Cross posting from another board, this method really helped my young guy to get his balance going down hills. He now collects himself up and heads down hills like a pro, plus it helped build that butt muscle!
Training a horse to go down hills, working off the hindquarters...in balance...no rushing She rushes downhill because she is out of balance. She has more weight
As explained by Larry Whitesell:
On the forehand than the hind end. Both up or down, if you use the reins
To slow her she will go to the forehand. So even going uphill
She will rush because she feels she has to pull the rider up the hill. Going down: As you approach the crest of the hill, take your shoulders up
And back a little as if you are asking her to back. At the same time, you must
Bend your knees and take your heels back an inch or so, keeping a little
Weight in the stirrups. This allows the horse to lift her back and walk
Her hind legs under her. You should feel this happen. Now her hind legs
Will brake her. In the beginning, she will rush because it is habit. Open
And close your right hand, then left, then right then left. Do this as
Slowly as you want her to walk down the hill. She will keep time to your
Hands with her front feet. Stop her every three or four steps until she
Learns to take her time. When you stop, you can't just sit down and then
Go again or she will be on the forehand. You must maintain the position
Of shoulders slightly lifted up and back and heels taken slightly back
Taking weight off her back. When you start down again, don't just let her
Go or she will be on the forehand. You must leg her off to tell her to
Take her hind legs more underneath you. When you leg her you should
Hardly have to touch her. Sometimes when you get to the bottom, ask her
To back up the hill a few steps. She must round her back to back up the
Hill or she is practicing backing on the forehand.
Going up hill: Lean forward and up a little. You must take your heels
Back just a little and put weight in the stirrups. If you don't get off
Her back she can't get her hind legs under you so she rushes. Technically
When this happens, she is falling up the hill, so she must be able to bring
Her legs underneath. If she rushes from habit, open and close each hand to
Show her the timing you want the front feet to climb with. Ask her to
Climb three or four steps and pause. When you start again you must ask
With the calves of your legs and your heels must be back.
Going up or down, people lean forward or back, but they don't bring their
Heels back more so they are out of balance. It is hard for the horse to
Balance herself and the rider on such an angle. You must get off the
Horse's back so she can lift it to bring her hind legs under to brake or
Drive. Back up hills and down hills. It helps them learn. Do small
Inclines first and just a few steps.
I hope this will help.