The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2007
    Posts
    762

    Default Horse doesn't like going downhill

    My horse is not comfortable going down hills. On the flat and uphills, she is perfectly comfy, moves right out, does all her dressage exercises, etc. But going downhill, she sort of hesitates at each step and then just sort of flops and slops down the hill. The steeper the descent, the worse. Sometimes if I'm leading her straight down a hill, she'll just stop, but if we go diagonally, so it's not such a steep grade, that's better (grudgingly). I'm talking rolling hills, not cliffs or very steep grades. It's the same whether she's under saddle or bareback, with a rider or no rider. She has seen the chiropractor, her saddle fits well, and her hoof angles look good (she's barefoot and has been for years). It's better if I get her collected and have her keep herself together and carry more weight on her hind legs, but, she doesn't seem to be learning to choose this technique herself (and she's 23; she should have gotten it by now).

    If she's just being lazy and doesn't want to collect and balance, that's one thing. If it's a sign of some back or leg issue, that's another. Any advice?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2012
    Posts
    305

    Default

    stifle. At least thats the problem with mine (we think.....vet visits and x-rays later, maybe not but thats another post)

    Mine hesitates, chomps the bit, swishes tail, pins ears, and then rushes down the hill to get it over with. I always take her at a diagonally or get off if needed.

    Flops and slops is a great way to put it. Describes my mare to a T.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2010
    Posts
    681

    Default Problem

    I think you should investigate this. I don't want to speculate about the cause, but I think you should suspect pain somewhere.
    Pkn



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
    Posts
    2,200

    Default

    Look into hoof issues. Mine has some mild heel pain at times (long story), and depending on how good he's going, he takes baby steps down hill and is very "short" when I ask him to stride out.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2009
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    861

    Default

    I also suggest getting her checked out. My horse can be like this when his hind end needs to be built up--he is very straight through his hind end so his stifles are weak especially when he is not 100% built up. He was also worse about going down hills when he had some suspensory issues several years ago.

    Hoping it's nothing serious with your mare but this describes my horse's behavior very well in the above situations.
    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2004
    Posts
    999

    Default

    Mine started wringing her neck and tail swishing...turned out it was the first outward sign of ulcers.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2001
    Location
    North Central Texas
    Posts
    413

    Default

    Your horse is old -- the stifle is probably getting creaky and the ligaments don't stretch like they used to.

    If you give her bute, does she still act cranky?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    400

    Default

    Horses sometimes need to learn how to go downhill.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2012
    Posts
    210

    Default

    At 23 I would think she knows how to go downhill, it's just uncomfortable. I agree with Gracie, maybe with her age her joints just aren't as lubricated as they used to be and it's simply not comfortable to go downhill. Is she on only joint supplement?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    703

    Default

    I had a horse with stifle issues, and both my vet and chiropacter told me that if my horse stopped going downhill, or started swinging his butt of to the side to go downhill, it was a sign his stifle problems were flaring up again.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2010
    Posts
    545

    Default

    I can relate to this. Try rideing down hill bare back, see if it is a saddle issue.
    Charlie Piccione
    Natural Performance Hoof Care



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 2, 2004
    Location
    Bluffton, SC
    Posts
    3,124

    Default

    I would definitely suspect pain as her deterrent. 23 is a senior horse and it is very likely that her joints are sore, and her soft tissues (tendons, ligaments, and muscles) are not as strong as they used to be. She feels off balance and so she doesn't want to go down a hill and risk really getting off balance. She's not throwing a tantrum and refusing, she just wants to be able to control how she is going down.

    I would let her go down hills however she finds it comfortable... not sure what the big deal is. If you need to zig-zag down the hill and then get back to trotting at the bottom, then let her do that. She's 23 and needs you to cut her some slack IMHO
    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2007
    Posts
    762

    Default

    Thanks, all! She does get IV Hytril and is on oral supplements, for whatever they might be worth. Maybe it is time to look into some joint injections if that will make her comfier. She is an Arab and has no "empty" on her fuel gauge, so I want her to be able to continue to enjoy her genetic stamina.

    Finders, bless your heart. The big deal is that if my horse is hesitating on downhills because she is in pain, and if I can do anything to correct whatever is causing her the pain, I'm going to do it. As you are someone who reads the entire post, I am not sure how I gave you the impression that I need her to trot down the hill, but regardless, yes, you are absolutely right, she absolutely can and may zig-zag down the hill and get back to trotting at the bottom.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
    Posts
    6,308

    Default

    My horse was very similar. Worked him up, and he had moderately arthritic hocks. Injections helped



Similar Threads

  1. How to fit a saddle to a downhill horse
    By spacytracy in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Mar. 2, 2012, 06:35 PM
  2. Downhill/Forehandy horse- help?
    By Gnomeland in forum Off Course
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Jun. 22, 2011, 10:20 AM
  3. Downhill horse- on the forehand at the canter
    By Crown Royal in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Mar. 2, 2011, 03:44 PM
  4. Talk about a downhill horse!
    By dmalbone in forum Off Course
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: May. 17, 2010, 02:00 PM
  5. My horse wont go downhill!
    By ThatGirlTina in forum Endurance and Trail Riding
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: May. 4, 2010, 01:25 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •