Forget yoga, meditation or a massage — a fail-safe way to unwind after a stressful day is a hack in the Great British countryside (dependent on the absence of spooking, bolting and arm-pulling).
To celebrate the British Horse Society’s “access week” (23-31 May 2015) — which aims to raise awareness of the need for safe off-road riding — we asked you to send us photos of the breathtaking scenery on your doorstop.
And we were bombarded with pictures that are the envy of anyone who has to make do with the verge of a main road and an all-weather arena.
Is this the best hacking in Britain?
“This is Irvine Beach, Scotland. The tide was out and we virtually had the place to ourselves for the first hour or so. The beach has excellent trailer/horsebox parking and level access to the beach.”
Take a look at our tips for safe beach riding and if you’re lacking inspiration of where to go, check
“This is the view from our hacking on Hankley Common in Surrey. We are very lucky to be based at the Carter’s October Farm where the hacking is just at the end of the drive. With long sandy tracks, some great hills and some local hunt jumps, it is a fantastic training ground for young event horses.” Nici Wilson
“This is me riding my horse Darwin around Matfen in Northumberland. It is a beautiful area to hack around with plenty of open fields and grassy tracks for a good gallop (hopefully in control) and lots of variety.” Kiara Thompson-Torpey
“This is a picture of me enjoying a canter on the beach at Lochgilphead, Argyll. It’s a 15 minute hack from our yard, along the gorgeous Crinan Canal — where I work as a lock keeper — with only 100 yards of roadwork to get there. When the tide goes out on Loch Gilp we have four-square-miles of shore to play on. No problems with fitness here! We’re very lucky.” Jo Smith
“This photo is of my hacking while my horse and I are at university in Cirencester. We are incredibly spoilt and don’t have to ride on a road — just fields and tracks. There’s lots of land for cantering and hills for fitness. It’s perfect.” Chloe Gunn
“This is my horse Ella. We hack out around Bere Ferrers. There are loads of public bridleways and the roads aren’t hugely busy. It may be a small peninsula, but there is a fair bit of riding and I’m very lucky to have these beautiful views on many of our rides.” Catherine Babbage
“I am lucky enough to live on The Hirsel estate just outside Coldstream. We have 1,300 acres of fabulous hacking, miles of woodland tracks, riverside cantering and of course Hirsel Law where this photo was taken, looking down to the big house and the Cheviot Hills in the distance. A serious hill with serious views. I very rarely have to go on a road. I’m a very lucky girl!” Ann Rogerson