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Bettering the Hack

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  • Bettering the Hack

    So my horse generally places top three over fences unless I do something terribly wrong. The hack, however, is a different story. He generally places but it's more like sixth if you're lucky. I know most of this is something that isn't going to change just because of his movement and his way of going around but is there any way to show your horse in a slightly better light in the hack?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Gnomeland View Post
    So my horse generally places top three over fences unless I do something terribly wrong. The hack, however, is a different story. He generally places but it's more like sixth if you're lucky. I know most of this is something that isn't going to change just because of his movement and his way of going around but is there any way to show your horse in a slightly better light in the hack?
    What does he do? Do you have a video of his way of going? If you can find a dressage trainer that had worked with there hunters that would be my suggestion. You will be amazed at the difference. Good luck with you boy
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    • #3
      http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=35559
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      • #4
        Know the other horses in the class, if there is a horse that doesnt move as well as yours, stick close to that one..It will make your horse look nicer, on the other hand, stay away from the really good moving horse..
        Gates Equestrian
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        • #5
          And do not forget the class is still going on even in the line up. So be all chatty while in the line up. And also until yo uare compleatly out of the ring the class is still going on. I have seen more than a few winners drop a placing or two because they stop showing before they leave the ring.
          Friend of bar .ka

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          • #6
            I agree with alliekat -- getting your horse to use himself more correctly might make the difference. Basic "dressage" lessons might help this.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks for the suggestions!

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              • #8
                Another vote for this almost 10 year old thread archived for reference.

                Thing is, you don't need to have the absolute best mover in most classes. You need to show a nice mover better then the person on the best mover shows theirs. Showmanship.

                No part of your expression or body language can ever telegraph any doubt on your part you are on the winner. You may still not win 1st but you will do better then if you go schlep around with a defeatist attitude projected on your face. SHOW the horse. Set up your passes where judge is looking, make any corrections where they are not looking, stay out of traffic and ride like a winner. Remember, judge liked you over fences, they want to reward you in the hack as much as the horse's way of going compared to the others will let them.

                Go read that old thread linked to.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                • #9
                  Also, make sure that your horse carries a consistant pace and a pleasant expression. Our old trainer had a horse that was a nice mover but not the hack winner that generally placed quite high in the under saddle, largely because he was so consistant and pleasant to look at.

                  Another thing she always taught my DD was to be aware of where the judge was looking and when he/she had his back to you, to use that time to help set your horse up well (train him a little) for when he/she was looking at you. Maybe you want to frame him up a little so you can float the reins and really let him move forward when facing the judge, for example.

                  It also helps to have an eye for what the judge prefers (watch a few hacks before yours if possible) - some like the nose poke and some like a little frame. As long as your horse goes well both ways, use that knowledge to help present the picture that judge is looking for. Additionally, assess where your horses' strength is - maybe his canter is better than his trot? so "hide" a little during the trot and really show off at the canter. Maybe it's the other way around?? so then use that to your advantage.

                  IMO, the hack is about showmanship more than anything else unless you're in a class of all freakish movers. If you're the 6 in a class of 11+ movers, you're sunk but learning how to show off your horse to the best of your ability can definitely move you up a place or two....

                  Good luck!!

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                  • #10
                    If a hack ribbon is important to you - try pulling his shoes for the hack.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                      No part of your expression or body language can ever telegraph any doubt on your part you are on the winner.
                      Excellent advice.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by STA View Post
                        If a hack ribbon is important to you - try pulling his shoes for the hack.
                        Well, that can make a 9.75 mover into a 10 but not do much for the 7 or 8 mover in average 7 or 8 company as many shows tend to be. And it will cost more then the class did at most levels even if there is a farrier standing by.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by findeight View Post
                          Well, that can make a 9.75 mover into a 10 but not do much for the 7 or 8 mover in average 7 or 8 company as many shows tend to be. And it will cost more then the class did at most levels even if there is a farrier standing by.
                          I did write, "if the hack ribbon is important to you." I had one horse I took the shoes off at Captital Challenge, the others just went in for a ride in the ring (no ribbon) or just did not hack. I understood the question to be how could someone improve the placing in the hack.
                          http://STA551.com
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                          • #14
                            Is the horse in question for the hack the same horse you posted about being stiff in the corners?

                            http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=347911

                            If it's the same horse, that could definitely be part of the issue in the hack.
                            ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

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                            • #15
                              Just want to add...this wasn't meant to be one of those 'gotcha' comments. I swear, I am not a weird cyber stalker cross referencing your posts. You have an unusual screen name and I just happened to notice it.
                              ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

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                              • #16
                                I'd try to watch some of the hacks before you go to see what it is the judge is liking that day.
                                "to each his own..."

                                just a horse obsessed girl who finds blogging way more fun than being an adult...
                                http://equinerainman274.wordpress.com/

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by snaffle635 View Post
                                  Just want to add...this wasn't meant to be one of those 'gotcha' comments. I swear, I am not a weird cyber stalker cross referencing your posts. You have an unusual screen name and I just happened to notice it.
                                  No worries haha. And yes it is.

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                                  • #18
                                    Aha! Then I think this is definitely part of the issue in your hack placing.

                                    In the other thread, you mentioned that you think he's a bit weak. How does that show up? I'm guessing that if you can fix the weakness/stiffness issue and present a more supple and balanced horse, you might move up a bit in the hack. Good luck!
                                    ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~

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                                    • #19
                                      Also, go in the ring with a confident attitude. Not, "I'm just going to kick butt for being here," but, "I know I'm good, my horse is good, I still have to pay attention and work, but it's entirely possible for me to win this." I always think back to how my horse and I were when we first started and how far we've come now. It makes me proud, and I then want to show off my horse because I know she's come so far. Be proud of what you have.

                                      This of course is more the your part, I think other posters covered the horse part
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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thanks so much guys! I really appreciate all the knowledgeable advice. I'm really not super concerned about the ribbon as I'm not a hugely competitive person in the first place and show for mileage/an idea of how far we've come rather than to be the best of the best necessarily. But hey, I'd be lying if I said I preferred a 6th to a 2nd!

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