It'll help you balance better if you lean forward when the horse is going up a hill, and lean back when the horse is going down hill. It'll also help the horse balance when you are balanced. I think about it like this.... when you're on the hills you always want to be sitting straight up and down.... so if the horse is going up hill, you'd have to lean forward to stay totally straight up and down, and if the horse is going down hill, you'll have to lean back a little to hold that straightness.
Just be aware that when you lean forward, the horse will want to move out faster.
I make a huge point of not allowing horses to sprint up hills when I'm riding. There are always exceptions, some hills that are very steep they need to canter up the hill for balance, but horses are totally able to trot or walk up a hill. Plus, the hill work is great for building muscle!
Your horse is adorable, and your position really isn't that bad! Keep up the good work, and I think it would be very beneficial for you to take a lesson every couple weeks, every week if you can manage it.
Owner and head trainer of SE-Wisconsin Horse Care
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