Down hill body postition - Page 2
 
 

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Down hill body postition

This is a discussion on Down hill body postition within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Photos of horses galloping downhill
  • How to sit a horse down hill

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    03-11-2012, 01:39 PM
  #11
Showing
I rode in the foothills and we just remained upright, relaxed the hips and let the horse do his job. The worst thing a rider can do is shift in the saddle. Even if you feel you are not in the best postition, stick with it to the bottom. The horse has adjusted and a weight shift throws him off balance. The old calvary riders used to lean forward which makes one wonder about all the weight being forward of the horse' shoulders.
     
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    03-11-2012, 01:56 PM
  #12
Weanling
Thanks guys. Sounds like I've got the right idea and with a few adjustments we should be down hill champs. Appreciate the quick responce!
     
    03-11-2012, 02:46 PM
  #13
Guest
Downhill at speed,

These are the best photos I have of downhill riding, but they are taken in Spain - I never got any photos in Wales.

The horse can cope with its weight and your weight on the slope - as long as you the rider don't interfere with the horse's neck or its balance. Going dowhnhill there's more weight on the horse's front legs than usual because of the forces of gravity and less push coming from the hind legs because of the help of gravity.

The horse needs its full neck to balance itself and the rider must avoid exerting any leverage thru the bit. Your balance is aided by pressure from the balls of the feet on the bars of the stirrups. It is important for you to be over the horse's centre of gravity.

Here I am sitting on my fork, my legs are down straight, the length of rein gives the horse's neck to move. The horse is free to balance us both.
And we are going as fast as we can. The rider sits still!!

That's me shouting ' Geronimo...oooo..ooooow.

But that was a 5 year old late cut Andalucian gelding, mouthed Spanish.
Schooled English, wearing English tack. He was/is a very special horse

The buzz - Oh the buzz.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 021.jpg (83.1 KB, 105 views)
     
    03-11-2012, 11:37 PM
  #14
Weanling
Love those pics. That looks like a blast. I think it will be a while before Comic and I are ready to go "Man From Snowy River" style down a hill. That's quite the horse under you :)
DraftyAiresMum likes this.
     
    03-12-2012, 02:26 PM
  #15
Guest
A Downhill Gallop

It was on the last day of a riding holiday in Andalucia. ’The Custard Surprise.’ was listed on the programme of rides as a special event but there was no description of it. However the visitors all knew that today was to be the day.

After lunch we visitors, replete with paella, wine and brandy, were making our way back to the hacienda. We were just coming out of the woods on a narrow uphill trail when I noticed that the three guides had suddenly changed their usual stations in the line of riders. In front of us the track appeared to turn sharp left and uphill. Unusually the head trail guide had taken the lead and had put her horse into a hand canter. Instantly and without their rider's permission, all of the nine horses in the line followed suite including my own generally well mannered steed. The horses knew what was coming.

Then I heard a call from the leader: ‘let the horses have their heads and sit in’ The lead rider then lurched from hand canter into extended canter and my own horse took off to follow. As we came out of the woods, we charged round the sharp corner and up into the sunlight. We cantered up what was left of the slope onto the narrow ridge of the hill. Instead of coming to a halt at the top of the ridge as I was expecting, the lead rider kept going and disappeared straight down the other side of the ridge. My horse followed at the charge. There was to be no stopping him. From the photos, the slope doesn’t look steep but from where I was sitting up on the horse, the slope was reminiscent of the side of Mount Everest. I knew that I daren’t do anything which might unbalance the horse, so I pushed my feet home in the stirrups and stuck them out in front of me. I leaned slightly forwards from the waist and allowed my horse full use of the reins. If my horse were to lose its footing I knew that together we would tumble over and over. All I had to do as rider was to sit in and keep still in the saddle. Anyway the horse would not be able to slow, let alone stop, until we reached the bottom of the slope.

We went down that slope like the clappers. My Boy could not possibly move his legs any faster in the sand. To me it was a tremendous rush of adrenaline I found myself calling out:
“Ger-on -ni- moooooooo“.

When we got to the bottom of the hill, in what seemed like just a few seconds, - the track, now flat and mostly level, opened up in front of us and off we went like a rocket until eventually I caught up with the leader of the ride who by then was slowing down. The cameraman had hidden alongside the track behind the trees. I was all for going back and doing it all over again. Sadly it was not to be. Interestingly all of the riders made it safely and the ladies came home with very flushed cheeks.

Later over dinner we discussed the Custard Surprise with the trail guides. Apparently during the week we visitors had all been sized up to see if we were capable of coping the downhill ride without falling off. Galloping downhill is something one learns to do by every day riding and the technique can’t readily be taught in a riding school. On some weeks the riders weren;t up to it, so a more stately ride was substituted.

Anyway so much depends on the horses.
Andalucian horses are something very different from regular hacks. They feel light and sensitive to ride. They are also very handy and sure footed. Usually the local Spanish men will only ride stallions whilst the ladies will ride saddle on mares. Yet stallions and mares will gather together all dressed up in pretty traditional garb as part of the annual rural village fiestas

In all of the riding centres I have been to, only one other in Wales has ever dared include a downhill gallop,. Mostly the centres are frightened of losing their licence.

