Hacking makes for a splendid opportunity for additional schooling for both horse and rider without making it look daunting. Hacking is a brilliant way of helping the rider and his or her horse relax and spend quality time together and is great for practicing various small disciplinary and lateral movements of the kind commonly found in dressage.
Some obvious forms of exercises are;
• Free walks on long reins
• Stride lengthening/ shortening
• Testing for accuracy while engaged with various maneuvers.
Free walk exercises are dependent on the degree of control you exercise over your horse. On a hack, you should be encouraging the horse to stretch his neck forward and down, using long strides.
You can ideally practice lateral movements like quarters-in and shoulder-in on the sides of quiet roads. They allow you straight lengths of track, which enables you to concentrate on the movements being executed.
You can work any transition while on a hack (depending on the surface). This is a great way of getting your transitions into shape while enjoying yourself with your horse. You are able to perfect transitions and leg cue reactions at all gaits – walk, trot or canter – in a relaxed environment.
Stride lengthening/ shortening exercises are best conducted in wide open fields. It is much easier to get ideal impulsion in the open. It can be an exciting experience that livens up the field. You get the perfect space and opportunity to try out some straight line lengthening and shortening. You are able to give your horse sufficient time to learn; you can teach him without being compelled to turn often, as would happen in arenas.
Fence Posts, lamp posts and hedges make for great start or finish points. You will be free to hone the accuracy of the movements you ask of your horse. You can use them to give you a chance to look around while riding and you can improve your seat position.
Outdoor exercises are great fun for you and your horse. They lay a strong foundation for advanced schooling in the future. The fact that you are not confined to the monotonous confines of a school will work like a charm for both your horse and you in making your efforts more exhilarating.