Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Horse Training - Step Up, Step Down - the Texas Two Step

Continuing with preparing your horse for the trail, you should be comfortable with riding your horse up hill and down hill. There are a few considerations to be safe.

At any point, do not be afraid or ashamed of grabbing your saddle horn or reaching around and grabbing the cantle. When going up hill you need to be leaning just a little bit forward to maintain your balance, but not too much as to put alot of your weight on the horse's front end, which carries most his weight anyway. If you lean backwards, the momentum of the horse going up hill may unseat you. This is especially true if the obstacles requires a big step up, as you'll see in the videos below.

Same considerations for on the flat ground as far as staying out of your horse's mouth if you are using or bit, or otherwise ensure you give your horse his head. if you pull of slack on the reins or worse yet bull back on his head or mouth, you are giving him conflicting signals and he won't be able to see the ground. In many cases the horse will transfer some weight to the rear end and push off with the rear end causing a sudden jolt forward.

Going down hill is another matter all together. You have the balance giving the horse his head so he can see the down hill and place his feet, but you also want to rate (control) his speed. You ned to be leaning alittle bit back and this is probably the best time to brace yourself by holding onto the cantle. Beware of your horse wanting to trot or lope out of the hill when he gets to the bottom.

Hope this helps you work with your horse and get him trail ready and safe.

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