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anthem35
Jan. 23, 2003, 08:56 AM
What does it take to win (or pin well) in the hack??
My horse is an exceptional mover...moves beautifully from the shoulder, points his toes...hes nice looking, dappled grey, and we are always well-turned out...( being unemployed, I have nothing else to do other than work on'our' turnout...)
My trainer shows him in the hack, and is a winner over and over...I, on the other hand, get in the ring asnd will almost always pin, even in a large class, but do not get the results I think I should be getting...
This past weekend, a fellow barnmate commented to me that I should have placed ahead of her in our A/A hack, she even thought my horse was a better mover...but that I didn't know how to 'hack'...She mentioned I sit to 'Eq-y', as in up straighter, less closure of the hip angle...my horse tends to 'frame up' quite naturally, at least it appears that way...while his head is never up in the air, he tends to carry it right on the bit, not nosed poked out the way I see so many others...
Also, his expression is always very relaxed, like an old pro, even though hes only 6...he carried his ears up 90% of the time, but sometimes lacks that look of genuine interest...
What can I do to show this horse better?? there are times we do quite well, like at Saratoga last year we won the hack out of 29 others, then there are times we are not quite as spectacular..
help!!!

thanks!!

anthem35
Jan. 23, 2003, 08:56 AM
What does it take to win (or pin well) in the hack??
My horse is an exceptional mover...moves beautifully from the shoulder, points his toes...hes nice looking, dappled grey, and we are always well-turned out...( being unemployed, I have nothing else to do other than work on'our' turnout...)
My trainer shows him in the hack, and is a winner over and over...I, on the other hand, get in the ring asnd will almost always pin, even in a large class, but do not get the results I think I should be getting...
This past weekend, a fellow barnmate commented to me that I should have placed ahead of her in our A/A hack, she even thought my horse was a better mover...but that I didn't know how to 'hack'...She mentioned I sit to 'Eq-y', as in up straighter, less closure of the hip angle...my horse tends to 'frame up' quite naturally, at least it appears that way...while his head is never up in the air, he tends to carry it right on the bit, not nosed poked out the way I see so many others...
Also, his expression is always very relaxed, like an old pro, even though hes only 6...he carried his ears up 90% of the time, but sometimes lacks that look of genuine interest...
What can I do to show this horse better?? there are times we do quite well, like at Saratoga last year we won the hack out of 29 others, then there are times we are not quite as spectacular..
help!!!

thanks!!

SpartanVirtue
Jan. 23, 2003, 09:04 AM
Horse shows demand showmanship too. A good mover needs to be presented well in the hack.
Find the open spots in the ring; let him really swing in his trot; and stretch the canter stride to accentuate his full range of motion in his shoulder.

Watch the savvy amateurs and pros show their horses in under saddles...you'll learn alot.

Last year I had all my pony kids watch an over-50 adult show her hunter under saddle. That lady out rode everyone at the horseshow in terms of positioning her horse to his best, accentuating the positive and keeping him out of trouble in a crowded ring. A real clinic!!

Judges want you to present your horse; they dont want to hunt for the best mover. Good luck in your next under saddle!!

Madison
Jan. 23, 2003, 09:08 AM
I went through that a little bit this year with my greenie. Sometimes, it probably has to do with the competition you are against. But, the times that it is not that, I found that I often wasn't accomplishing what I thought I was as far as how my mare was carrying herself or where her head was. What helped me to see the difference was to have someone videotape me, and compare to the videotape I took of my trainer riding her. That might help you spot some differences.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(formerly known as "GreyMareMom"!)

Lord Helpus
Jan. 23, 2003, 09:36 AM
I like the idea of video'ing both you and your trainer so you can see the difference.

The difference between me and my trainer is that he can get George not only to lower his head to the right place (I can finally do that, too) but he can get George to lift his spine, so that he becomes "light" across the ground and REALLY uses his shoulder. I bet each step is 4" longer with the trainer on him than with me on him, at the same speed/impulsion.

I know HOW to get a horse to lift his spine. Doing it is another thing: The horse's head need to be low and out, but he must not be on his forehand! He needs to be really tracking up from behind to the point that he almost forges. Then you have to get out of his way (off his back), so that the spine can come up, and his front legs can get out of the way of his hind legs.

