Going for a hack on your fave pony is super-fun, and he’ll enjoy a change of scene from the arena, too. Hacking will also help keep him fit, and it’s a great way to introduce him to lots of new things.
To make sure you always have a safe, enjoyable ride, here are some important things to remember…
Check your kit
Staying safe starts before you’ve even got on your pony, so make sure his tack is correctly fitted and fastened, and there’s nothing loose or flapping that could spook him. Pick up each of his feet in turn and, if he wears shoes, check they’re secure, because if they’re loose he could trip or stumble.
Make sure your phone has plenty of charge before you leave the yard, so you can use it in an emergency.
Have a plan
Decide where you want to go, and work out how long it’ll take, then share your plans with an adult. This means they can raise the alarm or come and look for you if you don’t return to the yard on time. Just remember not to deviate from your route, and to call and let them know if you’re going to take longer than expected, so they don’t worry unnecessarily.
Be safe, be seen
It’s super-important that you and your pony wear high-vis, whether you’re riding on the road or a bridleway. On the road it’ll make you more visible to motorists, so they have more time to slow down and pass with plenty of room.
Wearing high-vis on bridleways helps cyclists, dog walkers and even pilots of low-flying aircraft see you, so they can avoid you. It’ll also make it much easier to find you – and your pony – if you get lost or have a fall.
For more top tips on how to have a fun, safe ride check out February PONY, on sale 19 December.