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"diving"??

This is a discussion on "diving"?? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

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        05-15-2013, 10:48 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    I just watched your video again, and I see what you mean about the skipping, also when he turns around the barrel he really lowers his head and swishes his tail hard. I'd have him looked at by a chiro, or massage therapist. Something may be hurting him, causig him to not want to move properly.
         
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        05-16-2013, 07:31 AM
      #12
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sparks879    
    I just watched your video again, and I see what you mean about the skipping, also when he turns around the barrel he really lowers his head and swishes his tail hard. I'd have him looked at by a chiro, or massage therapist. Something may be hurting him, causig him to not want to move properly.
    I've often thought it might be my saddle, but he does it in the pasture too. Possibly a result of the neglect and malnutrition he suffered prior to coming to me? His feet are trimmed regularly and my farrier says his feet and legs are pretty good. I hope it's a simple fix for him I hate to think he's in any sort of pain! Thanks for the insight on the chiropractor, I'll have to have one out.
         
        05-16-2013, 10:12 AM
      #13
    Green Broke
    First of all, welcome to barrel racing! It's a blast, once you get going.

    Secondly, I want you to check out this thread. We created it to be a reference for new barrel racers to read through. Please read the whole thing.
    Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills.

    And thirdly, we'll give you what help we can over the internet, but it will always be better if you can work with a trainer and take some barrel racing lessons.

    Okay, here's what I see in your video:

    --Make your barrel reins shorter. Look at all the extra you have in there. A good rule of thumb is when your horse is standing relaxed, the reins should be about 1 to 2 inches in front of your saddle horn, if you pick up the reins to ask him to back up. In my photo here, look at where my reins are: (I've got a small "loop" in my hands.


    --Do not neck rein around the barrel. It tips your horse's nose to the outside, which is not what you want. You should be asking with a direct rein from the inside, asking the nose to tip in. I'll explain more below.

    --You ask your horse to turn TOO SOON at the barrel. Watch this video from Dena Kirkpatrick (she's got a lot of videos on YouTube) and she talks about barrel position. Also notice how she tips her horse's nose to the inside, and look at the great curve the horse's body has around the barrel.

    --You ARE leaning to the inside, and looking down at your horse's shoulder. Both are no-no's. You should be sitting tall and straight in your saddle, with most of your weight in the OUTSIDE stirrup. Remember centripetal force from physics class? An object traveling in a circle will travel FASTER with the weight to the outside. Your eyes should be looking between your horse's ears, at the ground you want your horse to get to. NEVER look at the barrel. Your horse goes where you look, so be sure to look where you are going!!

    --When you approached the third barrel, you again turned too soon. Plus, you yanked him over with your neck rein (you really are NOT neck reining correctly. More about that below.), which threw his nose to the outside, plus you were leaning inward ....... Well, it's no wonder he feels rough and couldn't keep his gallop up! You aren't helping him at all.

    --And let go of that saddle horn!!!! It's not helping your body posture any. Yes, it is fine to hold onto the horse in the turn to keep your body in position, but at this stage in the game, you'll need to use two hands around the barrel to keep your horse shaped and correct, until he learns on his own.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CatrinaB87    
    His conformation is not the greatest. Not even close. He is built down hill, and his legs are too under him. His canter/gallop is pretty rough, and I have found the best way to ride it is with an "english style" seat, forward and up.
    Have you had him examined by a chiropractor?
    How about a lameness specialist vet?

    If the horse has pain issues because of poor conformation, you are going to need to address that FIRST before you expect him to perform. (Although I honestly don't think he looks that bad.)

    My horses get a "wellness exam" every single year from my vet to hopefully catch issues before they actually become an issue. They also see the chiropractor at least once per year (more often if they have an issue). They see the dentist every year. And the farrier works on them every 6 weeks like clockwork.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CatrinaB87    
    My problem is when I get to barrels, I am obviously not sitting deep in the saddle, therefore I feel like I am throwing the both of us off balance. Can anyone recommend some excercises/tecniques to help me get deeper in the saddle, and for my horse to not be so rough? Is it a roundness issue? He also has a problem changing his leads, and breaks into a trot to do so. I have been around horses most of my live but would consider myself a novice when it comes to "training fixes." Most of what I do is on a trail, so leads obviously aren't that important (until now!! Gosh.)
    He sounds like he is VERY unbalanced, especially if he's constantly breaking down into a trot when galloping.

