You don’t need an arena to school your pony, and you can polish up his flatwork when you’re hacking out! Even if you do have one to ride in, schooling him out in the open will make flatwork way more interesting for both of you, and the change of scenery can help him relax and make it easier for him to learn new things.
Exercise: Shallow loops
Shallow loops help improve your pony’s suppleness and bend, and they’re really easy to try on a hack.
How to ride it
Find a track that’s at least 5m wide, and ride down the left-hand side.
- Ask your pony to bend by opening your right rein a little and pressing your right leg against the girth. Then start to ride a smooth curve that touches the other side of the track.
- When you reach the other side, ask for a change of bend by opening your left hand and pressing your left leg against the girth.
- Finish your loop by curving back to the track, then ride straight again.
- Swap sides and ride a loop in the other direction.
Top tip Ride a series of shallow loops to create a mini serpentine.
For more great schooling exercises you can do while hacking, pick up a copy of August PONY, on sale 3 July.