Is Barrel Racing Hard to learn? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 03-14-2013, 12:09 PM
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Okay, this is literally straight from Clinton Anderson. I do go off this method and have found some things work better than others but for a general idea. Here's the link as well to the seven games. Again, you don't have to follow these word by word, they're just a GREAT starting point. Most of us here don't pick one trainer to follow we blend them all together.

Parelli Natural Horsemanship: The Seven Games

1. Begin by establishing your "hula hoop" of personal space. Step away from your horse and, with your stick, draw a circle all around you in the dirt. If your stick is about four feet long, by bending over and reaching with your arm, you should be able to create a space that extends about six feet out from you in every direction. Your horse must stay beyond this space, so that his nose is about seven feet away from you.

2. Here's another way to check that your horse is far enough back. Extend the stick toward his head; there should be about a foot of space from the end of the stick to his muzzle. This establishes where he should be at rest.

3. To teach your horse to maintain this distance, back him away whenever he moves in closer on his own. Do this by wiggling the lead rope and swinging the stick from side to side in front of you as you walk toward him. Do it as vigorously as needed to get him to step back, then stop and praise him, then continue. Your goal is for him to begin moving back with energy the instant your body language says, "Back off."

4. Alternate the above method (wiggle and wave) with "marching" to ask your horse to back up. In this method, carry your stick as if it were a ski pole, and use an exaggerated marching motion, working your bent arms up and down as you step forward. If, as you approach your horse's chest, he hasn't begun to move back, you can flick your wrist such that the stick taps him on the chest as the arm carrying the stick comes up.

5. If your horse gets mouthy as he tries to move into your space (common among young horses and stallions), recondition him by taking the fun out of it. Do this by "mouthing him back"--rub his muzzle vigorously with both hands for about 20 seconds, using enough pressure to be annoying.

6. Don't hurt him as you rub, but be firm enough to get him to step back, as my horse is here. Be like that uncle who used to scuff your head playfully when you were a kid; eventually you learned to avoid him. You want your horse to learn to keep his muzzle to himself.

7. Over time, your horse will learn to stand respectfully at a distance and await instructions, as my horse is here. Be like that uncle who used to scuff your head playfully when you were a kid; eventually you learned to avoid him. You want your horse to learn to keep his muzzle to himself.


"Every person you will meet will have at least one great quality. Duplicate it and leave the rest." --Clinton Anderson
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post #12 of 15 Old 03-14-2013, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks heaps that really helps me heaps ill start with that tommorow well today as its 2.24am here atm lol :) that is really going to help me out... Am I able to use a stick stick like a wooden stick off a small tree branch or something ?
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post #13 of 15 Old 03-14-2013, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Shenee View Post
Hey ive started getting riding lessons etc. And want too look into a different sort of riding and was wondering how hard it was to learn Barrel riding ?
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Ohk thanks Beau Jasper doesn't drag me by the leadrope he's very laid back and I can pick his feet up easily just sometimes he steps on me and can get ontop of me and im not sure how to stop that... And when he's eating he seems to try blocking me off so he can get his food and he steps on me and the other day he was an inch off kicking me in the ribs but im not entirely sure how too stop him from doing these things... Your help would be much appreciated :) thanks
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In your OP, you said you are taking lessons. This is something your trainer should recognize and help you with.

You have a VERY DANGEROUS situation on your hands. What if your horse had gotten you in the head, and you had to have an MRI done at the hospital because you were unconscious with serious damage?

Your trainer needs to help you with this.

Under no circumstances should your horse ever be allowed to cut you off, even if their is food involved.

Did you watch the Clinton Anderson video I posted? It's all about being able to move your horse when YOU tell him to and where you tell him to, at any given time.

I'll walk you through a simple "hindquarter disengaging" exercise, but you really should have someone help you hands-on with this. And you can certainly use a nice sturdy stick off a tree if you want; just make sure it is about 3 or 4 feet long.

Hold the lead rope in your left hand, facing your horse but standing off to the side of your horse's left shoulder. Never stand directly in front of your horse; that just puts you into harm's way. Do not hold the lead rope tight under his chin. You never want to give him the impression you are "forcing" him to do any of this. Have a good foot of slack from your hand to the halter, at least. Hold the stick in your right hand, and keep it lowered.

If we can disengage the hindquarters, we can stop the horse's movement. That's the first step to developing a safe horse.

Hold your left hand up to literally protect your face, should your horse decide to move closer to you. Put your body into a "mare glare" crouching stance, and put your energy toward his left hip. Count to 3 seconds. If he does not respond to you, raise the stick in the air to point at his hip. Count to 3. If he does not respond, start tapping lightly with rhythm on his hip. Do that for 3 seconds. If he does not respond, very slowly start tapping harder, with rhythm.

The correct response we are looking for here, is for your horse to move his hip away from you, crossing his left hind leg in front of his right hind leg. That will disengage his movement.

So the very instant that your horse gives you some sort of correct behavior towards that, you must immediately stop pressuring him, turn away from him, and physically take a few steps away from him. That tells him he did the right thing, and you took away the stimulus.

If he simply moves forward, instead of properly disengaging his hindquarters, do not try to prevent him. If a horse is never allowed to make a mistake, they will never learn. So if he moves forward, use that hand holding the lead rope to make him stay out of your space, and continue tapping that hip until you DO get the hip to disengage. Once you get what you want (hip disengage) then remove the pressure. Therefore, it might not be perfect and pretty right away, but eventually he'll learn that's all he has to do to get you to leave him alone.

Of course, repeat this exercise on the opposite side.

You don't have to spend more than 10 to 15 minutes a day doing ground work. Short, frequent sessions are much better than looooong random sessions.

And if he ever gets disrespectful during this, like crowding you, or turning his butt toward you, then GET AFTER HIM. Once hard swift smack with your stick on his rump or his shoulder or his neck or the offending body part with get your point across. Don't be scared to "hurt him" because in a herd of wild horses, do you think the lead stallion is worried about "hurting" another horse when that horse gets out of line? No. They will kick, bite, chase, etc and do what they need to do to discipline the offending horse of the herd.

You are the stallion of your two-person herd. You call the shots, and your horse needs to follow.

And timing during ground work is so very critical. That's why it would be best to have your trainer helping you. If you remove the pressure too soon or too late, your horse does not learn the correct response and you just create bad habits.

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It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #14 of 15 Old 03-14-2013, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-15-2013, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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beau that vid helped out heaps :)

Dont Flatter Yourself Cowboy I was Looking At Your Horse!!
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