Barrel Racers, how do you get your horse to run? - Page 2

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Barrel Racers, how do you get your horse to run?

This is a discussion on Barrel Racers, how do you get your horse to run? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Wake horse up before barrel run
  • Kicking horses to hard while barrel racing

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    05-12-2011, 11:03 PM
See I just started working with my mare again undersaddle and that's the only way I got her to gallop today!
I am going to train her to run on cue and without kicking as much.
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    05-12-2011, 11:56 PM
Hissing and a seat change. Jake is 20 now and he doesn't like to run as hard in the arena anymore, so every once in a while I'll use an over-under about 2-3 times per run. He has big strides so he learned that by the time he got to full speed I was pulling him up. Every now and again he likes to show me how fast he will go, but its getting rarer and rarer. I don't mind to much.

I also make sure I try to not make him sou about it. I make extra sure to never yank on his mouth once we pas the finish line, and let him slow down slowly so he isn't fearful about being slammed on after going a few strides. I also try to limit practicing to 3-6 times a month during show season, and only running the pattern hard at shows or once a month if I am not showing. He gets burned out, so I do my best to make sure not to. So during the off season I mostly do english. If I want to show, I'll freshin him up a bit a week before. He hasn't done any pattern work in over 4 months now. I think he enjoys the break.

But out on trail he loves kicking it up to full speed, I pretty much takes a slight seat change and calf pressure and he is gone. =)
    05-13-2011, 12:03 AM
High Five can be a little bit lazy, but to get him going I just sit forward, give him lots of slack in the rein, and it takes him a few strides to really get going.

Molly Jo probably needs to do a lot of slow, relaxed pace trail riding, because even on trails I'm holding her back A LOT. All I have to do is say "go" and hang on for dear life.
    05-13-2011, 12:22 AM
Well I build up. It depends on the horse. Rebel rquires a little "WAKE THE HECK UP" kick before the timers. But with Jasper, all I have to do is lean forward and he shoots up.
    05-13-2011, 02:42 AM
Green Broke
Both of mine are ready to go but I always wait away from the arena until I have like two people in front of me and we will walk up to the arena and I'm always talking to them in a hushed voice and people look at me like I'm crazy but I'm always saying stuff like "I know you've got this" "do work girl" "easy" and when I get to the gate I always say "let's go" and she crow hops and takes off but I'm not afraid to get a pop in with an over under..I will use legs alot running the pattern but it's more of using my legs to hold her off of the barrel and setting my horse up for a turn.
    05-13-2011, 07:16 AM
I've always been told that, for barrel racing, starting with a horse with natural run can be more beneficial. It's often easier to teach a horse to turn than it is to teach a horse to run.

Mine is a QH with all running blood. He's light cued and takes almost no effort to extend. A walk to trot= hands moved forward and either asked with a cluck or a shift forward in body position.
Trot to lope/walk to lope= Nose tipped in, inside leg. Sometimes a cluck.
Lope to run ( I never ask for an abrupt take off)= Hands forward, shift body position forward, either kiss or squeeze legs.

For any extention of gait during a run, either a kiss or tap of the leg.

I do NOT kick. Kicking knocks the air out of a horse during a run and is completely inefficient.
    05-13-2011, 10:35 AM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by TeddybearLove    
Well my mare is a QH so if you don't kick she will just walk, lol she is very lazy when she wants to be.
I would understand how racehorse's don't really need a kick to run fast.
I had to laugh at the she's a qh portion of this comment just because of the reasoning. A quarter horse got it's name becuase it was bred to run the quarter of a mile. Quarter horses are the breed of choice when running barrels.
    05-13-2011, 11:21 AM
Originally Posted by farmpony84    
I had to laugh at the she's a qh portion of this comment just because of the reasoning. A quarter horse got it's name becuase it was bred to run the quarter of a mile. Quarter horses are the breed of choice when running barrels.
Lol! I'm with you, FP. My generally lazy qh is very forward when it comes to work. I don't need any kick or "haha" (and kicking is generally not the best idea as the horse can get dead-sided from constant kicks). It's all about the training.
    05-14-2011, 10:12 PM
Green Broke
I don't even hardly need to kick. For one thing- Cheyenne knows when to gallop. For two- she responds to my reins very well so if I put them up to her head and lean forward a bit then she'll go. I also make a sound kinda like "TSSSSSSSSSS!!!!" and she'll go nuts lol
    05-16-2011, 06:59 PM
Kissing/clicking mainly, a whip, I usually forget to kick but if I do its only my heels nudging her. She's been sound trained unintentionally by me; click once she trots, click anther time she trots faster, cluck your tounge she'll canter, click/kiss fast and she's ready to run.
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