Originally Posted by Ally56
My 7 year old mare continues to bump barrel and I don't know how to make her stop. I just started training her for barrels a month ago, so I need to fix the problem now. My gelding is a barrel racer, and I need her to be more like him. He refuses to hit a barrel! I went to a show once, where for a trail class they required you to trot up and have your horse knock the barrel over and he wouldn't do it! Upon asking him a 4th time he reared up. I want that attitude in a barrel horse. I want her to say "You want me to do WHAT!?" When I ask her to knock the barrel over. I don't know if the problem may be that she's so bombproof. I don't want to make her a skittish horse, I just want her to think that if she doesn't get her butt around that barrel it's going to jump out and eat her. The only problem is, I have no clue how to do that without causing more problems. (ex. She is too terrified to make sharp turns, she spooks at barrels, etc.) Please help! Thanks!
"I just started training her for barrels a month ago, so I need to fix the problem now."
Agreed on this. Since you have just been working with her on barrels for a month, correct the problem before it becomes an instant click in her brain. And with being only a month into barrel training, she will by no means, be like your gelding yet.
"I just want her to think that if she doesn't get her butt around that barrel it's going to jump out and eat her"
This is a big issue I see a lot in barrel horses. They just aren't willing to move their butt around the barrel and wrap themselves around it. A good way to help this is if you use your inside leg and moves it back about 6-8 inches from the girth and lightly tap or squeeze, the strength of the squeeze or tap varies on horse sensitive the horses sides are.
"(ex. She is too terrified to make sharp turns, she spooks at barrels, etc.)"
This is usually a good indicator that barrels might not be the sport for this horse in particular. A good barrel horse needs to knowledge and determination to want to barrel race, and do well at it. Your mare sounds more laid back, trail type horse. But if you did want to still try and make her a barrel horse, take the pattern AWAY. Just work with using on barrel to work on her flexion and body positions. Do large circles around the barrel, gradually working your way into the barrel. She should have only been briefly introduced to the barrel pattern once, in the one month of training you have done so far. You show her that one time so she knows what your working with.
I hope this helped, good luck.:)