Have no fear

Posted in Hacking

You'll never miss a great hack with your pals again!


Do you get super-excited at the idea of going for an epic hack with your fave pony, or do you feel stressed about how spooky he’ll be? Hacking a spooky pony isn’t much fun – but there’s loads you can do to help him feel more confident. Follow our tips and you’ll both be lovin’ hacking in no time!

Top tip

If your pony suddenly becomes spooky, get him checked over by your vet to make sure he’s not in pain.

Shine bright

Wearing high-vis might not come straight to mind when dealing with a spooky pony out hacking, but it’s sooo important for your safety. Always wear at least one high-vis item each on you and your pony so other road users can see you and give you plenty of space.

On the ball

Take time getting to know your pony, including his likes and dislikes, and what worries him. You can’t always predict how he’ll react, but if you know him well and stay vigilant, you’ll be ready to deal with situations that worry him.

Centre of attention

If you’re approaching a scary object, try to focus his attention elsewhere. One of the best ways is to bend his body away from whatever it is he doesn’t like the look of, but did you know that quietly humming or singing to your pony can really help distract him, too?


Hacking with a friend or in a small group is a brilliant way to boost his confidence. Don’t pressure your pony to go in front, though. Let him take a lead from one of his horsey buddies. Then, if it’s safe to do so, ask your pony to do it by himself. Avoid rushing him if he doesn’t feel ready, instead ask your friend to walk beside him, moving further away from you each time, until he’s happy to have a go alone. 

Top tip

Ask your instructor to take you for a hack so they can see what he’s spooking at, how he reacts and offer you advice on how to deal with the situation. 

Sitting securely

If you’re used to riding spooky ponies, you’ll know how important it is to have a secure seat. To avoid being thrown off balance if he tries to spin or suddenly jolts sideways, keep your legs wrapped around him with your heels down and maintain a consistent rein contact. Be sure to sit up tall and keep your weight evenly distributed. Why not fit your pony with a neck strap, too? Plenty of pro riders always use them, so you’ll be in good company!

Good boy!

Always be positive in your attitude and try to keep calm if your pony starts to play up. If you get frustrated with him, he’ll get more anxious and you won’t solve the problem. So, give him plenty of confidence and remember to reward him with your voice and a scratch on his wither when he’s done a good job. 


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