Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northern Nevada
Going UP steep inclines, and the competitive instinct.
OK, to complement the thread on downhills, here's one about uphills.
Last week my friend & I rode a few miles and down to a creek, the last bit being a couple of hundred yards of fairly steep 4WD track with a couple of bends. As we leave, my friend goes ahead, trotting up the slope. I held Ellie back to give some room, then started to follow, expecting to hold the same pace and distance. Well, Ellie turns into a racehorse, goes into a canter, and tries to catch & pass the other horse (on a track where there really wasn't enough room). Got her stopped about halfway up, on a flat part, but she was so impatient to go that she was starting to toss her head & crow-hop. (So I got off, held her back until the others reached the top, then jogged up beside her.)
So who messed up here, me or Ellie? Or both of us? And what can I do to correct it? Is it just my inexperience, not yet being comfortable cantering on anything but flat stretches? This was probably the steepest stretch of any length that I've yet ridden, and the only comparable one was a straight shot, and wide enough for 3-4 horses.