I have problems with keeping head down and keeping leg on so that he tracks up from behind AND posting lightly. (I am also supposed to be getting a LONG step out of him by getting the RPM's up and then slowing my posting so that he keeps at the same speed, but with longer strides, not faster ones.)

As you can see, it is a real art. And it makes the difference between winning and not winning if the competition is good.

To see the difference in how your horse moves, lunge him on grass so that he is inclined to put his head down (but don't let him eat. LOL) Once he is walking with head low, cluck him into a trot, slowly increasing his speed so that he wants to keep his head low. LOOK at his spine and you will see it come up at least 1", perhaps even more, from where it is when his head is up and he he is inverted. Now LOOK at his shoulder and see how free it swings and how long each step is without getting fast.

THAT is what you have to replicate in the show ring.....

Merry
Jan. 23, 2003, 09:43 AM
My mare pretty much always wins the hacks. I think I've gotten one second place. Now, if I could just come close to that record over fences... *sigh* http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/cry.gif

I agree with the video taping idea.

As for your position, all I can say is that I'm sure not going to win any eq. classes using my hack form, LOL! I think, especially at the canter, I have a much more closed hip angle and I get off my mare's back and really encourage her to show off her length of stride.

Plus, I try to look like I'm enjoying myself. Sometimes I deserve an Oscar for that performance. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

Melzy
Jan. 23, 2003, 11:00 AM
Why don't you ask your trainer how you can improve? Isn't that what you are paying for? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Obviously, if your horse wins the under saddles consistently with him/her they know your horse pretty well. I liked the video taping idea also. Watch it with your trainer. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Good luck and I hope you have blues hanging on your bridle soon. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

anthem35
Jan. 23, 2003, 11:22 AM
Well, I COULD ask my trainer for advice, and yes, that IS what I'm paying for...
But if I just relied on her advice for everything, why would I read the BB at all??? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif
And yes, she does win with him, but my thought is that she is NOT enlightening me on the 'tricks' of the hack (e.g., closing my hip angle, etc...) because she still wants me to concentrate on my 'correct' position, not the one that every rider who consistently wins has...

diesel
Jan. 23, 2003, 11:59 AM
Of course everything depends on the competition and how well your horse actually moves, but here are some tips:

Loose rein--the horse needs to look happy and EASY.

Push your horse forward as much as possible without "running".

Stay of your horse's back at the canter.

Make sure you trot/canter by the judge so he HAS to see you. This means cutting off a corner or two or going across the center. This is especially important in large classes.

Finally--don't try to over-fix a small problem. For example, if your horse bulges around a turn slightly, just go with it. The show ring is not the place to train on him! You can fix it at home.

Hope this helps.

P.S. I wouldn't be winning any EQ classes either! LOL

findeight
Jan. 23, 2003, 12:32 PM
Technical aspects aside there is a great deal of showmanship required to present a horse to the judge so that it looks like a winner.

Couple of thoughts.

WATCH THE JUDGE as s/he runs another hack class. Where do they look? Down the opposite side? Follow all the way around a corner? Spend alot of time writing or never look down? NO horse will be 100% the entire time, your job is to be sure it is when the judge is likely to be looking and save those minor adjustments until you are sure he's not. judges tend to ask for the gaits in the same order so be prepared...for example this judge always asks for a canter from a trot the first way and a trot from the canter on the reverse. If you have made a couple of laps at either and you know that transition is coming up-prepare for it,package the horse up slightly so its not a big move when called for. Remember you don't have to do it the split second the announcer calls it. take your time, check traffic-waiting a second or two is a good way to let heavy traffic pass you,organize and do it.

Keep your head and eyes up even if you are getting onto some trouble. Any rider looking down with a scowl advertises the fact all is not well. Ever wonder why a horse sometimes gets a few steps on the wrong lead and pins well anyway? judge didn't notice cause the rider didn't advertise it-quietly without any jerking or looking down-just fixed it.

Some feel it necessary to enter the ring early and show the judge a great trot before the class actually starts. Most of the time I don't as they are looking down signing cards or ordering coffee or something and it's just that much more opportunity to make a fool out of yourself when you don't have to. However there are some judges that do quite a bit of marking on this pre class lap, I'll do it but..funny story-had a judge who did this and I figured I'd knock him dead with a gorgeous lap on my white horse with virtually no other horses around. They had taken an oxer apart and piled the pine boughs along the rail. Floated in like a dream...and slammed on the brakes just about spinning out from under me. Yeah I sure showed him http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif
So if you opt for this show off lap, let a few in ahead of you so the horse can figure out whats going on.

