Originally Posted by HopalongCassidy View Post
I can get him through a slow lope and trot and he'll turn fine. It's just at a run so I didn't really think he was sore. I run straight down the arena to the third barrel. I don't start turning him to the first until his shoulder is lined up with the barrel. Though he is gradually moving to the first barrel when we are running to it. I ride both hands to the barrel then drop my right hand down to grab the reins lower. Then I let him turn. Sometimes he will turn it and sometimes he'll jerk away. I wish I could get a video but I don't have a camera right know or a phone. I do lean in going into the barrel. I wouldn't know but am I maybe asking him to turn to late? It would help a lot if I had a video.
Yes a video would be great.
Maybe you'll get one eventually.
Me, personally, I don't like to run down the middle of the arena to start my run. I like to head right for my pocket spot, which is 4 feet from the barrel. Maybe altering your approach to the barrel can help?
My old horse Beau, when I was training him, he had difficulties going wide on the first barrel. What worked for him was for me to run straight at the first barrel, ask him to move over, and that set the pocket for him to complete his turn correctly. I didn't have to do it that dramatic once he got the hang of it, but altering my approach to the first barrel worked for him.
Do not lean. That actually is probably what is causing your horse to jerk away. Dena Kirkpatrick just had an article about this in Barrel Horse News. Horses have much different vision that we have. They can see our knee in the saddle, but they cannot see directly in front of them. So if you are leaning in, causing your horse to shoulder in, and probably causingn him to turn too soon
, he is physically losing sight of the barrel. This is going to cause him to do one of two things 1) knock the barrel over 2) duck off. Which in your case, he is ducking off. He doesn't want to turn because he can't see the barrel and he doesn't know where it is.
Dena Kirkpatrick has a great video explaining this, and how important it is to not turn too soon.