10 Tips for Safe Hacking
Safety is paramount when hacking out regardless of the weather or season. It’s important to follow a few simple tips and trick to ensure you and your horse remains safe when hacking. Here’s is our 10 tips for safe hacking.
#1 Tell A Friend
Always tell someone where you are planning on going, which route you hope to take and how long you are likely to be gone for. Text them when you leave the yard and when you return, so they know you’re safe.
#2 Start Hacking Early
To ensure you stay safe, check that you enough daylight hours to complete your hack, particularly if you are planning to ride out for a long time.
#3 Plan Your Route
Plan your route around what you think you and your horse can safely manage within the available daylight hours you will have. If possible, on longer hacks plan a break when you can stop for a few minutes and then focus again.
#4 Plan Escape Routes
If you plan to ride on up hills or mountains, work out some ‘escape routes’ and short cuts to lower terrain, in case conditions turn against you or you feel unsafe.
#5 Check the Weather
Keep checking the weather, before you leave home and the yard. Don’t set off without checking the weather as the forecast is always changing and bad weather can set in quickly in some remote areas.
Ensure you take adequate food and drink, including treats for the horse. If you get stuck or need a break to regain focus, then stopping for a chocolate bar or a banana and an energy drink could be the perfect solution.
#7 Lo-tech Navigation
As we all rely on our mobile phones, we often forget that the signal is still horrendous in remote areas. Therefore, ensure you can use a map and compass before hand. Remember to including these items in your kit as they will help you if you get lost with no phone signal.
Remember to wear appropriate clothing for the terrain and weather conditions.
#9 Rock The Hi-viz
Equip both you and your horse with hi-viz gear. This will ensure that you can be seen easily both on the roads as well as in rural settings.
A small strobe light can be useful for attracting attention. Also it can be good at amplifying hi-viz gear.