That's weird, because that's the opposite of what I do! Well, see, since I'm a beginner I like to take it slow on the barrels, anyway, and also I want to work on rating and making nice, easy turns. My horse likes to do it this way, too. Then what happens on the way home usually is she starts running faster out of habit. I see this as a good thing, becuase that's what I want her to do in competition... When she did something really good, I used to try to slow her down to a trot and let her trot back home as a reward. But she for some reason loves to run home... Also when I start saying "Good girl!" she'll start running faster, too! (This is one way I found to get her to go faster. Just be a cheerleader and I've got it good!!)
That makes a lot of sense! I've heard the same thing from CA. Also, I must point out, that when barrel racers are kicking all the way home I notice they fly up and down on their saddles. I can't imagine trying to run anywhere with somebody bouncing and flying everywhere like a screaming ninny on my back like that!
Originally Posted by aforred
When I have a barrel horse in training, I sometimes do 3/4 runs, which means we run the pattern until we LEAVE the third barrel, and then lope back. But at home, we do more slow work that running, by far.
As far as running home goes, I usually use the over and under two or three times. Kicking a horse causes more vertical movement of the leg, while whipping causes extension. If you have one that wants to quit before the finish line, you might have to push a little more, but that's usually pilot error.