It is imperative that the term “hack” not be confused with the word “hackney,” as the latter denotes the harness-horse in modern times, whereas the hack denoted the sophisticated riding horse in the past. The name “hack” is basically British and has an origin that is fairly ancient. In addition, it is important to note that the hack is in no way considered an established breed at this time.
The term “hack” refers to any horse or pony in Britain that is suitable for riding. However, for general purposes, it is desirable to treat it according to the standards laid down by the British Hack and Cob Society. These standards stipulate that the hack must not exceed 15.3 hands in height, and because it is not an established breed, it can be of any color.
It is possible for a horse of any breed or any admixture of breeds to win in the show rings of Great Britain, Ireland, or Northern Ireland as long as the horse conforms to the height requirements and has the necessary qualifications and manners. However, in practice, since extreme refinement and performance are the primary factors, it follows that the winner is typically found in the Thoroughbred.
Therefore, everything that is anticipated in a Thoroughbred of high quality must also be present in a winning hack, and it should be emphasized that a significant number of Thoroughbreds fall significantly short of expectations in this regard. The winning hack must have a refined head that fits the neck of true proportions, a shoulder that is well laid back, a pronounced wither that is not exaggerated, a short back with a big girth and well-sprung ribs, and powerful quarters. If anything, these points should be found in exaggerated proportions. It goes without saying that the legs need to be spotless and powerful, and that he needs to maintain an absolutely true and level stance throughout his actions.
It has been stated previously that the show-winning hack is typically a Thoroughbred; nevertheless, it is possible that, although having predominated for a number of years, this is something that will pass, maybe making way for the most polished sort of Anglo-Arab or part-bred Arab.