View Full Version : Hackney horse under saddle- video

01-02-11, 11:49 AM
I don't understand why so many people say you can't ride Hackneys and yet people do and show them and they don't seem particularly uncomfortable. Or is it the pony perhaps?
Does this gelding look uncomfortable to ride? (warning lame music)


This is a mare.

And another mare.

And just because this stallion is a spunk and a half.

01-02-11, 12:19 PM
Phoenix, the first gelding, looks nice. Pretty boy, and moves nicely. Shame we didn't get to see her cantering him. I love how his trot-walk transitions are so smooth and light. He looks as if he has a lot of promise as a really nice saddle horse.

The mares didn't do anything for me, and neither did the stallion. When he cantered/galloped, his front legs were totally out of control (did he have weighted shoes on, perhaps?) and he also appears to slam his forefeet into the ground with every canter stride. However, studying his back area, he did look extremely smooth, so even if his front legs were going up and down like a sewing machine, his rider would have a smooth ride.

But I definitely like Phoenix, and his music was the best too - not "lame" at all!

01-02-11, 12:32 PM
I haven't ridden a hackney but looking at the vids I don't think they'd be uncomfortable to ride, as the movement looks quite flat (the mare's moved very much like standardbreds). Whether they'd be enjoyable to ride is another thing. They don't strike me as super athletic through the body. There's a lot of knee and hock action but it doesn't translate very well into suspension and impulsion which is what many people like in a riding horse. Judging by the vids, the canter isn't a strong point either!
Thre's no reason why you can't ride just about any breed but it gets back to choosing the right horse for the right job. Some of the qualities that make a good carriage horse are the opposite to what I want in a riding horse.

01-02-11, 03:19 PM
completely agree with SEF.

I think they aren't ridden much is because they are bred to have long backs, so because of that they will be hard to collect and work through from behind. They are all front leg action with not much happening behind. The first one isnt so long in the back (as he may have been bred to be ridden? but he is long in the neck.

I wonder if they are similar to the standardbred in the sense that it is hard to teach them to canter when ridden if they're spent a fair amount of time in a harness?

01-02-11, 03:29 PM
Maybe break them to saddle instead of harness when they are young and they might work better. I've always been fascinated by them. They have a certain quaintness and charm.

01-02-11, 04:53 PM
The stallion is the only one who moves like I expected a Hackney to move, but then I have only seen the Hackney ponies in harness with their knees up near their chins :D. None of them seem to have truely "correct for dressage" walks, the extra lift they put into each stride tends to make the walk lateral. The trot on the gelding shows promise, but if he is anything like the mares, they seem to get more frantic and quick when asked to move out, rather than pushing more and lengthening. The whole tempo of thir paces is just a bit hurried. I wonder if they can slow down and carry some weight behind?

01-02-11, 04:56 PM
Well I'm not worried about dressage. I do wonder what they would be like as pleasure/trail horses. Seen some being jumped. With that high knee lift perhaps they could do well?

01-02-11, 05:03 PM
We had a Hackney pony stallion for a while, belonged to Dad's boss, he stood him at stud for a while. Lovely looking pony but was unhandled.

Some photos of a daughter out of a stock horse type mare. She was clever in a sly way, each day she made you start from scratch AGAIN and just when you thought she was right, fireworks. There had been a previous attempt to break her in prior to her coming to our place so who knows what had happened. Hard shape to keep a saddle on too.



Dad always wanted to get a Hackney foal and treat it like a "normal" horse to see if the temperament we saw was genetic or environment, never got around to it :D

I think they could be an adequate saddle horse if trained and not "gaited" up with weighted shoes/gadgets. All the ones I knew were very hardy. Actually a Arabian/Hackney cross won the Quilty in the 70s, so I'm told ;)

01-02-11, 06:11 PM
Crikey, I don't like the look of that last photo! She doesn't have a very "good" look about her face, does she? As you said, sly. Most "bad" horses are made, not born, but you do get the odd ones who are just not put together correctly in the Attitude department.

I agree with LindaH re the Hackney mares - they just fan with madly hurrying legs, rather than lengthening their stride in a "stronger" trot. But Phoenix, the first gelding, quite appealed to me. Would have liked to see his canter, because he had a softness totally missing in the mares and stallion.

02-02-11, 01:48 PM
this is video of the gelding I just sold - he is half Arabian and half Hackney Horse
He did not have any "oddness" or extreme knee action to his gait. He was actually really athletic and quick to respond.

02-02-11, 02:07 PM
Are there actually any Hackney HORSE stallions in Australia or only ponies?

02-02-11, 03:37 PM
yes there are bats. i know for a fact there is a stunning hackney horse stallion in nsw and a colt currently for sale. there are also many ponies. and they are really reasonably priced as well.

02-02-11, 07:13 PM
There is a Saddlebred cross Hackney who won the inter high school junior derby ,I think that is what it is called (show jumping,cross country and dressage) in 2007 here in Australia.

02-02-11, 07:20 PM
yeah crosses are really popular in america. would love one myself if it came up and i was in the market.

02-02-11, 09:10 PM
I'm not sure that hackney was sly. More terrified if that first photo was anything to go by. She is very unhappy with whoever is on her back- these days pain would be suspected but not back then. Seems someone didn't take the hint or get her some decent training or possibly a vet.

In relation to the videos- the stallion was barefoot so no weighted shoes there. He moves like that naturally. Very big and expressive in front but not so much behind. The first gelding is ok- I think he looks like fun to ride. The mare is very ordinary in my opinion.

02-02-11, 09:55 PM
The sly mare was sly and terrified. As I said , there had been a previous attempt to break her in which was obviously unsuccessful as such.
We don't know what happened but she was then sent to us to try to rescue. I don't think she had physical pain but very likely emotional pain. She would work well for days on end then have anxiety attacks I suppose you could describe them as, she was clever and learnt easily it seemed but was too tense to cope. Other hackneys I knew were also highly strung (for want of a better description) so in the wrong hands could quite easily be over done. Hindsight is wonderful and if I knew then what I do now, things might have been better.

Dad's boss's good hackney was so uptight it would take three or four people to harness him up and get him in the sulky but he won heaps of combined driving events and show classes. Not unlike many high level competition horses. When he would trot off in the sulky he would leap at least his body length for his first step then start to trot properly, if he was a saddle horse I think most riders would have been left sitting on the ground.

Those pics were taken in the 80s, probably 83 or 84, I'm sure it was just last week, Dad is about the age in that pic that OH is now (Dad on pally and OH on the mare) :p