Body position for hills?
I had a lengthy discussion recently as to the correct body positioning for climbing or descending hills.
I used to lean as far forward as I could when climbing and lay as far back as I could when descending.
I was recently told that this actually makes it harder on the horse because it fouls their center of gravity. The advice I got was to stay centered in the saddle and basically lean only as much as you have to stay perpendicular to level (or the true horizon), the frame of reference was "look at the trees, your body should be equal to their angle to the hill, line your torso up with them".
What do most trail riding "experts" suggest on this?
However I'm not a super hardcore trail rider, just a trail rider that has to deal with a few short very steep hills on really good footing.
Most people tell you to do what their instructor said to do, and don't think about it. Think about carrying weight and where YOU want the weight (like on a backpack), and do the same with your horse. =D
I use 2-point for steep hills, both going up and going down. IMO, my horse can use his legs easier than bumping me off the saddle.
IF you're thinking about endurance riding, teach your horse to pull you with his tail, but do it in an enclosed area, or use a buddy to lead him up a hill, while you both practice. THIS is the easiest of all for your horse when it's really steep and/or you're going all day. =D
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