But what a buzz.!!!.
     
    03-12-2012, 11:32 PM
  #16
Weanling
Thank you so much for posting that story! It was a great read. How amazing for you to get to do that. It's true that not everyone could have stayed on and not unbalanced their horse during that ride. I hope I can do something like that some day because it looks amazing!
SkyeDawn likes this.
     
    03-13-2012, 02:32 PM
  #17
Foal
Good point that sounds right
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyeDawn    
You should always have your upper body still and hips supple though, shouldn't you?
     
    03-13-2012, 02:32 PM
  #18
Foal
Soo much fun! Scary!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Godden    
It was on the last day of a riding holiday in Andalucia. ’The Custard Surprise.’ was listed on the programme of rides as a special event but there was no description of it. However the visitors all knew that today was to be the day.

After lunch we visitors, replete with paella, wine and brandy, were making our way back to the hacienda. We were just coming out of the woods on a narrow uphill trail when I noticed that the three guides had suddenly changed their usual stations in the line of riders. In front of us the track appeared to turn sharp left and uphill. Unusually the head trail guide had taken the lead and had put her horse into a hand canter. Instantly and without their rider's permission, all of the nine horses in the line followed suite including my own generally well mannered steed. The horses knew what was coming.

Then I heard a call from the leader: ‘let the horses have their heads and sit in’ The lead rider then lurched from hand canter into extended canter and my own horse took off to follow. As we came out of the woods, we charged round the sharp corner and up into the sunlight. We cantered up what was left of the slope onto the narrow ridge of the hill. Instead of coming to a halt at the top of the ridge as I was expecting, the lead rider kept going and disappeared straight down the other side of the ridge. My horse followed at the charge. There was to be no stopping him. From the photos, the slope doesn’t look steep but from where I was sitting up on the horse, the slope was reminiscent of the side of Mount Everest. I knew that I daren’t do anything which might unbalance the horse, so I pushed my feet home in the stirrups and stuck them out in front of me. I leaned slightly forwards from the waist and allowed my horse full use of the reins. If my horse were to lose its footing I knew that together we would tumble over and over. All I had to do as rider was to sit in and keep still in the saddle. Anyway the horse would not be able to slow, let alone stop, until we reached the bottom of the slope.

We went down that slope like the clappers. My Boy could not possibly move his legs any faster in the sand. To me it was a tremendous rush of adrenaline I found myself calling out:
“Ger-on -ni- moooooooo“.

When we got to the bottom of the hill, in what seemed like just a few seconds, - the track, now flat and mostly level, opened up in front of us and off we went like a rocket until eventually I caught up with the leader of the ride who by then was slowing down. The cameraman had hidden alongside the track behind the trees. I was all for going back and doing it all over again. Sadly it was not to be. Interestingly all of the riders made it safely and the ladies came home with very flushed cheeks.

Later over dinner we discussed the Custard Surprise with the trail guides. Apparently during the week we visitors had all been sized up to see if we were capable of coping the downhill ride without falling off. Galloping downhill is something one learns to do by every day riding and the technique can’t readily be taught in a riding school. On some weeks the riders weren;t up to it, so a more stately ride was substituted.

Anyway so much depends on the horses.
Andalucian horses are something very different from regular hacks. They feel light and sensitive to ride. They are also very handy and sure footed. Usually the local Spanish men will only ride stallions whilst the ladies will ride saddle on mares. Yet stallions and mares will gather together all dressed up in pretty traditional garb as part of the annual rural village fiestas

In all of the riding centres I have been to, only one other in Wales has ever dared include a downhill gallop,. Mostly the centres are frightened of losing their licence.

But what a buzz.!!!.
     
    03-19-2012, 11:34 PM
  #19
Weanling
Awesome photos!

That's why I love this board. Learn something new every day. I just realized I lean back too far going down hill. I haven't done anything treacherous yet. But I know if I hadn't read this post, I probably would have leaned way too far.

Can someone look at this youtube video and tell me if they are doing it right? This isn't me, just a video I found.




And then when you're done with that video, check out the cajones on this guy! Wow! Now that's a drop.

There's one video I saw once (can't find it now) of trail riders going down a steep hill and their horses actually just slid down on their buts. Anyone know what I'm talking about? Is that something that people only do if it's really steep or is it just something people do?
     
    03-20-2012, 05:11 AM
  #20
Guest
The key thing in coming downhill is to keep in balance with the horse and to sit still and upright with the trees. The horse must be given control of its head but the rider should keep a very delicate touch with the mouth through the reins.
Keep the horse going but slowly, slowly

As for the cowboys, well I'd have looked for another spot along the trails to descend. It is the rider's responsibility not to put the horse in jeopardy of hurting itself , especially falling.
SkyeDawn likes this.
     

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