Riding/jumping up a bank? - Page 2

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Riding/jumping up a bank?

This is a discussion on Riding/jumping up a bank? within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    12-04-2010, 05:05 PM
Wally - there is one issue that worries me and that is your Lacey is 25 years old, which is a good age for a horse.

When under saddle, jumping three foot up onto a bank without the help of momentum is quite a strain - especially if the rider has not yet learned how to make it easy for the horse. The stress is significant on the ligaments and the joints. I’d be even more worried about her dropping down 3 feet off the bank.

Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would think twice about taking that bank. I’d go the long way round. As a minimum I’d dismount. It is easier to teach her to stand still than it is to ask her at this stage of her life to jump steep banks. But you know this already and what’s more you know your horse far better than anyone else.

The name of the game now for you is to keep her fit for riding for another five years - maybe even more. So the quality of her old age rests with your decisions about what you ask her to do. Your call Wally.
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    12-05-2010, 12:26 PM

We go over these size of ledges and banks all the time. It's just part of riding in the desert. My horses have learned to approach and put front feet and then launch the rear end up and over. We do it in western saddles all the time

This rider got off before going over this ledge. ( I rode my horse over it) But you can see the riders head is lower than the horses feet. And when we return to have to go up and over this same spot

The 2nd rider in this photo just came up on over a 3' rock ledge. See how much lower the 3rd horse is. It's a pure step up, horses rock back and launch up.

Another hill we are dropping off, But we have to climb up the same hill at times. This isn't a ledge, but steep incline.

This photo shows some riders leading their horses up over a 4' ledge. The mule riders that were the leaders on this ride told all the horse people to lead their horse but they insisted their mules were better and could jump this ledge. A lot of horse people stayed in their saddles and rode up and over this ledge. Me included.

The point being, If your horse is confident to go up and over it. You just need to learn to sit the event comfortable and let your horse do what comes naturally.
    12-05-2010, 12:34 PM
A couple more pictures showing horses going over ledges.

I apologize that they all show us coming down over vs up over. It just seems that the only photos I have came on the downhill side. But we have to climb up and over these same spots on the return legs of our trips.

You can see this rider is not even thinking about his horse crossing the ledge. But rather looking out enjoying the scenry, the lady behind him is a little more focused on getting her horse over the ledge.

This rider waved his arm a little to keep his balance and his horse bounced over these rocks.

I can't tell you how many rivers I forded where I had to walk the horse up to the rivers bank and step off 3' banks into the water. Same thing on the far side as we exit the river, A 3' bank we have to jump up to get out of the water.
    12-05-2010, 01:02 PM

It strikes me, after looking at those photos of all that magnificent scenery I draw the short straw by being born in Britain.

OK, so you've got no pubs to call into for a glass of wine, but I suppose I could always take a flask and a packet of sandwiches in the saddle bag.

What a lovely picture you have painted. Thank you for brightening up my day.

    12-05-2010, 01:26 PM
My pleasure. Always happy to share photos of what I enjoy.

I understand it's hard for folks who have never seen this part of the world to understand. As we sort back through history and journals and read about what cowboys and outlaws did to traverse this wild land, my trail rides seem very feeble in comparison.

As I watch the wild mustangs run across this land, I develop a new appreciation for what a horse can do. There is no hestantcy or slowing down, They cross natural obsticles at full speed.

The area of the american west is so vast. There is no way any group can provide groomed and maintained trails over all this area. Nor do we want that. We expect our horses to cross natural trail obsticles, what ever they might be.

Sometimes we have to get off our horses to help them
    12-05-2010, 01:28 PM
Looking at those photos of a desert in UTAH, I have to say we live in two different worlds. I'd love to have a go at what you guys are doing there.
Our riding here on this little island is just so different. But of course as the scenery is different so is the method of riding.

Here it is narrow country lanes barely 10 feet wide shared by cars, walkers, dogs and horses. The lanes lead up to a forest which has never been any thing else but a forest and is so recorded for at least two thousand years.
The peasants may have thinned it down a couple of times but it has then re grown.

The land is green - all the year round. It is wet for most of the year, the temperatures barely drop below -2 deg C and the sun comes out in the summer but rarely goes above 28 deg C You are never more than two miles from houses and a village or two. There are too many people.

The Normans - you know William the Conquerer and all that - chased wild boar through these woods and 1000 years before them, the Romans dressed in shiney armour hunted the local Welsh heathens - who back in those days were called Silurians.

The biggest predator locally apart from man is a fox. The biggest bird is a buzzard or a sparrow hawk. There are no poisonous snakes, insects or reptiles. In the spring the colours of the flowers would make Van Gogh jealous, because he never saw them. Herds of deer run wild in the forest and they have no predator - except the occasional gamekeeper.

The horse is an Irish Draught cross Connemara who was born on the windy wet, Atlantic washed corner of Ireland. She is as hardy as they come in cold or wet weather. She'd be lost on those stoney trails However she can go like a rocket, jump like a stag and give a good show in an old fashioned classical dressage arena.

The important thing is that the horse must stand perfectly still as a car passes her - barely a few inches away on a narrow country lane bordered by steep banks whilst a helicopter flies low overhead.

I'll swop your cowboy's hat for my riding hat any day but I wonder how you'll get on with my pesky small English saddle.

Maybe we should do a swop for a while!

    12-05-2010, 03:51 PM
I probably ought to swap you for a couples of days of english riding for a couple of days of western.

My expereince with Europeans has been that they are usually overwhelmed with the space and vastness of the west. I know I get a little claustrophibic just being on the east coast of america.

This young girl was from Germany. She came over and stayed with us for 6 weeks. We made sure she got a couple horse rides in the mountains. Hopefully she took homes great memories

My standard joke to eastern folks. Is that I give directions in "Can Sees"
As in Drive south as far as you can see, Then drive as far south as you can see from that point, Then make a left up the canyon. Around here, it's pretty easy to 40-50 miles. So two "Can Sees" equals about 100 miles

    12-05-2010, 04:30 PM
Wow, what beautiful country. I think even I would be nervous riding out there, not because I would doubt my horse's ability to keep me safe, but I am horribly afraid of heights LOL.
    12-05-2010, 06:47 PM
Painted Horse: those pictures are wonderful!!! Being on the east coast, our terrain is very different...but I love to ride the east coast version of those types of trails! Sometimes non-trails, too, bushwacking can be fun! Wish I had some pictures to show the east coast version and compare....quite the difference! I'm pretty sure my horse is a mountain goat in disguise, she'd do well out there.
    12-05-2010, 06:56 PM
I have tried to put on this thread some photos of riding in Britain - or rather Wales where I live, but it seems I need the help of a young pair of computer competent fingers. However if you look in each of the picture albums on my CP you'll see three pictures of riding hereabouts in South Wales and over in the Brecon Beacons. The Cambrian mountains is one of the few areas of Britain which have not been trampled on over the centuries by hordes of city dwellers.

Two of the horses in my life, especially the Palomino, were schooled to ride Western - even if I did cheat by using an English bridle set fitted with a snaffle bit.

In the 80s I lived in Houston for a bit, I travelled a lot to Florida, New Jersey and Nrth Carolina and I flew over to California several times. I even managed to ride a horse in a dude ranch a couple of times. But I never got to Utah. It seems I missed some spectacular scenery. The US is such a big place for we Europeans to visualize. Of course you need to have a horse to appreciate it.

But as you will know, you need to know horses to appreciate a lot of things in this life.


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