Barrel Horse or Jumping Horse?

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Barrel Horse or Jumping Horse?

This is a discussion on Barrel Horse or Jumping Horse? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

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    08-30-2011, 04:01 PM
Smile Barrel Horse or Jumping Horse?

Whenever I try to get Maggie around the barrels, she tries to *JUMP* them. By jump, I mean she kind of bends her knees and rears into the barrel (in a position as though she were jumping). She doesn't rear high or scared or anything. She does this to every barrel. Maggie does not try to get over the barrel, just knock it over and move on to the next one.

It doesn't matter, walk, trot, whatever. I am working on walking her around the barrel without her doing this. Should this be enough, or will there be farther training needed?

I really don't want to end her career as a barrel horse, she truly seems to love it and I feel more power in the hind quarters that is not there when I ride her on the trail or in the arena. She does not like being ridden unless we work in barrels. (and she is okay to do cattle work, which she does mostly everyday)

So even though I think she should stay competing, what would you do? Train her or stop doing barrels altogether?
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    08-30-2011, 07:26 PM
I'm please.

Sounds like your cues/training isn't bring performed via equine LOL
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    08-31-2011, 09:21 AM
I don't have a video camera, and I can't find one online ):

It's probably pretty hard to visualize, I've never seen a horse do this before. She doesn't seem to want to go over the barrel, she will keep "bucking" into it until she knocks it down. What the heck?
    08-31-2011, 09:29 AM
Oh, forgot to mention:

I'm pretty sure I am giving the right cues, as all my other horses listen, and I have trained some of those horses from scratch. (saddle, lead, etc) I know Maggie has the most potential of all of them though. Maggie used to compete and she won alot of shows... but her previous owners leased her to someone and that's when she stopped doing barrels right. I have no idea and cannot find out who she was leased to.
    08-31-2011, 06:06 PM
Hmm, well if she has competed before sounds like she does know what she is doing. If I was in your shoes now would be the time I would go back to the beginning. Go over your basic cues and have her perfect them, if she is bumping the barrel and pushing it over, push her away from it, don't let her get close enough to the barrel to do it. Just go way back in her training, it might be a little boring if she was a barrel racer before but you sort of will have to "re-train" her as a barrel horse. The person who leased her could have had her doing some crazy things. Could have made her turn to close, could have made the horse purposly touch the barrel every single time so that she was really cutting them, who knows. I would just go back to zero and start over.

Good luck!
    08-31-2011, 10:52 PM
OK. We've got a few possible scenarios here.

1. She's afraid of the barrels and needs to be desensitized, or perhaps he was used for jumping in the past and they used barrels for standards (unlikely, but possible). Go back to slow work, at a walk, working around the barrels properly, and making it no big deal.

2. She's blown up and doesn't want to turn. I haven't really seen that ruined horses want to "jump," but then it's hard to picture what you're describing, anyway. If this is the case, she either needs to come off barrels completely before it escalates into rearing or worse, or else go to a very, very experienced trainer who can handle this issue.

3. She's hurting and this is her way of telling you. Get a vet out to do an examination if you suspect that this is even a remote possibility.

4. You're setting her up badly and she doesn't know what you want. I have no idea what kind of cue you're giving, but if she's trying to jump the barrels, then you're obviously too close. Remember your pocket! Remember to drive her to the correct entrance point, giving her plenty of room, and not pulling her into and on top of the barrel. Support with inside rein and inside leg. Sounds like this could very well be "operator error."

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