to start with so that he didn't become dependant on going out with others. He's never gonna be completely happy hacking but he is fine to take on his own now. He napped A LOT to start with, but got a bit further each day until he was ok with it.

Just go for it! Worst that can happen is you turn home or get off and walk! :)
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