Ducking first barrel! Help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Ducking first barrel! Help

So I have a 12 year old gelding, i started him on barrels two years ago in the winter. He has quite the attitude, Hes super athletic, and has great ability, but of course attitude gets in the way. And theres no breaking this attitude.. I mean he doesnt walk all over me. I can ride him perfectly fine and he listens to me. But as a lot of you may know when you have a 1200 lb animal hyped up and ready to go its hard to catch some things sometimes. I mean, it has taken me a year to fix this guys second barrel blowing out problem.. and he had been at a professional WPRA trainer and he still pulled crap. I know he hates barrels, but hes my only horse right now and i have no choice.

So this horse runs great right now, as long as you get past the long haul to your first. He will run up there, but sneakily glide in front of the first barrel without me catching it. He is also very picky about bits and so far the only bites he runs in okay are three peice twisted draw bits, and a little s hackamore. Likes the hackamore more.

So im not sure what to do, nobody is. Its hard to arc him up to the first in a little s... i need help!! I have a barrel race this weekend id like to go to, but its a lot of money if i dont have him running to his first. by the way, this horse will never run past his first. but he will duck it.
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 12:06 PM
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Personally, if you know the horse hates it, in my opinion, don't use him for it. Sell him and get a horse that looks forward to barrel racing. If for some reason that is not an option, then stay away from the pattern except at competition. Train for responsiveness to cues you'd use during barrel races while doing something completely different. . . dodge trees in fields. . . mark patterns in the sand at the beach. . . play tag on horseback with a friend in the arena. Shake it up a bit, and get your horse listening to exactly what you are cuing for, instead of anticipating the barrels. Personally, again, if he really does not enjoy it, I'd sell him. Good luck!
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 12:16 PM
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I agree with the first post. If he knows the pattern, stay away from it. Only run at shows. It's very easy to ruin a horse, especially one that has an attitude and doesn't like the job anyway. You can do tunning up without the pattern; side passing, rollbacks, ect. Also has he had his teeth floated? if something's causing him pain, that would make him duck the barrels.
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 12:18 PM
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Give him a break from the pattern for a while, then come back doing some barrel exercises. Do figure eights, funnel barrels, whatever gets him looking for a turn and listening to you. If he is still ducking barrels and not loving barrel racing, then I wouldn't barrel race him anymore. I have a horse that hates the barrels, and I just don't run him. All I do is trail ride him with my friends. I know that's hard to hear, but you want your horse to be happy and willing to work for you and do the pattern well. Good luck with your horse! :]

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail...
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 06:57 PM
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If he hates barrels, I wouldn't use him for it. And second of all, if he acts like that, you need to take him back to the basics and get full body control at all speeds before you run him.
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 06:59 PM
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He will not get better as long as you are forcing him to do something that he absolutely hates.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 08:05 PM
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I agree with xEqustrianX...take him back to basics. I wouldn't run him for awhile on the pattern. Do some roll backs close on the fence get his bottem up underneath him, so that he sits down in the back real good-maybe once a week or every other week in the arena. But for the most part keep him out of there while you're working this out of him. Do your other back to basics out on the trail...walk, trot, canter. Take him around bushes and trees or whatever. Keep his mind busy. When you get him going really good out there...then take him in the arena and try the pattern at a walk...if he does it well the first time...STOP or when he does it well ..stop. Keep him out of the arena for another week....take him in it at a trot...if he does it well ...STOP!! Move on up to a lope..and then go all out. If he is still hating it you may have to pull him. I have a freind who's horse blows the pattern almost every time and from what I can's cause she doesn't know when to call it quits. When her horse does the pattern perfect she keeps pushing for another perfect set and her horse gets burnned out because there is no reward. So she blows the pattern...anyways if you do go this weekend - luck!!
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all - but i figured it out on my own tonight with my trainer.

(I dont really care if he hates it, as long as i dont have another horse he will continue to do what i want. thats life)
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 10:47 PM
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You can keep that on until you have the kind of horse that rears up, bucks, bolts, etc. He's over 1000lbs, if he hates it, you'll find it out pretty quick. ;)
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by blingedupride View Post
(I dont really care if he hates it, as long as i dont have another horse he will continue to do what i want. thats life)

You do that. But don't come crying to us when your horse finally runs out of patience putting up with your selfish **** and throws you or you get yourself hurt.

I'm just saying. I've seen horses be pushed too far in barrel racing, and hunny, it ain't pretty.

BUT, if you are so selfish that you don't care about the welfare (both physically and mentally) of your horse, then who are we to stop you?

Red Money Maker (Red) - 2004 Sorrel QH Gelding

Last edited by Tennessee; 07-06-2010 at 11:58 PM.
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