    Now, does he KNOW flying lead changes? If he's never been taught, he is going to have to break down to a trot and do a simple lead change. Flying lead changes aren't necessary for barrel racing (although nice to have) because often the horse will learn themselves (with you showing him with a simple lead change immediately after your first barrel) where to change leads.

    How in shape is your horse? If he's not in tip-top conditioning, of course he'll have issues with physical activity.

    I do lots, and lots, and lots of circle work. At both the trot and the lope. It helps build those muscles and build balance in a horse (and rider). If you want a suggestion on exercises you can do with him = do circles. And lots of them. Big, small, and in-between. Work on making them absolutely perfect, and keeping his body perfectly bent to match.

    And for you to learn to sit BACK in your saddle, I'd work on those circles without stirrups. Force yourself to sit deep in your saddle. When you lean forward, you put most of your weight on his front end, which makes his front end less "free" and very difficult for him to move it around. Keep your weight centered. (plus leaning too far forward while making turns in barrel racing actually makes your horse more prone to falling, because he can't move his front end as freely)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CatrinaB87    
    I'm thinking part of my problem is that I'm attempting to neck rein him around the barrels. Maybe that's causing me to lean into my inside stirrup to reach?
    Don't neck rein. A horse needs to be able to have a curve in their body to match the circle they are making. That means the nose should be tipped in, and the hindquarters should also be inward.

    Yes, the neck reining is causing you issues. Plus, you aren't even neck reining correctly. When you neck rein, you simply lay the opposing rein on his neck. You NEVER pull so hard, that you engage the bit (which you are doing). This is very confusing to him because he's got the rein against his neck, plus the bit pulling him in the opposite direction from that neck rein, plus he's getting contact and pull from the inside bit, plus you are leaning. Neck reining (anyway) should be mostly coming from your legs and seat.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CatrinaB87    
    And advice how I would go about getting him to wrap around my leg? Do I just do lots of circles and figure eights using more leg pressure than rein? And I'm guessing the "pocket" is the space around the barrel?
    Rein is always a secondary cue. Legs and body should always come first.

    Let's say we want to make a circle to the left. Use your left inside rein to directly tip his nose to the inside (left). Keep your inside left leg in a neutral spot by the girth. This is the leg he is going to bend around. Move your outside right leg slightly backward, so that you are asking him to keep his hip inward.

    Yes, the "pocket" is the terminology for the path your horse travels around the barrel. It is roughly 4 feet from the barrel all the way around, but different horses will need different distances. 4 feet is just a starting point.


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CatrinaB87    
    When he canters, it's almost like he skips with his back end. He doesn't look like most horses do when he runs. I don't know if it's a conformation issue or a laziness issue, but it's almost as if he doesn't quite bend his back legs to bring them under him, instead he lifts his hips and keeps as straight a leg as he possibly can. Is this part of the needing to get him on his haunches more?
    I would need to see a better video of his lope. At the end of your barrel practice, I really don't see anything severely wrong with his lope. Yes, he certainly could be more balanced and more conditioned, but he's not bad.

    Just work on all those CIRCLES I recommended.
    CatrinaB87 and Fowl Play like this.
         
        05-17-2013, 10:37 AM
      #14
    Foal
    Ohmygosh thank you so much for the concise information. I have been reading Some things about people trying to change bits and what not, and I would really prefer to keep him in my loose ring snaffle. He listens to it, so is there a need for me to go to something else?
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        05-17-2013, 02:14 PM
      #15
    Green Broke
    If he works well in a loose ring snaffle, you do not have to change him. There are no "rules" on bits when it comes to barrel racing. Use what works.

    Now, if you ever get to the point where you are adding some speed to it, you may want something stronger in his mouth "just in case".

    For a horse that doesn't need much, I like a Jr. Cowhorse



    Or a Tender Touch

         
        05-17-2013, 02:19 PM
      #16
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beau159    
    If he works well in a loose ring snaffle, you do not have to change him. There are no "rules" on bits when it comes to barrel racing. Use what works.

