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Dressage to Barrels; Bits? Speed?

This is a discussion on Dressage to Barrels; Bits? Speed? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

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        01-22-2013, 04:25 PM
      #11
    Green Broke
    To the OP:

    Since you failed to mention in your original post that your horse has been cleared by the 1) vet 2) chiro 3) dentist and 4) farrier, there is absolutely nothing wrong with us asking if your horse has any soundness issues. We can't read your mind. We don't know your background. And we always certainly want to make sure in any discipline, that a pain issue isn't the root of the problem, before you go and drill the horse on training.

    We can't just assume details about you. Assuming gets you into trouble on here. That's why we ask questions. It's not a put-down of your character, so don't get defensive.

    Now, as far as the speed issue and the "throwing shoulder" issue. Do you have a video to show us exactly what you mean when she throws a shoulder?

    Tell me if my description is correct (or if I am way off):
    --As you approach the 3rd barrel, your horse wants to turn too soon and anticipates that she will turn.
    --To prevent her from turning too soon, you direct or neck rein her to the outside.
    --This causes her shoulder to be thrown inward, and causes you to either hit the barrel, or it causes her to cut it too close, and you have to finish the turn really wide.

    Is that what is happening? If it is, I'll explain how to correct it. If not, please explain further about what is happening, or have someone take a video of it.

    Or....... when you approach the third barrel:
    --Is her nose bending nicely to the inside, but her shoulder is popping to the outside too much, and thus she's "spinning" her hind end around her?

    This is where a video would help because there could just be something small in your riding that we could fix, if we knew exactly what was going on.

    It may help for you to check out a few free videos on YouTube. Dena Kirkpatrick has a lot of good ones. Here's one of them to get you started. This video shows how important it is to have good bend in a barrel horse (since you stated she has bend for dressage, but seemed to think bending wasn't as important in barrels???)



    I agree with the others that if you are having any sort of issue on the pattern such as this, you do NOT want to add speed at this point, or you'll only make the issue worse.

    Once you get that perfect pattern back at the lope, then you can think about adding speed.

    I agree that breezing a horse is the best way for them to LEARN how to run. And even if she breezes in a wide open field, it usually takes them TIME to learn how to run in an arena with fences. You certainly don't want to force a horse to run with spurs, whips, or otherwise, as that'll just make them resent their job. (Not to mention that spurs are used for lateral movement and refinement, but should not used for making the horse "go faster".) But sometimes it just takes time for them to figure the speed part out.

    And one question I have: Are we talking about an English Tom Thumb or a Western Tom Thumb? Because there is a difference. Can you post a picture of the bit you are talking about?

    Because if you are talking about this one:



    That bit is good for nothing except a coat hanger. I completely disagree that:

    Quote:
    This bit is only bad in the wrong uneducated hands.
    if that is the bit we are talking about it. It applies pressure in all the wrong ways multiply and actually does not give the horse release ever, even if your reins are loose. Just by the bit's poor design, there is pressure on the mouth at all times. And that's why I think it's a piece of garbage for anyone to use for anything, even trail riding. IMO

    It is perfectly acceptable to have a separate bit for dressage and a separate bit for gaming. It helps the horses to tell the difference to have a tack change. I do the same for my barrel horses, when I take them to local shows for western pleasure, reining, and competitive trail. Or when we are just plain trail riding. Or when we are competing, versus schooling at home. I use different bits based on what I am doing.

    A longer shank doesn't make a horse's mouth hard. But harsh hands will. A longer shank should actually allow you to be even softer in your cues, because very, very little movements will send a signal to your horse. That's why you seeing reining horses with these super long shanks -- the rider barely has to even shift their hand position for the horse to instantly feel a change. Talk about softness!

    You can try a little S hack if you want, but they tend to make horses a bit stiffer. Based on your descriptions thus far, it sounds like we need to get your horse more bendy -- not stiffer.

    Any of the bits SorrelHorse mentioned would be good ones to try.
    SorrelHorse likes this.
         
