Bracing against me !!?? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 20 Old 01-08-2012, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Bracing against me !!??

My 3 year old I started 3 weeks ago on barrels is not turning and bracing against me when I cue her and it only on first barrel. She bends effortlessly both directions so I know it's not hurting her or stiffness, but even when I'm walking when I go to the first barrel she braces against me and I use leg,seat, ect. And have a pocket .*She still does it . I don't know why!
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-08-2012, 08:14 PM
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Take her off the pattern. She is only 3, so you don't want her to get soured on the pattern early. Work on all bending and flexing exercises, just take the barrel out of the equation completely. Work on spirals from a big circle into a tight circle at a trot.
Also, make sure you are giving her a big enough pocket before the barrel.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-08-2012, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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She will be running some big futurity barrel races when she hits 4 . So she has to be on it. I trained her when she turned to and I just started barrels on her and she is 3 3/4 now so she has had PLENTY of that work.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-08-2012, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tequila1233 View Post
She will be running some big futurity barrel races when she hits 4 . So she has to be on it. I trained her when she turned to and I just started barrels on her and she is 3 3/4 now so she has had PLENTY of that work.
Obviously not enough. And yes, a horse can be stiff, sore or hurt on one side, traveling and bending one way. Please do not be so naive. You never should have been on her when she was 2. You will have ruined that horse soon. She is obviously soured, unbalanced and poorly trained to name a few things.

Dahlia <3 1/4/2012
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-09-2012, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Tequila1233 View Post
She will be running some big futurity barrel races when she hits 4 . So she has to be on it. I trained her when she turned to and I just started barrels on her and she is 3 3/4 now so she has had PLENTY of that work.
There is never PLENTY of that work. My mare is 21 and I still work on that, they need refreshers. If I did nothing but pattern work on her, it would surprise me if she would even get in the gate at a rodeo.

Take her off of the pattern, I'm telling you, and do something else. She is still a young horse and you are asking too much of her. That's why a lot of futurity horses are just that. They make it great in their four year old year but you don't hear much of them after that.
Vet check her.
She might need chiro-work.
Check your tack.
Check what you are doing.

There is no reason why she HAS to be on it. She is young and needs to be stimulated, learning through different exercises, not the same pattern over. And over. And over. And over. And over. THAT will sour her quicker than anything else.

Try the funnel barrels (look up "funnel barrels horse" on google images).
DO NOT be running the pattern. Canter up to the barrel, stop at your pocket, walk around them. Circle the barrel a few times until it feels right, then lope off to your next barrel. Stop, repeat.

Be wary of the horse with a sense of humour. - Pam Brown
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post #6 of 20 Old 01-09-2012, 10:20 AM
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Might I copy and paste my answer to this from the training forum?

"all I ever dreamt about was makin' it; they ain't giving it, I'm taking it"
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-09-2012, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by QHriderKE View Post
Might I copy and paste my answer to this from the training forum?
I don't see why you can't... :)

Horses aren't robots.. putting them on a pattern and working them around and around doesn't do them good. You have to mix up their training, else they'll get bored of it, their spirit will deplete, and they will get injured.

Though I am not a fan of riding a horse till they are 3-4 years old, it isn't my horse so unfortunately I can't do anything about that.
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-09-2012, 10:43 AM
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Copy & Pasta!

She's three.
I don't start my horses on any speed event until the Spring of their 4th year.
I find that so many horses have been ruined because they were rushed into 3 year old futurities. At 3, their minds aren't ready for everything it takes to be a successful horse in the long run. If you don't encounter more problems in the future, I'll be surprised.

I'd stay away from the barrels for a few rides. So many barrel horses get pattern sour...it's sad actually. Go out for a trail ride. Get out of the arena and let her relax a bit. Maybe work on relaxing in all gaits, do some big circles, lead changes, just let her be a 3 year old.

When I start my mare on the pattern this Spring, I'll maybe trot the pattern a couple times each ride, then leave the arena and ride in the field.

"all I ever dreamt about was makin' it; they ain't giving it, I'm taking it"
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-09-2012, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tequila1233 View Post
My 3 year old I started 3 weeks ago on barrels is not turning and bracing against me when I cue her and it only on first barrel.
She has only been on the pattern 3 weeks. That's a drop in a bucket. You should not be doing anything more than a walk or slow trot, because she is not ready to be doing anything faster.

She's not turning because she's not patterned yet.

She not turning because you haven't trained her for it yet.

She's bracing against you because you are pushing her too fast too soon.

She's bracing because she's not patterned yet.

Do you see what I am getting at here? She needs to be broke, broke, broke to ride first before you ever set her on a barrel pattern. You can learn the fundamentals for the barrels away from the pattern first, before you introduce it.

You are doing nothing but creating bad habits at this point, by pushing her too fast too soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tequila1233 View Post
She bends effortlessly both directions so I know it's not hurting her or stiffness, but even when I'm walking when I go to the first barrel she braces against me and I use leg,seat, ect. And have a pocket.
How do you know she is not hurting or stiff? Have you taken her to the vet? The chiro? The dentist? The farrier? Does your tack fit properly?

Horses have extremely high pain tolerances and often you don't even know they are hurting, until a trained professional catches it. And then you see the amazing difference afterward, because the horse truly was hurting somewhere.

Clearly if she is still bracing against you when you are using your leg and seat, that you have not taken the time to train her properly first. (Remember when I said she has got to be broke, broke, broke first?) It's a fundamental to move away from pressure and give to your leg and body aides and if she can't do it on the barrel pattern, you have got to take the responsibility to actually train her to do it first.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tequila1233 View Post
She will be running some big futurity barrel races when she hits 4 . So she has to be on it.
No she doesn't.

You need to get her broke first. And be able to stop at any gait with a soft mouth, back up any distance, sidepass, turn on the fore or turn on the haunches, move at a relaxed pace at all gaits (walk, trot, canter), do flying lead changes, neck rein, rollbacks, etc. She needs to be BROKE.

The barrel pattern will be a breeze once she's broke because she has her fundamentals.

You can work on turns, circles, spirals, rollbacks, collection, rate etc away from the pattern. If you try to train her to ride while doing the pattern, you'll do nothing but sour her and make her resent it, because you'll be doing the pattern over and over and over.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tequila1233 View Post
I trained her when she turned to and I just started barrels on her and she is 3 3/4 now so she has had PLENTY of that work.
Clearly she has not had "plenty of that work" if you can't even get her to respond to your leg aides.

Train her first. Period.

Forget about the barrels for now. There's still lots of time for that.

∞•*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*•∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-10-2012, 01:32 PM
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I agree with Beau 100%..Very good advice and post.

If you continue to push her and work her too fast on the barrels you could very possibly ruin your horse. She's only 3, give her a break..What's more important? Having a good barrel horse that will last a long time and perform at her best for you? Or having a sour 4 year old who hates her job and ends up blowing up before she's even gotten started good?

If you've only been working on the barrel pattern for three weeks you shouldn't even be trotting the pattern...you should be working on flexing, rate, responsiveness to your body position and legs..not pushing her too early and doing things she just isn't ready for...I don't care who you are or how long you've been riding. You cannot train a barrel horse fast. Period. You will end up with a mess and a sour horse who hates her job. It's not fair for her for you to think she can do all of the things you want her to do so fast. It just doesn't work like that, be the responsible owner and take the time your individual horse needs. Listen to her, she's obviously not ready.

I am Sparkly Meanie Doodie Head and I approve this message!
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