*Barrel Racers ! * I need some good exercises ! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 03-11-2012, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Talking *Barrel Racers ! * I need some good exercises !

Im training my horse for show season. I want him to be ready to run when the time comes. Just wanted to know if anyone had some good exercises for us? Just so I can do something different everyday. He has the pattern down pat walk trot canter, but he does cut the barrels close , I can't seem to find the right size pocket for him, he always anticipates the turn. I also would like to add some speed.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-11-2012, 11:41 PM
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Do different patterns, like coming at the pattern from all sides, taking both the left and the right barrel first, trail riding, lots of long trotting and serpentines...

When he anticipates the turn, you can feel it, right? Stop him and be like, "nope! Just kidding" and lope a circle around the inside of the pattern and start over. Also, when trotting the pattern, make your turns super wide, so it's just a biiiig figure 8 between barrels and same when your loping. If he already knows the name of the game, it will keep him from shouldering barrels.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-12-2012, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you I deffinatley will, but can you tell me exactly what a serpentine is ? A lot of people say to do them but I've always felt silly asking what it was :X
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-12-2012, 12:13 AM
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Heheh... just S shaped curves I guess. Pretty much how it sounds. I've found getting into a nice trot and just swerving EVERYWHERE keeps them nice and supple and on their toes.

"all I ever dreamt about was makin' it; they ain't giving it, I'm taking it"
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-12-2012, 12:13 AM
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You basically make big 's' shapes. So you make loops and if you have an arena you'll have an easier time trying to make them look the same.

Here is a picture of the pattern:

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post #6 of 12 Old 03-12-2012, 12:16 AM
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^^ What she said.

"all I ever dreamt about was makin' it; they ain't giving it, I'm taking it"
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-12-2012, 12:16 AM
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Hi and welcome!

There are already many threads about the exercises and drills you can do with your barrel horse. I'm sure you can look around and find a few exercises you can do with your horse..There are also many drills you can do at the different levels of experience..

barrel tips

Keep him from getting bored?

What drills do you do?

Barrel Racing Training tips please (:

When he is starting to expect your turns and won't set up for his pocket correctly go past the barrel..Just keep trotting right by it, don't let him turn it. After you've went past the barrel turn the opposite way and continue to the next barrel, go past it too and turn away from it..Do this a few times throughout the whole pattern and he will get used to having to listen to you instead of following repetition. After you've done this a few times I would go back through the pattern at a walk or trot and make wide turns around the barrel while keeping him rounded and collected..When doing these different drills and exercises you constantly want to keep him on his toes, always do something different and not the same thing over and over again, that's what causes him to expect the turns and other things..When doing your turning drills I would also bring other objects into play, not just barrels..Find a few odd things around your arena like cones, tires, buckets, and other weird things to change it up. You can set up different patterns with like 5 barrels and never do the same pattern..There are countless different drills and obstacles you can put him through..You don't always have to do barrel drills or exercises either..Take him on a trail ride or do some other discipline to constantly keep his mind working and not making every ride about "work"..Just get creative with it and remember to have fun.
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Last edited by DrumRunner; 03-12-2012 at 12:25 AM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-12-2012, 01:30 AM
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I cannot tell you how may times me and Selena have come full speed at a barrel and had to run right past it. We have the same problem as you. Just have to take away the anticipation.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-12-2012, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone ! Everyone on this forum is so GREAT and extremely helpful.

Sorrelhorse, that's exactly what im worried about lol. And im deathly afraid of him turning to tight and dropping his shoulder and us both crashing to the floor !
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-12-2012, 02:13 AM
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You're welcome!

Nah, don't be scared. If you're nervous he'll pick up on it, try to take advantage of it and cheat you..

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