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        01-22-2013, 04:52 PM
      #12
    Foal
    FYI- I have dealt with pain issues before, on other horses. My horse is healthy, vet checked 2x a year, and does see an equine chiro because of the dressage work. She gets her hooves trimmed every 6 weeks and teeth every 6 months. I have had both my dressage saddle and barrel saddle fitted by a world certified saddle fitter. This information is not necessary for people to answer my basic question what are some good bits to try without assuming there is something wrong. The only reason the "Western" TT was mentioned was to know where to go from there in terms of bits to try. I asked to not criticize the use of the TT and that's what people went for anyway. There is a reason for being defensive. I do think bending is important for any discipline. My horse is "overbending". I do not care if you disagree with me about the bit.

    As another note I have never used spurs ever when I'm riding her. And won't when gaming. She does not need it. I use a whip in dressage as most people do to tap and keep forward momentum not speed.
         
        01-22-2013, 04:57 PM
      #13
    Super Moderator
    If I was introducing a horse to something new I would stick with the bit it was used too (in this case the snaffle) until it had a firm grasp of going forwards - at the gallop. It doesnt matter how light you think your hands are what the horse has in its mouth is going to make a difference to the way it reacts
    I used to do mounted games and pony club dressage on the same pony in the same snaffle bit (and an english saddle - it still knew that it was being asked to do something different.
         
        01-22-2013, 05:10 PM
      #14
    Yearling
    A reining bit. The sides act individually and you can find short shanked bits easily. Really a video would be nice to see what's going on its hard to follow the description a d everyone has their own definition of things.
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        01-22-2013, 07:03 PM
      #15
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ShebaGurl    
    FYI- I have dealt with pain issues before, on other horses. My horse is healthy, vet checked 2x a year, and does see an equine chiro because of the dressage work. She gets her hooves trimmed every 6 weeks and teeth every 6 months. I have had both my dressage saddle and barrel saddle fitted by a world certified saddle fitter. This information is not necessary for people to answer my basic question what are some good bits to try without assuming there is something wrong. The only reason the "Western" TT was mentioned was to know where to go from there in terms of bits to try. I asked to not criticize the use of the TT and that's what people went for anyway. There is a reason for being defensive. I do think bending is important for any discipline. My horse is "overbending". I do not care if you disagree with me about the bit.

    As another note I have never used spurs ever when I'm riding her. And won't when gaming. She does not need it. I use a whip in dressage as most people do to tap and keep forward momentum not speed.
    I thank you for supplying the health information, so that now we know for sure a pain issue isn't causing this horse a problem with moving its body. And asking about the health of a horse is 100% completely relevant to a bit question, since you asked for a bit that will specifically help this horse not to over-bend. Sometimes there IS a health reason that causes a horse to move its body wrong, and not the rider and not the bit. We've got to rule out pain first. Always. Clearly it's not the issue in this case, as you have now explained further. But as I have already said, there is still no reason to get defensive because someone asked for more information. There's a lot of people who don't have half the knowledge or resources that you do, and we've got to get the complete story before just simply changing the bit. Because sometimes, the bit has nothing to do with it. We don't know unless we ask.

    Can you explain the over-bending a bit further? When you get to that 3rd barrel, what is she doing with each piece of her body? (head, shoulders, rib cage, hip)

    Knowing exactly what's going wrong in the turn can maybe help pinpoint the best bit to aid you in cueing her.
    SorrelHorse likes this.
         
        01-23-2013, 04:16 AM
      #16
    Trained
    ^ Yes, exactly.

    You can have a ridiculously bendy horse (My mare is a wonderful example) but their shoulder and hip can follow in correct position. However, you get an overbent horse whose nose isn't attached to the rest of their body and you have bowing shoulders, which sounds like that is what you are talking about.

    However, if she is throwing them to the INSIDE, it's time to go back to your slow work and counter arc, lift, counter arc, run past the barrel and did I mention counter arc?

    That video of Dena is an excellent one for understanding the dynamics of a turn. If the shoulder is up and the hip under them, the horse will not hit a barrel if you ride them like you should. Some horses are smarter than others. My colt would never hit a barrel in his life because he doesn't anticipate the turn no matter how many times I seem to make it. My mare though, you turn it once and you had better be running past it twice. I suspect your horse, if shouldering in, is doing the exact same thing.
    beau159 likes this.
         

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