My horse is bad with hills- what do I do? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-08-2014, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Delta Dawn is my girl View Post
Thanks for your replies everyone! I will look into letting her zig zag down the hill more than going straight. I'm pretty sure the saddle fits her well (stock saddle) I would like to give her more rein to do it, but she tries to trot off, so I hae to hold her back all the time when going down it. Can I give her more rein or do you think she would take advantage?

if she tries to trot, stop her, back her up a step, then offer her to walk on a relatively loose rein.
when I go downhill, I don't give the horse a drooping loose rein. I have the rein in a position where if I feel the hrose is allowing himself to fall forward on his front too much, I "encourage" him to rock back a bit and rebalance, almost like a half-halt. however, I ride with a very much following hand, so that IF he needs to lower his head, or raise it, suddenly to keep his balance, I do not bop him in the mouth.

He can find his own balance going down the hill, but he must be carrying us both , not just falling forward. if he can stop partway down the hill, this is a test of his balance. I would not, however, do this on a really steep hill. in such a case I would start him down the hill balanced, give him all the rein he needs and allow him to move as is necessary to get down and stay out of his way.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-09-2014, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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ok, thanks heaps evryone! :)
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-10-2014, 10:14 AM
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How do you sit going down the hill? Are you helping her keep her balance by sitting back on your butt in the saddle rather than leaning forward?

If its a steep hill make a point to actually put your feet a bit forward and be sure to lean back on your butt.

I was riding with a lady the other day and I noticed going downhill she was holding her reins way too tight and leaning forward, both were causing her horse to stumble.
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-10-2014, 10:21 AM
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Agree, she wasn't trying to be bad she was trying to tell you something. Sounds like you've had plenty of good advice!

Be careful if asking her to do something "extreme" and try to think things through from her end. Also her being an eventer doesn't necessarily mean much. The courses are designed to be safe and designed for the horse to run through.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-10-2014, 10:44 AM
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It is common for a horse to want to run the lower part of the hill as it's an escape from it's discomfort. A horse going down a steep hill is at a disadvantage should a predator show up. This is an old instinct, so they like to hit the bottom running. By riding switchbacks the horse has a good view all around and will be more relaxed.



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post #16 of 16 Old 09-10-2014, 12:18 PM
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there's steep and then there's very steep.....for very steep I choose to have him keep his head up (but not on a short rein--he does need his head and neck for balance),to cause or encourage him to lower his rump and 'scootch' down the hill to reduce the risk of a fall from his head being too low and/or him being too heavy on the forehand while his rump is up in normal position going down the hill. It's rare, though, even here in hilly Middle Tn. to be on a hill THAT steep, and if at all possible, I go zig-zag rather than straight down.

Stay safe!
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