Yesterday I took Scottie out for our first hack alone since we have been home for the summer. This is something I tend to avoid, mainly because its hassle to get out the front gate of the yard! Scottie doesn’t quite understand why I’m asking him to walk into a closed gate and really, I’ve given up with the battle. So now I get on on the other side of the gate. This is fine, but he flinches every time a car goes past the gap in the hedge as he can’t see it coming and he is a tad special. But I do think that hacking alone has lots of benefits.
Wimpy but Safe
Although Scottie is a massive wimp when hacking out alone, he is perfectly safe and I have never had a problem. I usually just carry a whip in my right hand and push it against the shoulder when he’s giving the man eating road signs and wheelie bins a bit too much room. *Touch Wood* he’s never been particularly spooky. Its mainly just a flinch, a few quick steps or giving something a wide berth. Because of these things, I am perfectly happy hacking alone.
However, I chose possibly the worst day/time for our first hack out alone. On leaving the yard, the house opposite had a lot of work men, I think gardeners, working with all sorts of interesting tools. But this was fine we got past this. Since it was still warm I decided just to do a loop around the houses as there are some good hills the Scottie to walk up and down. About half way round, dog appeared out of no where barking. Scottie did a slow spin and starting walking back the way we came. He’s not scared of dogs, it just made him jump. So we turned back round and carried on past the barking dog without a problem.
Once we got back to the main round I heard someone shouting asking if its okay to come past. I turned around to see what I can only describe as the 3 wheeled push bike with a spinning bright coloured windmill/kite thing on the back. Scottie had obviously heard the man as he wasn’t phased about it over taking us. That was until it was in front of us and he saw the monstrosity flapping on the back of it, where he stopped dead. Luckily this was all he did and he was then happy (ish) to follow it down the road, not taking his eyes off it.
Then we saw what the gardeners where doing at the house opposite the yard turning. They had a big what I think was a wood chipper, making a racket and spraying stuff into the back of the truck. Although Scottie could hear it, it was on our side of the road with several trucks blocking it from site. Therefore I managed to get him almost next to it before he saw it.
Luckily the car behind me had given me plenty of space and so had the cars coming the other way. We had a minor melt down on seeing the killer machine. The breaks came on and Scottie ‘spun’ to go back the way we had came. The car was now blocking his way, so he let me turn him back round and he very bravely walked/jogged past the horrible monster on the far side of the road.
I am so proud of him. Despite there being plenty of things for a big wimpy horse to be scared of, he was a perfect gent. And I have to say that although it didn’t take us long at all to get past the ‘monster’ all the drivers were great and very respectful.