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post #11 of 15 Old 09-17-2010, 12:02 PM
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When you're doing some slow work, trot or lope up to the barrel and stop (maybe a length before the barrel). Then make your turn, exaggerating your pocket.

I had a horse that tried to run over the first barrel, and here's how I fixed it. We did a lot of slow work, including the above. Sometimes, I would counter-arc him before we turned the barrel because he was a little heavy. I also set up a cone about 30 ft from the barrel (for the first barrel, I put the cone on the third barrel side straight up the fence, does that make sense?). I would turn the barrel with a big pocket and then lope three big, relaxed circles around the cone. On the last circle I would stop when I was facing the second barrel and let him stand for a minute, then ask him to lope off on the left lead. We did the same thing for all three barrels.

I learned this last exercise at a clinic, and it was extremely helpful. It helped tremendously with finishing turns, but also taught him to not cut off the back side of the pocket.

Good luck, and let us know how things are going.

Learning never stops
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post #12 of 15 Old 09-17-2010, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by aforred View Post
When you're doing some slow work, trot or lope up to the barrel and stop (maybe a length before the barrel). Then make your turn, exaggerating your pocket.

I had a horse that tried to run over the first barrel, and here's how I fixed it. We did a lot of slow work, including the above. Sometimes, I would counter-arc him before we turned the barrel because he was a little heavy. I also set up a cone about 30 ft from the barrel (for the first barrel, I put the cone on the third barrel side straight up the fence, does that make sense?). I would turn the barrel with a big pocket and then lope three big, relaxed circles around the cone. On the last circle I would stop when I was facing the second barrel and let him stand for a minute, then ask him to lope off on the left lead. We did the same thing for all three barrels.

I learned this last exercise at a clinic, and it was extremely helpful. It helped tremendously with finishing turns, but also taught him to not cut off the back side of the pocket.

Good luck, and let us know how things are going.
Counter-arcing can make them drop their shoulder sometimes. Making them run past the barrel and then turning works much better, believe me. Been there, done that! Got lots of bruises from it. If you're going to use the technique of running past the barrel, then I suggest stopping just a hair past the barrel, back up a couple steps in the direction you came, and let them sit there for a second before you go on. Circling it twice does me some good. I like the cone idea! I'm gonna try that one myself.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail...
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post #13 of 15 Old 09-17-2010, 12:22 PM
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How does counter-arcing cause them to drop their shoulder? Say I'm turning the first barrel, and I stop where I want him to set while we're running. I bend him to the right and push him in a circle to the left (I did this because he was heavy) then used that same bend to take him around the barrel. When I was having shoulder-dropping issues when I first started, it was because of the way I was riding. When I stopped dropping my inside shoulder going around a barrel or pole, my horses stopped doing it, too.

Learning never stops
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post #14 of 15 Old 09-17-2010, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by aforred View Post
How does counter-arcing cause them to drop their shoulder? Say I'm turning the first barrel, and I stop where I want him to set while we're running. I bend him to the right and push him in a circle to the left (I did this because he was heavy) then used that same bend to take him around the barrel. When I was having shoulder-dropping issues when I first started, it was because of the way I was riding. When I stopped dropping my inside shoulder going around a barrel or pole, my horses stopped doing it, too.
Sorry! Misunderstood you. I thought you meant that you turn your horses head to the left as you are turning right. My bad!

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail...
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post #15 of 15 Old 09-17-2010, 12:45 PM
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Oh, sorry, I didn't explain that well, did I?

Learning never stops
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