Just wondering what word do you use to check your barrel horse
I am VERY verbal during my barrel runs, but most of what I say my horse is the only one who can hear! (I'm not screaming and shouting the whole time.
But I also use lots of seat, leg, body, and rein cues in addition to the verbal cues.
When the person before us is going, I'll whisper to him "You ready? You ready?" in an excited voice. That gets him excited and lets him know it's time to run
If there is a side entrance or something where I need to guide him to our starting point, I will usually say "easy, easy, easy" over and over in a calm voice while also holding him back with light rein contact and my body posture. And when it's time to take off, I will release all rein contact, lean foward, and give him a "Okay! Go!"
My horse really doesn't need any rate at the barrel, he has lots of natural rate. In fact, I usually keep pushing him all the way to the barrel itself. But I do say "Hup!" the moment that I want him to turn, while also giving him the appropriate legs cues to move closer or farther from the barrel, and a supportive rein cue to get around the barrel.
In between barrels, to help hustle him, I'm usually saying something like "c'mon Beau, c'mon. Go big guy" or along those lines in an excited voice because that always makes him run harder if I am verbally encouraging him along. I try to keep my hands quiet in-between the barrels, and do more squeezing with my legs (rather than kicking). If he needs it, I will give him 1 or 2 pops with a quirt coming into the barrel, again, to push him deep into it because he tends to rate too much.
And that's about it!
More than you asked for
is my word to turn the barrel (along with the appropriate leg, seat, body, rein cues.)