How do you avoid banging your knees on trees? - Page 2
   

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How do you avoid banging your knees on trees?

This is a discussion on How do you avoid banging your knees on trees? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • To ride a horse, what do you need to wear on your knee?
  • Why wear chinks

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    02-07-2012, 10:38 PM
  #11
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by snootyfox    
Quick and easy method if you are in a pinch and able place your hand on the tree ... with your hand on the trunk give a slight push it will actually shift your horse's weight (by shifting yours) away from the tree. You won't need to shove hard or you will destabilize your horse. Not always possible with low hanging branches but I have used this method for years even in thick stands of trees. A few times doing this and your horse will start to get the idea and balance himself.
Was just going to suggest the same thing. I also use that technique to keep a horse from catching my foot in a corral panel.
     
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    02-07-2012, 10:55 PM
  #12
Showing
I just pull my knee up towards the forks or pommel.
     
    02-07-2012, 11:01 PM
  #13
Green Broke
I wear chinks and brace for impact.

Honestly, before I got chinks/chaps my legs were always bruised up and I would tear my pants up frequently. Now I feel like I have leg armor.

Now ideally I would leg yeild the horse away from the tree, but that would take me paying attention and noticing the obstacle before we actually get to it, in order to set myself up for a leg yield away from the tree. But in actuality I never seem to pay attention to the obstacle ahead of time, hence the leg armor.

I like Painted Horse's idea of pushing off the tree with your leg. I'm going to have to try that.
     
    02-08-2012, 09:56 AM
  #14
Yearling
It's just not trees



As this lady who came along on one of my rides found out.


The Chinks/Chaps help, Will protect my pants, but they don't stop the bruising of my knee
     
    02-08-2012, 10:08 AM
  #15
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
YOu want to turn the horse INTO the tree, not away from it. With direct reining, I would pick up the left rein and tip the nose toward the tree as I am approaching it, put on the left leg and ask the horse to pay attention to that tree and move around it. If he doesnt curve in the body a bit and step more away from it, by golly, I will tip his nose so that he runs smack into it. He'll hit the tree, instead of my knee.

For neck reining, I am not as sure. I don't neck rein, but I suppose you can still reach down and take up the inside rein a bit more than the outside and tip his nose in tward that tree.
Why would you want your horse to drop it's shoulder?

Either style of riding - put the leg on the side of the tree on the horse. Ask the horse to move over. Direct reining you will pick up your right rein and put the left leg on. Neck reining you will lay your reins on the left side of the neck and put your left leg on.
     
    02-08-2012, 11:19 AM
  #16
Banned
I now realize most of you assume trail riding is done only at a walk.

Sticking your feet or hands out at a trot or canter is a sure fire way to end up with broken or dislocated limbs.

I either steer the horse around the obstacle using inside leg/outside rein or leg yield him away by tipping the nose towars the outside and pressing with my outside leg just behind the girth.
     
    02-08-2012, 11:20 AM
  #17
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by mls    
Direct reining you will pick up your right rein and put the left leg on.
A sort of half pass?
     
    02-08-2012, 11:23 AM
  #18
mls
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by mildot    
A sort of half pass?
Yes.

It always baffles me that folks that 'just' trail ride don't understand the importance of simple moves - half pass (side pass for those of us in the western world, turn on forehand, turn on the hind quarters, roll backs, heck - even just backing in an arc!

Being able to isolate and move just one part of any horse is important in any discipline!
     
    02-08-2012, 12:05 PM
  #19
Started
Quote:
I now realize most of you assume trail riding is done only at a walk.

Sticking your feet or hands out at a trot or canter is a sure fire way to end up with broken or dislocated limbs.

I either steer the horse around the obstacle using inside leg/outside rein or leg yield him away by tipping the nose towars the outside and pressing with my outside leg just behind the girth.
Read more: How do you avoid banging your knees on trees?
I think your assumption is wrong. I think most people go all different gaits during a trail ride. However, the scenario that the OP described is definitely one I'd be walking through and it sounds like to me that she was walking.

I personally have used my hand to push off a tree to keep from whacking my knee. I have even had to do it at a running walk. I'd prefer to move my horse over, but in a pinch it works just fine to push off of a tree.
     
    02-08-2012, 12:46 PM
  #20
Weanling
Thank you for all of the replies!

Quote:
However, the scenario that the OP described is definitely one I'd be walking through and it sounds like to me that she was walking.
We were definitely walking. The woods were so thick and the ground was not flat. I can't imagine doing anything faster than a walk.

I did push off a few trees with my hand because I was realizing he wasn't responding to my leg in enough time.

I'm so used to direct reining that I'm finding the neck reining a bit more challenging than I thought.

I do not want to be one of those people that blame the horse...but...lol....I did ask to take this horse on the trail because he's so laid back and I'd never been on this particular trail before. However with his laid-backness he's also not very responsive. He's a horse that kids ride a lot so I don't think he responds to a leg as quickly as another horse would.
I can really see how much I'm going to benefit when I finally get my own horse who knows me and my cues. It's kind of hard riding different horses all the time and those horses have different riders all the time.

But anyway, I'm definitely going to do harder leg and get it more behind the girth. My instinct was, tree coming on left, use left leg, but lay the neck rein on his left side in an attempt to move right, but it wasn't working that well. His front half moved to the right, but his back side was still hitting the tree on the left. I'm going to ask my trainer about this particular horse what's the best way.

At the hunter barn where I rode there were a few horses that moved beautifully off leg pressure. No hands involved. So it's easy to get spoiled off the more push button horses. But being on the trail, I preferred the slow and easy guy this time.

Painted Horse, I'm getting claustrophobia just looking at those pictures! It's beautiful, fascinating and yet scary at the same time! While the trees were close, they were not that close! I imagine that for the horses to go through that, you'd need a horse that loads well and not one that freaks out over tight spaces, lol. Wow.

I actually thought of wearing small knee pads but I don't want to look like I'm going into battle between my helmet and the knee pads. I want to learn how to do it right.

Quote:
It always baffles me that folks that 'just' trail ride don't understand the importance of simple moves
Absolutely 100% agree. This is why I'm taking lessons. I want to know all of this stuff. My trainer told me that trail riders are usually the last group to take lessons. Or they take a few and then buy a horse. No wonder there are so many accidents on the trail. It's amazing there aren't more. I want to know all the moves before I get my own horse. The problem with other trail riders is they don't have training and their "cues" are yelling at the horse, flailing their arms around and freaking out. Then the other horses freak out and it's a mess.

I guess the year of English lessons had a bigger affect on me because I like the idea of using the least amount of physical and verbal cues possible. I like riding with quiet hands and using mostly leg pressure. I don't want to yell at the horse. This particular ride was definitely not a relaxing ride. However, I did learn a lot. It was almost like 10 lessons in one. I can see what I need to work on.
     

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