Getting too close the barrel, not enough pocket

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Getting too close the barrel, not enough pocket

This is a discussion on Getting too close the barrel, not enough pocket within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Barrel Racing Pocket
  • Horse have to get a pocket

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  • 1 Post By BarrelRacingLvr
  • 1 Post By 1RedHorse

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    05-09-2012, 11:03 AM
Getting too close the barrel, not enough pocket

My mare loves getting all close to the barrel. She doesn't knock it, but she slows way down so she can get as close as possible. Lol Would putting cones around the barrel when practicing help? What can I do to fix this problem? Thanks. :)
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    05-09-2012, 11:09 AM
You as her rider need to guide her into the perfect pocket for her. You need to practice and practice and really understand the importance of the perfect pocket and where to point your horse.

Putting up cones may help as a visual for you.

The problem is, if the horse knows the pattern, your going to fight tooth and nail to keep her off the barrels. Go back to slow work...
    05-09-2012, 11:13 AM
When going slow you need to over exaggerate your pocket and make it about 5ft between you and the barrel. It is very important that you have the proper pocket when going slow because when going faster they will get closer to the barrel. So YOU need to put her where she needs to be and make her do what you want and not the other way around.

Letting a horse overwork the barrels will cause you a lot of hurt in the future.
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    05-09-2012, 11:40 AM
Do you have any videos?
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    05-09-2012, 11:45 AM
^ Seconded
    05-09-2012, 01:04 PM
Rather than focus on the barrel as you approach, have you tried focusing on a spot straight ahead about 5' off the barrel? She may be turning where you are looking.
    05-09-2012, 04:58 PM
I know I have to tell myself on Selena that I'm not turning the barrel, I'm going the fence and then turning. Because inevitably, if I focus on turning the barrel, she will hit it. She's extremely push style is why.

So, although I still want a video, I would do a lot of slow work developing the pocket if you're sure its not something that you are doing to cause it.
    05-09-2012, 05:59 PM
I second (third?) doing some slow work and working on keeping your distance to help build muscle memory. One thing that helps me is to focus on looking through my horses ears to where I want to go, not at the barrel. Beyond that it is hard to be specific without seeing a video, but just make sure you are setting her up right for the pocket and using your inside leg to lift her rid cage and keep her off the barrel.
    05-09-2012, 08:23 PM
Ok thanks everybody! Unfortunately, I do not have a video. I do have some ideas but I agree that I need to to back to slow work.

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