"Rushing down hills"
 
 

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"Rushing down hills"

This is a discussion on "Rushing down hills" within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Riding horse sdown hills
  • Show riders on horseback rushing down a hill

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  • 1 Post By DancingArabian
  • 1 Post By tinyliny

 
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    09-15-2013, 03:20 PM
  #1
Foal
"Rushing down hills"

I have a 15 year old Standardbred mare. I got her in late July from the standardbred retirement foundation. She has a dressage background and from what I can tell she hadn't been ridden on the trails much. My mom and I try and go out on the trails at least twice a week and she's always very good and loves every minute of it. We live in a very "hilly" area so it's not uncommon for us to go up an down hills when riding. Like I said, she is very good on trails except for one exception, she likes to rush down hills. If I use a lot of contact to prevent her from hurrying she will immediately leg yield to the right or left at the same speed to compensate for the pressure on her mouth. If I use a little contact she'll just barrel through all the half halts and race to the bottom of the hill. I'm really not sure what to do. I can handle her speed down a hill but I want to stop the behavior because I want her to be safe and I want other people to be comfortable riding her. Does anyone have any advice?
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    09-15-2013, 09:40 PM
  #2
Weanling
Is the trail wide enough to turn her, make it like a switchback instead of straight down? You don't want to do that if it is too steep either. The other thing is she may not have enough muscle yet to control her speed going down.
     
    09-15-2013, 10:52 PM
  #3
Yearling
Time and more time..... doing hill work, trying to tackle smaller hills first.
     
    09-16-2013, 12:21 AM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khill7795    
I have a 15 year old Standardbred mare. I got her in late July from the standardbred retirement foundation. She has a dressage background and from what I can tell she hadn't been ridden on the trails much. My mom and I try and go out on the trails at least twice a week and she's always very good and loves every minute of it. We live in a very "hilly" area so it's not uncommon for us to go up an down hills when riding. Like I said, she is very good on trails except for one exception, she likes to rush down hills. If I use a lot of contact to prevent her from hurrying she will immediately leg yield to the right or left at the same speed to compensate for the pressure on her mouth. If I use a little contact she'll just barrel through all the half halts and race to the bottom of the hill. I'm really not sure what to do. I can handle her speed down a hill but I want to stop the behavior because I want her to be safe and I want other people to be comfortable riding her. Does anyone have any advice?
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One thing you could do is half halts. If those don't work, another one, which I tend to do a lot more- is to actually stop the horse on the trail. Making her stop repeatedly will also teach her to get her butt under her, so she can go down it more controlled which means more safely, and also more slowly.
So walk.... walk... stop, stand a few seconds... ask for a quiet walk, go about 20 feet, stop again. Even back up a bit, if is safe. My mare lived on flat ground till she was 3 and a half, then we moved to nothing but hills, it took a bit, but she is learning it wonderfully!
You could even walk with her on the trails, if it is wide enough to be safe, and you feel comfortable with it. I.E. She doesn't try to rush past you. It is supposed to be hard enough for them to go straight down a hill, much less with a rider on their back. And be sure to lean back- when I forget, my mare spazzes and rushes...
Good luck and have fun with her. :)
     
    09-19-2013, 09:32 PM
  #5
Weanling
Does she barrel down the hills when she is in the lead and following your mother's horse?

My mare only tries to rush if following another horse, when she is leading she takes more time.

Depending on how your mothers horse is what about having her stop in a safe place part way down the hill so it forces your horse to be in control.
     
    09-19-2013, 11:08 PM
  #6
Trained
Maybe have her checked by a vet. Sometimes future bigger issues start showing up with problems going downhill.
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franknbeans likes this.
     
    09-20-2013, 01:58 AM
  #7
Super Moderator
I would guess it's a matter of struggling with her balance and lack of the correct muscles. Was she on the track? And did she pace or trot? (I am not so familiar with Standardbreds. We don't have them much around here)

Anyway, start by teaching her to stop and back up on the flat. Do it a lot and make sure she is not leaning forward but is actually backing on her own accord, lifting her front feet up and not having you drag her back. Don't release on the back up until she lifts from her shoulders and comes OFF the bit, (not behind the bit).

However, start this slowly, not expecting perfection all at once, and backing only a few steps. Once she can back up well on the flat, do the stopping on the downhill (like someone else said) and then add a step of back up after she has stopped. Backing up a hill will really build the abdominal muslces.

Walking or trotting over cavaletti will also help with that.
GracielaGata likes this.
     

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