I have always been a very nervous hacker. I have tried and tried and tried to overcome my nerves but to no avail. I have had NLP, been out with kind friends, been out with not so kind friends, tried to get off and lead, tried to push myself beyond my nerve, but none of this has ever worked. I have walked for miles and miles in-hand but this never makes riding easier. I become cripled with nerves to the point that my mind just cannot cope with it. I can ride on the huge open fields on my yard, but I cannot go out of the gate and into the big wide world. I own the most sensible horse on the yard. I take him out somewhere on my own in my lorry every weekend, and I have no problem riding in strange arenas, in strange open fields etc. We attempt dressage, we jump (showjump and XC), we go showing, horse agility, TREC - we do it all. Everyone remarks on our great relationship and how sensible he is. Apart from one random spooking incident where I fell off last year (which happened after my NLP session on my first solo hack!), he hasn't put a foot wrong in the four years I have owned him. I have got into TREC this year and Ben excels at the obstacles. On Monday I was riding round around one of our 20 acre fields with my yard manager and while we were walking round I was pracitising dropping my reins completely and riding from my seat (as I want to ride the obstacles with no reins and saddle at some point). I then found myself telling my yard manager how I really wanted to do the TREC orienteering phase and that sponsored rides and hunting actually sounded quite fun. She said 'right then, we need to get you hacking - if you can walk around a 20 acre field with no reins you can walk through the woods'. So, I have very tentatively agreed that every Monday will be our hacking day and as she exercises her livery horses she will take me out proper hacking at the same time. I absolute refuse to ride on the roads, but the routes she has in mind only involve directly crossing one main road and then it is all off road. So do I do this, or do I learn from my lifetime of hacking failures that it just isn't for me? I don't know if I can put myself through the failure and the complete feeling of uselessness when I descend into a complete mess. I have never had a successful hack off my yard - why would this time be any different?