Finally know who is in the ring with you and how their horses react. You know that chestnut is psycho, stay away from it. The grey kicks. That black horse runs off and that lady always takes 10 minutes to change gaits. Stay away from these people. Keep looking ahead to plan your track just like on the course.

Takes alot of work to do something so boring.

The Horse World. 2 people, 3 opinions. That's the way it is.

Z
Jan. 23, 2003, 01:23 PM
Some judges do prefer a horse that is framed up and really on the bit. Others like the nose poked out with really long reins. Watch hack classes before yours (atleast 2) and see if they have a personal opinion.

I see so many people have nice movers, but they never push the horse out to make them move well. I like pace with the horse moving forward and looking happy.

Z

good booie
Jan. 23, 2003, 01:26 PM
Good advice and well put findeight

http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Love my Quarter Horse!

GA Clique!!!

Blinky
Jan. 23, 2003, 01:45 PM
All good advice. Don't forget the walk either!

Lord Helpus
Jan. 24, 2003, 11:36 AM
LOTS of good advice. Two points, especially:

From Findeight: Excellent point about "Making a pass". Some people ride the entire ring equally. Wrong! Use the part of the ring in which the judge does not look to prepare for your PASS in front of the judge. Rebalance, regroup, if the horse is lazy, get a pace faster than you want so that he can slow down a little and still be at the pace you want as you move in front of the judge. If the horse is strong, use that part of the ring to do your subtle half halts, so that you can ease off his head as you make your pass.

And, it is no good making a PASS if you are hidden in a bunch of horses. NEVER get near enough to the judge to make him feel like you are going to run him down (Pisses them off bigtime http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif ), but plan ahead and, if necessary, circle across the ring to get by yourself at your best gait. If you have a gait that is not as good as the other one, THAT is the time to find a group of horses and hide. You must ride with eyes in the back of your head, also, because a GOOD rider will come past you at the last minute and make YOUR pass, HER pass..... Move in a tad so that she cannot get between you and the judge (but do it nicely, -- do NOT CUT ANYONE ELSE OFF AT THE LAST MINUTE. There is smart riding and then there is rude riding. Never be a rude hack class rider. What goes around comes around and you will get paid back for it .....)

By the same token, it is acceptable to call out (in a low voice) to other riders, "Rail" or "on the inside", so that you can keep your track, if someone else is trying to do that to you. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif.

POINT TWO: Some judges use the walk to mark their card. Some actually judge the walk and count it as 1/3rd of the total impression. KNOW YOUR JUDGE. And make sure your horse has a good walk for those judges who actually care about that gait.

Also, some judges pick their winners on the first trot. Only a problem can knock them out of that position. Other judges think that the canter is the most important gait, since that is the gait used for jumping. So if you are a winner for 3 weeks and then get 4th the following week, it MAY be nothing you have done. It MAY just be that your horse has an AWESOME trot, but his canter just doesn't go anywhere. The judge who pins you 4th is the one who waits for the canter to place his class and you just did not impress at that gait.

One more point: Know your competition. If you have one of the two top movers in the class, get away from the other good mover!!! Do not let your horse suffer by comparison if the judge can see you virtually side by side. The horse that wins the hack is often by himself. First because he has a smart rider who is positioning him well, and second, because no one else wants to hack next to him.... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Riding a hack class takes practice. It is not like riding in a lesson and just concentrating on you and your horse. You must know where everyone else in the ring is, where the judge looks and what gait(s) he actually judges/thinks is the most important.

Ask your trainer, in a lesson to "hold a hack class" with at least 4 - 6 horses in it. Many trainers never even think of actually TEACHING these skills.... (Don't know why...) Everyone needs to practice the skills it will take to win. (Or to beat better movers.)

