How do you avoid banging your knees on trees? - Page 6 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #51 of 58 Old 02-11-2012, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 294
• Horses: 0
Mildot, I'm going to try that next time we go out. I had to think about it for a second but I get what you are saying about a clockwise turn.

Barry yes my trainer mentioned moving your butt. Sometimes I just have a hard time thinking about my butt, legs and hands and getting the right movement with all of them at the same time. I can do it on good terrain. It's when things get a little rougher that it's harder, lol.

Paintedhorse thanks for the info. So the Aspens like the higher elevation. No wonder we don't see them here. We have birch trees that are white but the Aspens are prettier I think.
Oh to have low humidity all year sounds like Heaven! You live on the east coast your whole life and it's easy to assume that everybody has muggy days and mosquitoes all summer. You west coasters must come on the east coast and feel like you're breathing through a wet towel!
Heelsdown is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #52 of 58 Old 02-12-2012, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Utah
Posts: 1,298
• Horses: 4
Mildot, Since you want to come riding out west. I'm starting to plan my springtime rides. (getting a bad case of cabin fever now) I like exploring the Red Rock country of Southern Utah in the spring. Might go down and join these folks for a ride just to learn some new trails. These guys are a little excessive in the obsticles, ( at least on their videos) If there is an easy way around, I don't ask my horses to drop over the tough spots. But sometimes there is no easy way around

Usually not worried about banging knees into trees but rather looking out for rocks
Painted Horse is offline  
post #53 of 58 Old 02-12-2012, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,689
• Horses: 0
You guys are as crazy as eventers LOL
mildot is offline  
post #54 of 58 Old 02-18-2012, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ohio USA
Posts: 441
• Horses: 2
When it comes to avoiding banging knees on trees - part of the "trick" is just learning to plan your route and anticipate your horse's movement. I know some stinker-brained horses that intentionally scrape their riders against every tree and low-hanging branch.

It makes for a long, irritating trail ride with a group of people when one of them is constantly getting bumped into stuff. . .especially when they are the only one in the group having that problem, and the horse they're riding is no wider than any other horse.

Many of the local trails in this area have some serious thorn and honeysuckle overgrowth, and I do have my old schooling chaps from my English arena-riding days that come in VERY handy for that type of riding. They won't stop a bruise if you have a hard knock into a tree trunk, but they do keep the thorny stuff from tearing my jeans.

As far as speed on trails, my black TWH is a nimble little thing. He will gait and canter through the trees without missing a beat and without putting my knees in any danger. The reins may be used to point the direction I want him to go, but my legs are what I use to be sure that the rest of his body is following.

We save "dog-walk" speed for those sections of trail where I want my horse to really focus on where he is placing his feet (like descending a slope with a lot of smooth, flat rock or large round rocks) or if it's very muddy or slick (which it almost always is on the trails in this part of Ohio).

"Parelli horsemanship is just like painting by the numbers. You need absolutely no skill. You just put this color here and this color there, and when you're done, you have ... a mess no one wants." mp
Jolly Badger is offline  
post #55 of 58 Old 02-18-2012, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 5,942
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by Heelsdown View Post
Last week we were out on a trail that wasn't much of a trail. The regular trail was horribly muddy and flooded in spots so we did a trail that wasn't all that blazed.

In some spots the trees were a couple of inches away on each side of me and I kept bumping them, but thankfully not that hard.

So say a tree is coming up closer on my left side and I want to avoid hitting my knee, I know I'm going to give pressure with my left leg/foot.
If I'm riding with two hands using English type reins, I always pulled with my left hand, kind of bending the horse's head to me and the combo of left leg, left rein helped me avoid the tree.

But last week I had split reins that were in a knot and I was neck reining. I'm still not good at this. After a year of English, both of my hands want to do something. What would be the best way to turn a horse away from a tree with this type of rein?

Same scenario, tree is coming up on my left.
1. Never get your horse and yourself between two trees (or rocks) that you know you can't fit thru. Even if the "trail" is muddy, find another, more exciting by-pass that nobody's been on yet.

If the rider is about to get skinned by a tree, someone please tell me what's wrong with very quickly getting your foot out of the stirrup, pulling your knee up and bending your leg?

