Yard Day, Anyone Else Have One, Do It?


Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
Sorry, long one!

It started by accident, became a pattern, routine and now its a habit. Even my brain calls it "yard day" The question is, do I leave things as is or start asking more questions from her? Its also the day I clean tack, do jobs etc.

It started because this day was the one I didnt take the cob out. She really really didn't do dustcarts or recycling vehicles. If I knew when they were collecting I could either avoid that time or take her out at that time to gradually resolve. But as I would have been out with her four days on the trot before it was an ideal day to spend time doing other things that didn't tax her little brain and give her a "day off" from confidence building.

I am trying not to be someone who does xyz on such and such a day, but I have realized actually that's the case. I do xx route on Monday and xx on Tuesday. So building confidence as she knows where we go the next day if you follow.
If you are a person that lacks confidence I get told that repetition is the way forwards and that's what I did for 18months. I am really pleased with her as she has been out hacking 8 months, going lame and being off work 4months hasn't helped and its showing. I may actually take a step back and repeat to resettle her. She isn't a happy hacker she is a hacker at the moment. I know people who are not confident out hacking and I often wonder what they feel (if anyone wants to share) Not viewing a horse as human but fear and anxiety is universal its not bothered what you are if it visits you, it visits you.


Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
I like the idea of repetition. When we did hack years ago, it worked for us. We did the same route and enjoyed it. I'd be happy to get back to that stage if at all possible. I think I know why I become worried about hacking tho and its not really anything to do with lack of confidence. It is simply part of me that thinks "I'm not worthy" and when that kicks in, nothing works on that day - horses being the one thing I really care deeply about. The answer for me is to build on my self esteem along with riding confidence. Not saying I don't have confidence issues, I most certainly do, but they are made worse because of my not worthy syndrome.
I also think sometimes you do have to take a step backwards. I often wondered when my mojo disappeared in the school for example, how on earth I'd ended up there. Going backwards retrieved it for me.


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
I really don't like going the same route all the time, I very rarely do (the benefit of being where we are) but if I am short on riding time (ie only have an hour to spare) we are limited to where we can go, even then I change up the route, maybe do it backwards, cut a bit off, add a bit on. I can see the benefit of doing the repetition to build confidence though.
I try very hard to get into a routine, my weekly plan is to hack/school Monday, lunge Tuesday, weds off as I work, hack/school Thursday and hack Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So far since forming this plan when I took my weds night job 5 weeks ago I have achieved this exactly zero times! I hacked Monday, a hard session, then planned to lunge last night but given the hard workout Monday and that I was feeling tired and I had a hay delivery coming I opted not to, I should have. I know tomorrow I will be shattered, but as I have Friday off this week I am more likely to ride as at least I can have a lay in Friday :)
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Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
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I am a nervous hacker. I am always worried about what is going to happen next and I cannot relax into the moment. I prefer big open spaces to ride on (such as fields) because I can see what is going to happen and if someone appears then I have a chance to prepare. I do not enjoy hacking down woodland tracks etc. because I cannot see what is around the corner.

I also do not like the unpredictability of other people/horses/dogs/cyclists/car drivers etc. I cannot ride on the roads because I am scared that a car is going to hit me. I don't like meeting dog walkers because I do not know what the dog is going to do or how it is going to react. If I am going to expand my comfort zone and go on a proper hack (as opposed to around the fields) I always go at quiet times so I don't meet anyone. While I trust my horse to keep me safe, I do not trust other people to do so. Ben doesn't like other people much either.

I have had NLP to change my mindset and this helped to a degree, but at the end of the day I have a high level of self preseveration and I do not enjoy feeling vulnerable or out of control.

I think that the same is probably true of horses. I think that a good hacking horse has to be bold. Some horses are like myself and like to feel more secure and have that sense of control. I have tried for years to over ride my brain to try and enjoy hacking, but I just don't enjoy it and there seems little point in trying to push myself to do something that I clearly do not want to do. Both Ben and I have a very varied life and do lots of different activities and we are both fufilled. Hacking just isn't for us.


Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2013
Another nervous hacker. My fear is of coming off her for some reason and her running off and causing havoc. It has never happened, but that is my fear. We have to negotiate a really difficult road, with quite fast heavy traffic, and I HATE it. Roxy doesn't like tractors and there are a lot on that road, and heavy goods lorries too. I just prefer to ride in a controlled environment, where she is contained should anything happen. I haven't hacked her for a while for one reason or another, but will be taking her out for a pootle this weekend. Wish us luck, ha!


Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
Jessey- I keep a diary of what I have done and what. I have already forgotton what I did yesterday because it got swapped round. I have a fan of routes that can be added on or done in reverse. So I am very lucky from that point. Although many she has yet to see.

Thanks for sharing that MP, I think a lot of her worries are from what changes. I have winding lanes and roads that are hilly, so she can hear a car but not see it for ages. She always always startles with the very first car we see, it could take half hour to meet one.

I have had a close encounter with a car which left me with longterm issues. I gave up riding but got back into again, very very slowly. My friend lost theirs and its something that has altered both of our lives. I get quite annoyed seeing riders out without hi viz. They wouldn't want to be a statistic.

On the flip side she is naturally nosy and inquisitive, but as you can see for about five miles in all directions from my yard that's not always a good thing.
She isn't a competition cob, I would like to take her on fun rides but she won't know where she is and I know it won't be fun for her. I could buddy her up with someone, we'll see.
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