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28 June 2017   
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English Breeds of Horse

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Hack




The term Hack is used for any horse used for general leisure riding as apposed to competitive riding sports, such as eventing or hunting. However, the Hack that approaches nearest in type, is that exhibited in the show ring. The show Hack must not exceed 15.3h.h.. It must have impeccable manners, show absolute obedience to the rider, have smooth and elegant paces and be near perfection in comformation as possible. It should be the perfect riding horse, a pleasure to ride and behold. It may be any solid colour, it should have a small quality head, elegant neck sloping shoulders with prominent withers; a strong body with deep girth and well-sprung ribs; well rounded hind quarters; good sound limbs, with at least 8 inches of bone; good sound well shaped feet. It stands at between 14.2 and 15.3 h.h.

The term 'hack' dates back to the days before motorised transport, when 'park hacks' were used by the most fashionable people of the day for leisure riding, either in the park at home or in the public parks in the towns, where they were exposed to the gaze of the public; notably in London's Rotten Row, Hyde Park. Impeccable in appearance and manners, the 'park hack' complemented it's well turned out rider.

The 'covert hack' was slightly different. Though it was also an elegant horse with less substance than a hunter, it was used in the hunting world formerly to take the rider to the meet. The grooms would ride the hunter on beforehand at a gentle pace, to conserve it's energy for the rest of the day. The covert hack was ridden across country at a fair pace to the meet, where the rider would change to his, fresh and ready waiting, hunter. Today in England, it is the thoroughbred horse that makes the most successful show hack. They are shown in two classes: Small hack for horses exceeding 14.2 h.h. but not exceeding 15. h.h. and large hack, for horses exceeding 15 h.h. but not exceeding 15.3 h.h.. There are also classes for ladies hacks, 14.2 h.h. to 15.3. h.h., which are shown under side-saddle. The production of a show hack is a specialised job, as perfect manners and a good ride for the judge are absolutely essential.



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