Yes it does help me. While learning this will probably prove a challenge for you....I'm not going to say it is impossible, since everytime I say it is I am proven wrong.
Are you familiar with the A.R.T of barrel racing? (Approach, Rate, and Turn)?
I suggest looking on youtube at Dena Kirkpatricks videos. If i am not mistaken she has one on approaching. Remember, (This applies to what I'm going to tell you later on) the widest part of the turn is the point when you enter. Set yourself up wider than you would think at first (Make big circles to start with) but remember that no matter what, ALWAYS finish a barrel close. No matter how wide you approach, finishing close is a very important tool.
As you come towards the barrel, setting yourself up for your pocket, your "rate point" is the point in which you sit down, prepare to turn, and your horse will collect and there should be a significant change in speed. Do not EVER speed up going into a barrel; You will always slow (Even if slowing is fractional)
The turn is important for obvious reason. When you reach your rate point and start turning, you need to try and make the pocket (Space between you and the barrel) around 3-4ft. If you think that is too wide, feel free to look at the runners in the NFR and see how far away they are. There is a video on youtube with Charmayne James herself explaining this technique. (Details of turning will come in a minute)
Do you have a barrel pattern to practice with? I would start by walking him up to a barrel, and stopping next to it at your "rate point" to show him where you need to slow. If he does a "fast stop" now, then training this will be similar. Remember that even at the walk to keep your cues very distinct - Upper body forward, hands farther up the neck when on the straight and then when you approach your turn then you will sit down and bring your hands closer to the saddle horn on the neck. Make those two cues very, very distinct. What you can do is practice going around the rail of the arena (This works at a trot and lope very well) and when you are going forward, really move yourself into a more forward position and drive her out. Then, every now and then sit back and make her collect. This is where the head dropping thing will come into play. Go ahead and take up rein contact, ask her to drop her head like you normally would but apply some pressure with your calves to keep her driving with her hind end. You will also be doing this with your barrel turn.
Back on the pattern, when you stop, let her sit and think about it. Then go ahead and walk her in a perfect circle around the barrel. Use two hands (Later on you will use one hand and go to the horn for support, but not yet) and use your inside hand to get inside flexion with her nose and your outside rein to supple her indirectly. Use your inside leg to help establish this bend (Keeping the barrel behind your leg and to the horses hip) and your outside leg to keep her shoulder from moving out by touching her near the cinch to help her make a good circle. On a finished horse, when you are running at the barrel you will sit, grab your saddle horn, squeeze with your legs to drive them underneath themselves and then use the outside leg to sort of push them around the barrel. But, let's keep this simple for now. Later on, once she gets very good at the walk, move on to the trot. Then the lope. Then eventually the run. Practice this rate and circle excersize on all the barrels.
It is important to remember that even though you can "pattern" your horse, she should still be listening to you. Mix it up every now and then. Turn a barrel the opposite direction you normally would, or set up the barrels in a square or a line or around the rail at random. Horses will sour to the cloverleaf if you work too much there.
Once you get the rate and circles established at all gaits, then you're in pretty good shape. There's only so much we can teach you over the internet...But this would be my starting point. Look for drills (after your horse is farther along only), training tips, and techiques more from online videos. You might look into some dvds (Sherry Cervi has a nice one with Clinton Anderson, and I like the Sharon Camarillo ones, but they are kinda spendy)
If any of that doesn't make sense, please tell me. And if you have anymore questions I would be glad to answer them.
EDIT: I forgot to tell you, I am on school internet right now that has youtube blocked. But when I get home in a couple hours I can give you the links to some very helpful training videos if you would like.
Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.