Originally Posted by smrobs
. My horses are funny and it may not be the best way to do it but if we are going down a VERY steep slope where their butts are dragging the ground, most of mine will turn sideways and sidepass down the hill.
No way I would want my horse sideways on a very steep slope. You are asking for the horse to slip sideways and land on your leg.
Keep the horse striaght, leave the head alone so he can balance himself and I sit forward, putting my weight on his front end.
Horses are not great on going downhill since the steep slope puts their hind legs almost parallel to the hill and they have no traction behind.
I sit forward so my weight is on his braced front legs, the legs with the most traction and leave his hindend to sort of ski down the hill.
If you sit back he might just have his hind end skate out from under him and he sits down.
I negotiate very steep muddy slopes down into a swamp alot and sometimes they look unpassable but by sitting forward, keeping my weight forward, leaving his head alone and keeping him pointed straight down we traverse the hills without incident.
My down hills are steep washouts , steep sided and I keep him in the Vee. I do encounter small 3 foot waterfalls sometimes cut into the washout by a recent rain and then he has to negotiate this drop at the same time as he is going down. Like a big cat he drops his hindend until it is sitting on the bank and his front legs drop over the waterfall. Really neat to be watching.