Barrel Horse in the Making - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 161 Old 04-09-2016, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Barrel Horse in the Making

I figured I'd start a thread to show you guys Star's progress on barrels and to gather tips whenever. I haven't been on HorseForum in months so I'm glad to be back and hopefully I'll be more active.

So a brief introduction for those who don't know me, my name is Kate and I'm 15. I've been learning to barrel race for almost 2 years. I own a 19yo Arabian named Roman and a 6yo Quarter Horse mare named Star, whom this thread will be focused on.

I purchased Star in September 2015 and began training her on barrels in October. Our training started out a bit wrong but with the help of many wonderful people (thank you!) I started to really think about what I needed to do to train her. So let's just say January-ish is when I started to really train her and from there we began to move forward.

Up until now, I have pretty much been trotting through the barrels. She's been doing great! A few errors here and there and mainly me not riding right 😂 but we've been making progress.

I have decided to start cantering through the barrels. I had taken her back to a trot to work on a few things. Then I told myself the only way to get better at cantering is to canter! And of course making sure we can do it at a walk/trot.

This will document her progress. I will post videos tomorrow when I am on a computer so you can see what she was like at the very beginning, in between, and recently.
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post #2 of 161 Old 04-16-2016, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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My trainer came over to do a lesson with Star today. She was impressed with us but we still have some things to work on. Going to do lots of slow work for a while, work on turn arounds (rollbacks), rating, and getting better turns.

Star wasn't responding very well to my feet so my trainer told me to get some spurs. There was a boarder riding in the arena that let me use some spurs she had. They really helped! I admit I was a bit nervous about using them because I've never used spurs before and I didn't want to jab Star. But she responded MUCH better so I'm going to look for some bumper spurs with rowels, if my trainer doesn't find an extra pair at her house.

Also going to buy or get bit guards from my trainer also. I have a curb chain on my bridle but that does absolutely nothing with keeping the bit from sliding through Star's mouth.

So we have some stuff to work on but I'm really proud with where we're at and I'm excited to see where we go! I don't have any videos uploaded to YouTube but I will try to get a few clips when I ride her Tuesday.

Keep going, keep moving forward. You'll get it together someday.
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post #3 of 161 Old 04-16-2016, 05:05 PM
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If the bit is sliding through her mouth you are pulling to hard, or you need to get a different bit. Bit guards are to stop pinching. Not to keep a bit from sliding through the mouth.

What are you riding her in?
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post #4 of 161 Old 04-17-2016, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman View Post

Star wasn't responding very well to my feet so my trainer told me to get some spurs.
Granted, we are not seeing you in person like your trainer is, but I am not so sure that I agree with this.

The real purpose of spurs is to be able to be lighter with your cues, and make more advanced cues .... not to be "harsher" so a horse will pay attention to you.

If you need Star to be more responsive to your leg and seat cues, that's something you can work on. Very much in the same way that you try to make a horse soft to the bit. You wouldn't jump up into a harsher bit if your horse was "not responding well" to your current bit, right? You would work on making your horse more soft to that cue. Same should go for your legs/seat cues. At least, that's what I think.

Star may respond more briskly to you with spurs ... but if you do not change anything about the way you cue her, she could eventually become dull to that too. Remember to what your timing and your feel!

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Also going to buy or get bit guards from my trainer also. I have a curb chain on my bridle but that does absolutely nothing with keeping the bit from sliding through Star's mouth.
Agree with the other poster. Bit guards will NOT keep a bit from pulling through a horse's mouth. They are purely to prevent a horse's skin from getting pinched in a bit that has a mouthpiece that slides (a bit with gag action).

What bit are you using now? Can you post a picture?

If the bit is sliding through her mouth on a regular basis, you are PULLING too much.

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post #5 of 161 Old 04-17-2016, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Shadow View Post
If the bit is sliding through her mouth you are pulling to hard, or you need to get a different bit. Bit guards are to stop pinching. Not to keep a bit from sliding through the mouth.

What are you riding her in?
Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
Agree with the other poster. Bit guards will NOT keep a bit from pulling through a horse's mouth. They are purely to prevent a horse's skin from getting pinched in a bit that has a mouthpiece that slides (a bit with gag action).

What bit are you using now? Can you post a picture?

If the bit is sliding through her mouth on a regular basis, you are PULLING too much.
She is in an O ring snaffle. The bit doesn't go through often, and I wasn't pulling hard. I had a curb strap on the bridle but that didn't work so I will try bit guards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
Granted, we are not seeing you in person like your trainer is, but I am not so sure that I agree with this.