Fessy's Mom
Jan. 24, 2003, 12:50 PM
What about actually turning your head around to see what's behind you? I've done this and haven't been told not to, and still pin well in hacks. I do it to check who's behind me and if they're somebody who might come charging up to me and make my guy blow up. Is this bringing too much attention to myself? And what about passing others? My guy has a really big trot and cruises by everyone. Thankfully it's a really nice trot too, but if I try to hold him back he gets pi$$y with me. Advice? Thanks! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Oh, sorry if I jumped into your thread anthem http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_redface.gif

http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Head of the "I HAVE a CANTER Horse" division of the Mighty TB clique.

"God have mercy on the man who doubts what he's sure of." Springsteen

Kirsten
Jan. 24, 2003, 01:21 PM
Cachet, my advice would be to wait till you get to the short end to figure out what's up behind you. You can turn your head naturally, and only slightly, since you're looking around the corner in the direction you're going anyway. Use your peripheral vision, and if you take a quick glance, you'll be able to tell what's coming around behind you. Look up and ahead on the long side, to plan your next move.

Beethoven
Jan. 24, 2003, 01:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Blinky:
All good advice. Don't forget the walk either!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yes yes, don't forget the walk!! My old trainer use to always tell me this!! When she judges, she pays attention to the walk!! Make sure its upbeat and the horse is marching along! That can also catch the judge's attention if all of the other horses are just walking around suggishly(?)!

~Jenna & Beethoven~
Proud Member of the Thoroughbred Clique & the Children's Jumpers Clique & the GA Clique & TS Clique "To ride or not to ride? What a stupid question!"

Madison
Jan. 24, 2003, 03:31 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lord Helpus:

Also, some judges pick their winners on the first trot. Only a problem can knock them out of that position. Other judges think that the canter is the most important gait, since that is the gait used for jumping.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This really highlights the benefit of watching an earlier hack class to see a) how the judge runs it and b) how the judge pins it. That will tell you a LOT about what you need to accomplish. For example, at the SAB benefit show here over Labor Day, one judge pulled top contenders into the middle after the first trot. Not only that, the order you were called to the middle was in nearly every class the order it ended up pinning. After watching one or two classes, you knew what you needed to do -get a really good pass in that first trot, or you were really going to have to work hard to make it up. So, watch and learn before heading to the ring if you can.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(formerly known as "GreyMareMom"!)

Savannah Blue
Jan. 24, 2003, 09:33 PM
I have hacked some nice horses for people, and the nice ones show themselves off and make your job so much easier.

It is the not so perfect movers that really teach you how to ride a hack. Use the corners! I watch the judge out of the corner of my eye when I hack, and withing a couple of laps you will figure out what part of the ring they watch. Most of them judge the straightaway, and part of the corner it leads into. So I use the corner before the straight away to package my horse, collect him up, get him using himself, then open him up down the straightaway. Avoid direct eye contact, like staring at the judge though, I think that would creep them out, lol. Also if they are in booth, don't ride right along the rail right up beside it, position your self about 20 feet away from the rail so they can actually see your horses legs.

Anticipate the judges next move. After trotting, they will most likely ask for the walk, then the canter. So if you have been walking for awhile, shorten the straighaways amd stay in the corner as long as you can (to increase your chance of being asked to canter there so the lead will be much easier to get).If your horsse has great transitions, stay out of the croners, and use up them straightaways!

Position yourself next to the worst mover. Your horse will look better.Stay away from the really good ones. Keep your eyes up! I think of the hack class as a stratigic game. Keep thinking and positioning yourself, always keeping the other horses and the judge in mind. Keep in mind your hroses strengths and weakness', hide their bad ones and really flaunt their good points. For Ex. My old hunter had a great trot, not so great canter. I made a point to get lost in the crown when we cantered to hide the not so great canter, but I would really work the trot, making sure I showed it off to the judge.

Lastly, don't let them plug aound at the walk. We all drop the reins and pold around without thinking, so make a point to keep a nice walk where the judge can see you.

monalisa
Jan. 27, 2003, 07:54 PM
I have a cute horse that wins the hack some of the time even though she is not always the best mover out there - she is a nice mover but is not the BEST out there.

I believe that we win when we do because the overall picture is really nice - we look good together, she is pretty, lowers her head and just struts on a lose rein - and I never push her forward, I just let her hack and she enjoys out. Our picture is not "forced" in any way.

I agree also with some of the other comments. Watch a few A/A and A/O classes. See how those riders show off their horses. It helps.

Good luck and have fun!