Spend some quality time with your pony and your friends by heading out for a fun hack. Here’s how you can make sure you have the best time, while staying safe.
1. Wear high-vis
You should wear high-vis every time you ride out, whether you’re going along a road or a bridleway. It’s super-important on the road as it’ll make you more visible to motorists, so they have extra time to slow down before passing you. Off road, it’ll help cyclists, dog walkers and even low-flying aircraft see you. Plus, if you have a fall and need help, it could be easier to find you if you’re wearing high-vis. Don’t forget to put some on your pony, too.
2. Get safety savvy
Studying for and taking a road safety test is a really good idea, because you’ll pick up loads of tips about riding out. If you’re a member of the Pony Club, sign up to do your Road Rider badge. Or, the British Horse Society has a Ride Safe Award you can aim for.
3. Spook-proof your pony
Train your pony to cope with anything you’ll see on a hack, so you can reduce the chance of him spooking! To do this, set out some things you might encounter out hacking, such as road cones, wheelie bins or plastic bags, in the arena and show him they’re not scary at all. Start by riding around them, then gradually get closer as his confidence increases.
4. Let someone know where you’re going
Make sure you tell someone which route you’ll be taking, and when you’re likely to be back. This is important in case anything happens while you’re out and they need to come looking for you. Don’t forget to let them know if you’re delayed or your ride is taking longer than expected, though, to stop them worrying unnecessarily.
Check out our top hacking rules in November PONY, on sale 25 September.