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Trainer Jason Irwin offers tips for teaching your horse how to travel carefully down a steep trail, slow and steady to keep you both safe.
By: Jason Irwin | July 4, 2019
The safest way to ride down a steep trail is slow and steady. The faster your horse goes down a steep trail, the more his weight is on his front end. The problem with that is if he trips and his weight is already on his front, he’s pretty likely to stumble or possibly fall. If he goes slower, his weight is probably going to be on his back end, which means he’ll be less likely to stumble, and if he does there’s a much better chance that he’ll easily recover from it.
To get your horse going downhill slow, start with trails that aren’t very steep. Ride down small hills and stop him several times before you get to the bottom. This will cause him to think of going down hills as a time to go slow. If you feel him start to rush, stop immediately and back him up a few steps. Backing up a hill is a lot of work for a horse, so this is a mild reprimand for rushing and it also really causes him to use his hind end...
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