The real purpose of spurs is to be able to be lighter with your cues, and make more advanced cues .... not to be "harsher" so a horse will pay attention to you.

If you need Star to be more responsive to your leg and seat cues, that's something you can work on. Very much in the same way that you try to make a horse soft to the bit. You wouldn't jump up into a harsher bit if your horse was "not responding well" to your current bit, right? You would work on making your horse more soft to that cue. Same should go for your legs/seat cues. At least, that's what I think.

Star may respond more briskly to you with spurs ... but if you do not change anything about the way you cue her, she could eventually become dull to that too. Remember to what your timing and your feel!
She does respond well to my legs but going around the barrels I have to use them a lot more and more firmer to get her to turn good and not go off wide. I'm going to trust my trainer's advice and try out spurs for a while. But I'll also work on getting her more responsive with just my leg.
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post #6 of 161 Old 04-17-2016, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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I want to add, I won't use them forever. Use them for a bit and then go back to not using them.
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post #7 of 161 Old 04-17-2016, 02:30 PM
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And this is why so many barrel horses are dead sided and heavy mouthed.

No. Your horse is not sensitive to leg. She doesn't need spurs. She needs training.

I can ride my horses with no curb strap in an O ring and I never have the bit of through the mouth. There is no reason for it.

I'd get a new trainer.
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post #8 of 161 Old 04-17-2016, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rain Shadow View Post
And this is why so many barrel horses are dead sided and heavy mouthed.

No. Your horse is not sensitive to leg. She doesn't need spurs. She needs training.

I can ride my horses with no curb strap in an O ring and I never have the bit of through the mouth. There is no reason for it.

I'd get a new trainer.
I will train her. Things happen. I am not getting a new trainer, she has helped me out a lot and I trust her.
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post #9 of 161 Old 04-18-2016, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Roman View Post
She is in an O ring snaffle. The bit doesn't go through often, and I wasn't pulling hard. I had a curb strap on the bridle but that didn't work so I will try bit guards.
With an O-ring snaffle, you should be using bit guards anyway, IMO. The mouthpiece is able to slide along the ring and that gives the potential for skin to get pinched.

However, once again, a bit guard is not going to stop the bit from being pulled through. And sometimes they can even get the bit guard in their mouth too.

What are you doing the times the bit gets pulled through? I also use an O-ring snaffle on my young horse and I cannot remember one instance where the bit got pulled through.

Are you sure you have it adjusted correctly, and not TOO loose? While personally I like to my bits to be fit a bit "looser" (no wrinkles) than most people, I don't have a problem with the bit pulling through.

What type of headstall are you using with your O-ring snaffle? Personally, I don't like using "slip-on" headstalls or one-ear headstalls with snaffle bits. Seems that a classic browband headstall with throatlatch keeps them more secure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roman View Post
She does respond well to my legs but going around the barrels I have to use them a lot more and more firmer to get her to turn good and not go off wide.
Can you post a video?

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It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #10 of 161 Old 04-18-2016, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159 View Post
With an O-ring snaffle, you should be using bit guards anyway, IMO. The mouthpiece is able to slide along the ring and that gives the potential for skin to get pinched.

However, once again, a bit guard is not going to stop the bit from being pulled through. And sometimes they can even get the bit guard in their mouth too.

What are you doing the times the bit gets pulled through? I also use an O-ring snaffle on my young horse and I cannot remember one instance where the bit got pulled through.

Are you sure you have it adjusted correctly, and not TOO loose? While personally I like to my bits to be fit a bit "looser" (no wrinkles) than most people, I don't have a problem with the bit pulling through.

What type of headstall are you using with your O-ring snaffle? Personally, I don't like using "slip-on" headstalls or one-ear headstalls with snaffle bits. Seems that a classic browband headstall with throatlatch keeps them more secure.




Can you post a video?
Yea. I'll post a picture of her bit and bridle. But she doesn't have a regular bridle with a throatlatch. As for spurs, I'll probably just get some bumper spurs (no rowels) if I need them in the future.

I don't have any recent video that's at a good angle, but here's a video from Thursday. I'm going back to slow work with her right now. She typically goes off wide around the 2nd barrel but I don't think she did in this run. The 3rd barrel, yes. And I'll upload video of us trotting through from yesterday.


http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DSjxeP1i42U
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