    Now, if you ever get to the point where you are adding some speed to it, you may want something stronger in his mouth "just in case".

    For a horse that doesn't need much, I like a Jr. Cowhorse



    Or a Tender Touch

    Those are gag bits, aren't they? I know the snaffle works by applying pressure to the bars, roof of mouth, and tounge, how do those work? Also, I was looking through my pictures and I think I may have captured a picture of his "skipping" while my SO was riding him. See how down hill he is?

    IMG_3296.jpg
         
        05-17-2013, 02:33 PM
      #17
    Started
    In that phase of the lope, all horses will appear slightly downhill. It might help to get him more rounded.
         
        05-17-2013, 03:20 PM
      #18
    Green Broke
    Yes, the two bits I posted are gag bits. However, they only have a "little" gag. For example, a bit like this will have "a lot" of gag because the mouthpiece has a long track that it could possibly slide on.




    On a side note, I always use bit guards for ANY gag bit. I never want my horse's mouth to be pinched.

    Gag bits work on both mouth pressure, and poll pressure. Now I'm not a bit guru by any means, so you maybe can get a better (and possibly more accurate) description from someone else. But the gag is going to give them a "warning" before the bit fully engages.

    Now in the picture you posted, all of his weight in the gallop is on his leading front leg. Of course he's going to look downhill in that position! More importantly though, look at how hollowed out his back is, and look how he's sticking his nose out in the air. He's not collected at all. Plus, based on where his feet are in the picture, it looks like he is cross-firing to me, where his back legs and front legs are NOT on the same lead. (Unless he was just moving from the trot to the lope in this "frame". If that's the case, he's just re-organizing his legs in mid-air) So it depends when exactly you took this picture.

    Look at this picture in comparison to yours. The horse is almost in the same position as yours in the lope. See how he looks downhill too? In that "freeze frame" position, tha'ts just how their body is. But the difference with this picture is the horse is collected. The back is rounded, and he's soft in the face.

    CatrinaB87 likes this.
         
        05-18-2013, 03:11 PM
      #19
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beau159    

    Now in the picture you posted, all of his weight in the gallop is on his leading front leg. Of course he's going to look downhill in that position! More importantly though, look at how hollowed out his back is, and look how he's sticking his nose out in the air. He's not collected at all. Plus, based on where his feet are in the picture, it looks like he is cross-firing to me, where his back legs and front legs are NOT on the same lead. (Unless he was just moving from the trot to the lope in this "frame". If that's the case, he's just re-organizing his legs in mid-air) So it depends when exactly you took this picture.

    Look at this picture in comparison to yours. The horse is almost in the same position as yours in the lope. See how he looks downhill too? In that "freeze frame" position, tha'ts just how their body is. But the difference with this picture is the horse is collected. The back is rounded, and he's soft in the face.

    So I'm guessing I'm mostly dealing with a horse that lacks suppleness? There is a guy at the barn who has some AWESOME horses that tries to give me pointers, but it gets to a point that telling someone what to do just doesn't cut it, especially when they lack the experience to really do what needs to be done. I might see if I can talk him into riding my horse a few times, and maybe if I can watch him work him, I might be able to see what I need to do. Here is a picture of his coming 3 year old filly

    IMG_3226.jpg
         
        05-19-2013, 01:46 PM
      #20
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CatrinaB87    
    So I'm guessing I'm mostly dealing with a horse that lacks suppleness? There is a guy at the barn who has some AWESOME horses that tries to give me pointers, but it gets to a point that telling someone what to do just doesn't cut it, especially when they lack the experience to really do what needs to be done. I might see if I can talk him into riding my horse a few times, and maybe if I can watch him work him, I might be able to see what I need to do. Here is a picture of his coming 3 year old filly
    Yes, I just see that your horse needs to learn to be more collected, rounded, and soft in the face.

    It would certainly be worthwhile to take some actual lessons from someone who knows what they are doing. Because often yes, if the trainer can hop on your horse and get a feel for how he is riding, they can often better assist you in know what to do for that particular horse. I think that would be the best route.
    CatrinaB87 likes this.
         

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