If a low hanging branch is involved --- I have owned seven Keeper Horses in my lifetime and schooled a lot more on the trails. There isn't one of them that didn't (or doesn't) know to put their head down when I gently press on the top of their neck. If the branch is really low, I will lay down on the side of the horse and under we go.

2. My apologies to the proper rider but I am sorry -- "Heels down, back straight, shoulders square" goes right out the window on a trail unless you're hacking down a horse interstate, a/k/a some Metro park with exquistely groomed trails.

Smelling the roses and staying on the horse while only looking reasonably professional is the name of the game.

3. All my horses neck rein - with just a flick of a pinky finger. They know leg cues and seat cues to negotiate around tight tree turns or thru rocks that most people wouldn't walk their dogs thru.

If your hands are getting in your own way, put a mitten on one hand so you can't use two hands as easily. My knee-jerk reply was really going to be tape one hand behind your back in the arena or roundpen until you've got neck reining with one hand down pat but, the more timid folks might find that a bit extreme - lol lol

All my horses (and the folks I ride with) got all their schooling out on the trail - there are some things in trail riding life that neither the rider nor the horse are going to learn on a lunge line in a round pen.

I have taken horses that weren't even sure what "whoa, go or back" meant and put them on the tail end of an organized weekend ride. By Sunday night they were pros at knowing what needed to be done.

Someone came to buy a saddle from me; he was an experienced rider so I let him ride the horse the saddle fit. He could not believe how quick and responsive Joker was to the reins. Wanted to know what training methods were used on Joker.

I quietly commented the folks I bought him from train exactly like I do -- get them in the woods and have at it.

Horse should know "whoa, go, back up" and some neck reining. For my part if they're green on all that stuff, that's ok, I'll teach them on the trail. I am not a fan of "plow driving" unless I have a team hitched.

All a horse is needs to have down pat are those three things to get started trail riding. While the rest is up to the rider, it does do a world of good if one has the privlege of taking a very seasoned trail horse AND rider along to make the green horse more comfortable and willing

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 02-18-2012 at 01:03 PM.
walkinthewalk is online now  
post #56 of 58 Old 02-18-2012, 09:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,689
• Horses: 0
The concept of using reins to drive a horse is foreign to me. My legs and my shoulders do the driving. My hands do the fine tuning.

And for the record, I do ride in wooded trails with narrow sections in addition to arenas.
mildot is offline  
post #57 of 58 Old 02-19-2012, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 5,942
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by mildot View Post
The concept of using reins to drive a horse is foreign to me. My hands do the fine tuning.

And for the record, I do ride in wooded trails with narrow sections in addition to arenas.
If your hands do the fine tuning, you are using your reins to tell the horse to move a little bit this way or that way. I know a lot of die hard trail riders that go out in the wilderness and make their own trails. I have never seen any of them direct rein a horse. All their horses have been fine tuned in the art of neck reining and to respond "five seconds ago" if there's a reason for it. Sometimes that reason can be laying 30 feet ahead on the trail, shaking its rattles at you; it's pretty important for your horse to be a "Reiner" in those critical moments of escape

If you have ridden your horse in areas where it literally has to climb a rock or literally has had to sit on its butt and "walk" itself downhill, then dig so hard to get up the other side, you hope the breast strap keeping the saddle in place holds, then I tip my hat to you

I rode bareback when I did all that and I still ride bareback. I have no idea if I use shoulder cues because I've been at it for so long. I know my neck reining horses perform the task at hand with very little visible interference from me. I've got one hand free to do nothing, tap the horse's butt if need be, or eat after we survived all that sliding and digging.

At least they used to respond that way. My horses are 17, 18, 24, & 26. We are retired from all that stuff and have gotten lazy and sloppy; we've earned that right
walkinthewalk is online now  
post #58 of 58 Old 02-19-2012, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,689
• Horses: 0
Neck reining is neither faster nor superior to direct and indirect reining. It's just different.
mildot is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Strange problem - Banging feet on ankles CecilliaB Horse Health 5 12-07-2011 09:04 PM
GAS COLIC~how to avoid? RoxanneElizabeth Horse Health 5 10-23-2011 06:49 PM
Bench knees or offset knees horseluver250 Horse Health 1 08-22-2010 02:51 AM
Should I avoid bran? Jordan S Horse Nutrition 14 05-07-2010 04:40 PM
Avoid getting my time wasted appylover31803 Horse Talk 14 05-30-2009 06:56 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome