Barrel horse to Pole Horse?

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Barrel horse to Pole Horse?

This is a discussion on Barrel horse to Pole Horse? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

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    11-09-2011, 10:24 PM
Barrel horse to Pole Horse?


Normally I don't train my own pole horses. The reason being I was focusing strictly on barrels for a little while, and the horse I ran poles on had been doing it his whole life.

But now I will be needed to start my mare on poles. She is a finished barrel horse. My question is, how hard will it be to get her going on poles? I've trotted her through and played some, she's a very willing learner, and catches on fast. Some of the easer gymkhana events she caught on really well (Keyhole and figure eight, but those don't require much 'patterning' per say.)

Thanks in advance!
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    11-10-2011, 03:20 AM
If your horse is broke, and you can ride, the transition should be cake.
Mine never had the option. They ran both, because I ran both.
    11-10-2011, 01:54 PM
I agree. Our barrel horses run poles and flags. Same concept fast and quick. If your horse responds well to neck reining no problems. Direct rein, just have to keep a good seat. Make sure your horse gives his/her head freely if not you will be fighting going through the poles.
    11-10-2011, 03:56 PM
Thank you two, that's mostly what I figured, but I figured I should ask to get some second opinions before I accidently messed something up. She's a very catty little mare, all cutting and reining on the bottom half of her pedigree and a major racehorse/barrel horse on the top. It's obvious that combination has really paid off with her.
    11-11-2011, 10:29 AM
Sounds like a fun horse. Good luck and have fun.
    11-19-2011, 11:02 PM
She should take to it without much trouble. She already broke, already trained on barrels, already knows the concepts of speed riding. Just train for poles as you would for barrels, in that start at the walk. When that is mastered, move to the trot. Then the gallop.

The biggest bit of advice would be to make sure she is sensitive to your legs and lateral movement. When you run a really fast pole run, you aren't really "weaving" or "turning" each individual pole. What they end up doing is running full speed in essentially a straight line, while bending their body at the appropriate moments to get around the poles. This is where leg cues are very important.

My horse has never made that great of a pole horse. Too big and too "slow to get moving". He does pretty good on barrels, though.
    11-25-2011, 07:24 PM
I agree with everyone the transition isn't that hard and since you know how to train her it should easy. One thing that helped me quite a lot was having all my pole runs videoed so I could see exactly what I was doing. Also in my case I would start the training setion with poles then to barrels and at the end going through both once at a lope not a run. That way my mare knew we still got to run barrels but we were learning something new.

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