Hates walking down Hills, help please!!!
 
 

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Hates walking down Hills, help please!!!

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  • Horse hates hill work
  • Horse dislikes going downhill

 
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    09-18-2010, 07:00 PM
  #1
Foal
Hates walking down Hills, help please!!!

Hello, for those of you who havnt read any of my post, I am the owner of a beautiful TWH Stallion 4 years old, he's still kinda green, but extremely gentle. When we go out on trails the only issue I've been having with him is he HATES walking down hill, he does just fine going up, but hates going down, he will do anything from just refusing to go all together, or trying to take off pretty fast, almost like a panic. I think he's either afraid of walking down and has not develped the musculature needed to carry himself well, as I only get to ride about once a week. Or he feels unbalanced, I've tried a new saddle trying to rule that out because it does ride up pretty bad on the withers with him. I don't want to try a crouper though. What do you guys think?
     
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    09-18-2010, 07:41 PM
  #2
Green Broke
I haven't met a horse yet that knows how to balance themselves downhill with a rider without being taught. Zierra learned the hard way - she refused to settle, and from fighting me, tripped and went to her knees and almost sent us ass over kettle down the slope. After that, she figured out pretty fast you can't go downhill with your head UP.

Take them down at an angle - it's the best way to teach a youngster how to use themselves. I'm working my 3 year old Paint now, and she's still learning - she get's halfway down, builds up some momentum and then wants to throw her head up and run down. By taking them down at an angle, you give them a LOT more to balance with, and it's far easier for them to stop and regather themselves momentarily and also difficult to build up any real momentum. It also makes it safer for you as you can "fight" them if you absolutely have to without worry about them pitching head first down a hill.

It took us FOREVER to teach Ashley's pony to do hills - she simply stuck her head up and ran down, almost causing a wreck a few times. As soon as I taught her the angle method, where everytime they get silly you make them whoa and regroup, she's pro at hills now!

Best of luck!
     
    09-19-2010, 01:35 PM
  #3
Foal
That sounds like exactly what he's doing!, I have tried the stop and regroup method, that helps, but he still gets very anxious. I will try at an angle thank you so much! Thunder also fell to his knees once also.
     
    09-19-2010, 01:52 PM
  #4
Weanling
You can also try walking him down in hand a few times until he understands that it is safe, then work under saddle.
     
    09-19-2010, 02:13 PM
  #5
Weanling
Does your saddle fit properly? If it's pinching the withers at all, the extra pressure going downhill is going to sour him to the idea pretty quick.
     
    09-19-2010, 08:42 PM
  #6
Foal
He does fine in hand, I've changed saddles and girths, no change yet. I hope its just a youngster thing but its making trail riding not very pleasant for either of us.
     
    09-19-2010, 09:21 PM
  #7
Trained
Zig Zagging helps a lot. My old guy hates hill, but mostly because of some arthritis. We try to avoid steep hills, but if we have to, then I zig zag down, and make him take his time. He is then fine.
When they are anxious, you are typically better to keep them moving (keep the feet busy) and the zig zags also keep their mind on you, rather than the steepness of the hill.
     
    09-19-2010, 11:36 PM
  #8
Foal
Thanks guys, I have tried the zig zag as well, What do you guys think the problem is? Is he just being a youngster? Is something bothering him? Has anyone else besides the ones mention had this prob? He did have a stifle lock only once, its never done it again, wondering if stifle prob could have anything to do with it?
     
    09-19-2010, 11:54 PM
  #9
Yearling
My TW mare doesn't do downhills well, either - very herky jerky and hollow backed. Just this month I figured out that if I slow her down and ask her to round her back, she gets her hind end under herself better and it's much more comfortable for both of us. Maybe it's smoother because she also takes shorter steps...I found this out by accident and am SO glad.
     
    09-20-2010, 12:24 AM
  #10
Trained
I agree with Macabre; My mare does the same thing...well used to; she's gotten a LOT better, but it's taking a while, just because I don't think she's ever been taught HOW to use her body. I started out with some smaller hills, with less slope, and have been working from there...if she needs to go 'sideways' I will let her, and I just help her balance with my seat, and a bit with the reins (to steady her head a bit, and help her "lift" if she needs it)... The other day I took her down some stairs at a park; two weeks ago, she went down only a couple before she got really unsteady and I walked her off of them and proceded down the hill...this time she went all the way down; slowly, but she felt pretty comfortable under me, just a bit unsure. I try to get out 3-4 times a week though.

If you have any smaller slopes near home, I suggest you go out there, and work with him there for a while...he is young, and really does need to develop the muscles for downhill stuff. Unfortunately, once a week just probably isn't enough for him.
     

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