I absolutely love hacking with my friends, we usually laugh so much that little snorts come out and it's also an excellent time for therapy, I can often start a hack in a bit of a mood and then find when I have come home, I have chewed the ears off my friends and I feel much better.
My last exploratory hack was to my parents at Christmas and although we have done some solo hacks in between they have been to places we are comfortable with.
As I walked up the Staverton Road and Bodie did a spectacular spook at a tractor up the main road, I decided I needed to give myself a bit more a confidence boost. We went through Staverton, through Upper Catesby, round to Lower Catesby and back through to Staverton . In total it was 8.3 miles, which I didn't realise until I got home. Poor old girl!
Hacking alone is really important to me, I tend to become reliant on other peoples confidence and other horses too. I take a backseat and when bad things happen I am keen to say 'I think we should go home now!'. When it's just me and Bodie, it makes us both braver, listen to each other and I would like to hope this transpires (even if only a little bit) to when we are faced with more challenging situations, like me pooping my pants over a 30cm cross pole.
All the spooks, the jig-jogs, the glaring at inanimate objects, the reversing when we have stood too long at a gate. There is no one to spoon feed me, like I rely on so much at the yard. So it just reminds my inner voice to talk a bit louder 'we can do this, this is fine'.