It's not like I was pushing her either, I was letting her go her speed.
Actually, in the speed barrels video you posted, you whipped her AFTER the last barrel. Which is what I would call "pushing" because there was no need to whip her there.
I'm not going to get into the argument of starting a horse too young, as that's already been hashed out. I don't agree with working a 3-year-old that hard (and I don't care how close she is to 4), because I don't work my 4-year-olds that hard either. To each his own.
Proper training will get your horse "freed up" and not turning the barrel too soon .... not whipping her twice to make her go deeper into the pocket.
Can you do bends and counter bends with her? If not, skip the barrels for a while and teach her how to do that. Counter bending away from the barrel is a great exercise to teach them to listen and not anticipate the turn.
Because that show was the first time I've let her run. I didn't think I'd get freaked out on for running her a couple times. That's not going to ruin her.
I just sure hope you have her on a very good joint supplement and routine visits to the lameness vet and chiro. You put the horse at higher risk for injury when they are so young, and you've got to stay on top of it. Especially in the first photo you posted.... look at her back end. That is an EXTREME amount of stress on those immature and unclosed joints
. She looks like she's turning that barrel dang nice .... but just because she can
, does that mean you should
It's not like I game her every weekend. She's pretty much a 4 year old. I see MANY barrel racers at futurities running their horses HARD at 3.
So just because "everyone is doing it" then its okay?
Again, I bring up the question of: Just because you can
, should you?
A lot of futurity horses need injections (especially in the hocks) at a very young age to deal with all the stress on the joints. Running them when they are young is not easy on their body.
That's fine if you want to run your horse on the barrels when she's 3. But get an honest opinion and stance on it and not simply because: Everyone else runs their horse's at 3 years old. If you are going to make a decision to run her, then own that decision, and have resources to back up your decision (such as she gets monthly vet checks, etc).
I'm not running her. I'm cantering her.
Second photo you posted is not a canter; that's a sprint. Look at her body position. And for that matter, look at YOUR body position. You are pushing her with your body position. If you are truly letting her go her own pace, you should be sitting there like a dead fish.
Again, that's fine if you want to work your horse that hard that young. It's your horse. You can do as you please. But then don't make excuses or sugarcoat things to hide what you are really doing. You are running her; not just cantering. Own up to it.
THIS is cantering the pattern. Nice leisurley lope. Nope, not a perfect pattern and lots that need to be fixed, but it is a slow canter to work on the pattern. THAT is cantering.
Because when she canters she rates down so much I have to push her past, and just my legs don't do the trick. That's why I asked for help on that so I could get her more freed up.
By simply going faster and whipping her past that barrel (to her, a whip on the rump means go faster, whether you believe that means faster or not), you are leaving a hole in her training. Sure, it might work right now, but if she ignores your legs now, what are you going to do when she starts to ignore your whip as well?
Go back to basics. Take her off the pattern and get better body control on her. Nose, neck, shoulders, ribcage, hindquarters.
When you bring her back to the pattern, push her extra deep in the pocket. And also do counter bends AWAY from the turn (so if barrel turn to the right, keep the right bend in her body but ask her to turn left away from the barrel). Then when you circle away from the barrel, her body is still in the correct "frame" to make the turn properly.
Also make sure YOUR timing is perfect. If you so much as think about turning too soon, guess what? Your body is going to match that thought. Do not let your own mind think about turning, until the time is right. I'd much rather have a horse that turns too late, since that's easier to fix than a barrel knocker.
Is there a reason you do not show her in a snaffle? Since you say she works so well in it at home.
In your pictures, it looks like you are using some sort of combination bit.