Friday, 20 May 2011

Hacking oot this month...

Thats a Scottish-ism, not a typo.

This beautiful horse is Trio, he is a Craigengellen Horse who I took out on a hack at the weekend.  He is absolutely stunning. I love the fact that they let his mane grow out, I think ke is destined for an drawing or illustration project, he has mystical pony / horse written all over that face, he just needs a story to suit!
Trio, a lovely Craigengellan Horse

As you may know if you have been following a while I have a few issues with hacking out horses - there is a history there, like I have said everyone has a story, and you find mine here. Anyhow, I have been working on erase this long past event and replace it with the more positive riding experiences of the present,  and I have a two pronged attack. The first is visiting Craigengellan, where the hacking is terrific. The horses are ridden out regularly, know the land and seem a lovely relaxed lot. I think this has the potential to work wonders for the confidence and restoring a lot of positive riding experiences from my childhood and we can have some fun cantering over fields in a very safe setting, with sound horses.

My friend Jane in front, over the fells we go.

Trio was selected for his extra laid back demeanour. He was good as gold and we cantered up over the fells without minimal hint of my 'open green space' angst. I had a 'whoa' moment as he stretched out a little closer to a gallop, but he eased back, and realised it was all in the head. 'Smile' shouted the lead rider over her shoulder at me, and I did, I beamed with the excitement of it. We even managed not to trample on a young lamb who darted out in our path, as even with grass under his toes he slowed when asked, allowing the little lamb to scamper with a 'maaa' to his 'maaam'

The other prong is Merlin, been the lovely big horse who a very kind colleague at work is letting me ride. On Mondays I have the luxury of just a little bit of stolen time which neither belongs to my work nor my children amd some of this time now belongs to Merlin.

This is a entirely a different type of riding, the catching, grooming, tacking going out on your own kind that is a much truer representation of having your own horse. And it requires extra boots full of confidence.

Merlin, just as well I am not a photographer!
Riding alone is a strange one. I did it younger on Sam and others without a thought, but then I came a cropper. Having stood in alone a field once hollering for help, I have no particular intention of repeating this, but the risk is always there.

So far I have only made it out in company, although we ride along the road to the school and back alone, but the plan is to get right over this. My confidence is growing as I get to know him and I think I have reached the stage that  this week I think we will go for a little post lesson hack on our own. Our ride will be walking and trotting, as although there are a few opportunities for a canter, that will only be if and when I find the nerve to silence too rational mind enough to do so.  

Anyhow, a landmark moment ..... baby steps are the way to go.


  1. Trio is beautiful. I love a natural mane. You cantered on your hack?? Good for you! I am still at the trotting stage. :-) Well, Merlin is gorgeous, but you know I have a soft spot for black horses. I know what you mean about confidence and I am sending positive thoughts your way and hope that your solo ride is everything you hope. My ultimate goal is to some day be able to take Gem out on the trails by myself. Baby steps.... :-)

  2. Hi Wolfie, I am okay with a canter on really sensible horses andin company, the idea of it alone right now scares me!Forecast tomorrowis now for 31mph winds and torrential rain. Not so sure it will happen now! Thanks and keep you posted, keeping up the baby steps :)