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Re: [RC] getting the horse fit - Heidi Smith

on 2/4/03 7:30 AM, Barbara McCrary at bigcreekranch@xxxxxxxxxx wrote:

Melanie, I'm conditioning a 6 1/2 year old Arab right now.  He was a
flat-lander in his previous home.  Young horses have trouble coming
downhill, because it takes a lot of strength in the hindquarters to make a
smooth and relaxed descent.  It takes months, perhaps years if the horse
started on the trail at, say, 4 years old.  As I remember from trail
training several young Arabs over the years that a horse is nearly 7
he is a GOOD downhill horse (unless, I suppose, he was raised on hills).

Actually, a lot of it is genetics and conformation.  I've dealt with entire
families that, even when not raised on hills, can go downhill smoothly and
correctly (and at a working trot or faster!) as soon as they've had enough
time under saddle (a handful of rides) to have adjusted to balancing with a


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