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Barrel Racing Tips?

This is a discussion on Barrel Racing Tips? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Barrel racing tips for lazy horse
  • Tips for a new beginner barrel racer

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    05-16-2010, 10:23 PM
Corinowalk, you are absolutely right about the slow loping. When we are conditioning horses, we build them up to 3-5 miles one day and 6-8 miles the next. They get day 7 off. Half of that is long trotting and the other half is slow loping. A little breezing a couple times a week helps improve their breathing efficiency. The works they get are on top of conditioning.

And keeping their minds focused is a great thing. Too much working is hard on them, so we try to get out of the pen whenever we can. For cooldowns we head down the road or through town, just so they're not looking at the same things all the time.
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    05-18-2010, 03:10 AM

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.
    06-05-2010, 07:52 PM
Personally, I think that riding crops in the barrel racing are unneccesary. I think having the extra stuff slows you down, when I'm going to the finnish line, I've got my body low, and I'm not hitting my horse with anything.
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    06-06-2010, 02:32 AM
As for the whipping and spurring, I spur around the turns to strengthen my leg aids and on the way home I spur too. I don't spur very hard at all, just enough to get the message across. I whip if I need to, but not always. I have a lasso-type thing that loops around my saddle horn and just hangs there, so if I need it I can reach back and give him a spank on the butt. I can feel when a horse is running his best, and if he is I won't be spurring or whipping. If I sense the slack due to pure laziness I spur. If its slack due to something else, I don't spur. I can sense when it needs to happen.

If I have a hore that's just slacking because he has no heart for the job, I have no reason to spur him on. But with horses like Rico who are naturally lazy and not giving their best even with the heart to do it I am going to spur and spur until the message is in his mind. I know hroses have off-days, and I know they aren't going to get a winning time every run, but I do want them to try and I do expect them to listen to me when I ask for speed. If I sense lameness, I'm going to make them stop. If I sense laziness, I'm going to make them run.

I don't see a prblem with whips or spurs so long as they are not misused. I'm not abusive with these tools as some people are. I don't spur very hard and I don't whip hard either. I train my horses that when they hear the cracking sound they need to go faster. My horn contraption has two leather pieces that smack together in the slightest tap, and it doesn't even have to make contact for more than a split second to make the crack. I like that because then its a verbal cue and not a physical one.
    07-01-2014, 11:46 PM
When I'm on the "home stretch" I have a tenancy to lean forward......... Quite a bit. But just some advice. If you're going to lean forward while running........ Wear a sports bra!!!!!! :P No seriously!!!! I know it sounds like weird advice, but trust me! Nothing sucks worse than having it (a brand new one) break (in the front) on the home stretch and trying to hide it from your friends while hurrying back to the trailer to put on the sports bra that you brought with but you weren't sure why you did!!! Lol
Just make sure you either dot lean as much as I did, or wear durable clothing!

It still snags, by the way, but at least now it doesn't break!

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