Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Queensland, Australia
Well I can't fault you, so many people get their horses silly by just making them run the events over and over again. It's dangerous for the horse and rider, and anyone on the ground that may just be trying to help or just happening to be in the way.
Your training method sounds good, you could also do different things in the holding pen, maybe a little hack around the fenceline, the stop and stand like they're starting.. wait until he's calm, then maybe get off and pick up his feet, just do everyday things. I've trained my sporting horses on signals and voice commands, and they've learnt to remain absolutely calm until they get that signal, and to take off do a competitive run when I give that voice command.
We train at technique, not speed, and only allow one fast run per training session. That way it's a treat if their technique is right, and they learn that if they do it right they get to have fun.. not all this hitting and ripping on mouths you see in rodeos and gymkhanas sometimes. It really is a shame. I'd rather a safe, sensible horse I can trust than a fast one, and with work, ANY horse can barrel well - I used to have a 13.2hh welsh x WB pony that went up against pro circuit girls on barrels at a show... she tripped coming home and still placed 2nd by less than a second. I was dumbfounded.. but looking up at their absolutely shocked faces was the most satisfying feeling I've ever had!
I hope that your daughter's horse comes good, it sounds like he's had good foundation training and that he's just had some tiny little thing set him off, because horsey brains are a complete mystery and they do tend to get hysterical over the minor details! I'm sure he'll come up wonderfully after a bit of perserverance, and you'll look an even better horseperson for all the negative comments that were made about him!