Going UP steep inclines, and the competitive instinct. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 04-29-2013, 07:50 PM
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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.
From what I understand, it is easier for a horse to run up a hill than it is to trot up a hill. The trot requires more work. Also, many trail riders (around here at least) often like to run up hills - the horse gets used to that. One or both of these, combined with the competitive instinct, may have been a factor.

Think about yourself going up a very steep incline. Walk would be hard. A slow jog probably harder. Once you hit a good speed, it might be hard to slow down. Not to mention the thought of getting the incline over with quicker.
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post #12 of 22 Old 04-29-2013, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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From what I understand, it is easier for a horse to run up a hill than it is to trot up a hill.
Sure, just the way it's easier for me to run/trot up a flight or two of stairs than walk slowly. That wasn't really the issue, other than me not yet being really secure riding at a canter even on the flat. It was the competitive thing, her wanting to get ahead of the other horse, and even trying to shove past because there wasn't room for two. If she'd just maintained a 1-2 length distance (or more) behind the other horse, I would have been... Well, not fine, exactly, but able to cope with the adrenaline rush
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post #13 of 22 Old 04-30-2013, 09:15 PM
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I always thought that going up a hill (not a severely steep one) was a good place to ask for a canter. It is so much more work than cantering on the flat that my horses seem to be less likely to bolt off like crazy horses. It seems easy to stop them because they figure out how hard they are working.

If we are riding in a group, we usually just go pretty slow so that nobody's horse gets spooked. When I take beginners riding, and they mostly get to walk and maybe trot a little bit.

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post #14 of 22 Old 04-30-2013, 09:27 PM
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Being from Montana and hearing "steep slop" I might be thinking a little steeper the what you are talking. But for me, I make my horse walk up hill and that is the only speed for hills as long as there is a control problem. If you can't keep them at and walk you should not be asking for a trot or a lope. I have re-trained a few horses that like to lope up hills its a real pain. Teach them to walk its good for them.
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post #15 of 22 Old 04-30-2013, 09:32 PM
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Bob, I agree. If you can't control the horse at faster speeds, you need to slow down. I like to do a lot of walking on trails until a horse is really, really dead broke.

Georgia hills and Montana hills are very different animals.......

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post #16 of 22 Old 04-30-2013, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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I always thought that going up a hill (not a severely steep one) was a good place to ask for a canter. It is so much more work than cantering on the flat that my horses seem to be less likely to bolt off like crazy horses. It seems easy to stop them because they figure out how hard they are working.
Sure, and we do canter up fairly gradual slopes that are wide (like a dirt road) and with good footing. Say the sort of road that you'd be comfortable driving a 2WD pickup on. This was the kind of slope where you'd need 4WD in low range.
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post #17 of 22 Old 05-01-2013, 09:52 AM
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Sure, and we do canter up fairly gradual slopes that are wide (like a dirt road) and with good footing. Say the sort of road that you'd be comfortable driving a 2WD pickup on. This was the kind of slope where you'd need 4WD in low range.
If it is a steep place I will walk. I am way too chicken hearted to do otherwise. I not only worry for my own safety, but I sure don't want to get my horse hurt. Not only do I like her, but I can't really afford to replace her so I have to take special care of her.

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post #18 of 22 Old 05-01-2013, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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I can certainly understand that, though my paranoia is more about holes lurking in flatter ground... But I ride with someone who thinks those slopes are normal (and there are lots of them hereabouts), so it's a case of we're out riding and she casually heads up/down something, ignoring the screams coming from behind her
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post #19 of 22 Old 05-02-2013, 10:38 PM
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I can certainly understand that, though my paranoia is more about holes lurking in flatter ground... But I ride with someone who thinks those slopes are normal (and there are lots of them hereabouts), so it's a case of we're out riding and she casually heads up/down something, ignoring the screams coming from behind her
This is your entire problem. Choose people to ride with who will not put you in such a position. I have no tolerance for these kind of riders. They just throw gas on the fire. Don't make light of it. Tell her what you need or don't ride with her.
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post #20 of 22 Old 05-03-2013, 01:14 PM
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I prefer to not run up hills. If you are riding with someone it's best if your horse does not make the assumption that a hill means speed. I have no problem with them changing the walking speed, which ours seem to do on a steeper incline, but not break out of a walk. It can be their power-drive walk but it's still a walk!

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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