Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Outside of Oklahoma City
I waited until my mare was 6 to really start working the pattern on her.
Broke her at 2.5 and just did light rides until she was 4. Sure futurity horses are running hard and fast at 3, but good luck seeing them as still going perfect 10 years after that..
Most horses don't even get going their best on the pattern until their teens.
I'd like to see your legs a little farther back, I don't expect like heels lining up with hips because barrel saddles aren't made like that. But as close to that as possible. You are riding with your feet wayyyy out in front of you like you are going into a reining stop the whole ride, which will put your hips out of alignment, cause your toes to go down and all sorts of unbalanced-ness. Try riding with no stirrups, I feel that maybe you are pushing into your stirrups too hard and relying on the saddle a bit too much. :) This is just what I am getting from the pictures, can't watch the video. :)
I know you won't, but please. Take her off the pattern and save her legs. I don't care if it was "just for fun" because you obviously had to have worked her a bit to get her to do the pattern well. And she does have decent turns. Only reason my barrel pony is 22 and still running stong is because she was brought into it slowly. By the time she was 8 she was roping (heading) hundreds of cows a week almost. But during her young years she was started at 2, given a foundation and turned out. I'd much rather wait several years, because in time,those years DOUBLE. Sure, I could've started my other mare on the pattern at 3 and been kicking tail by 4. Then she'd have arthritis by 8. I'd rather have the horse that gets mild arthritis at 20 and goes into retirement at 30 comfortable and sound.
But that's just me.
I know it may sound like we are being rude and naggy, but many of us have seen just how bad horses like this can get. It's sad. And we don't want to see that for you. We want you to be able to enjoy your horse for years to come. It's hard, but sometimes you just gotta wait. Trust me, it's worth it.
Be wary of the horse with a sense of humour. - Pam Brown