You need to grow with your horse. Barrel racing takes alot of balance and skilful riding believe it or not. Find a good barrel racing trainer willing to give you and your horse lessons Posted via Mobile Device
My horse is barrel/western pleasure, he hasn't ran an over a year, but I've only walked the pattern a handful of times. Where is a good place for both of us to start?
I agree with the others.
I realize that "get a trainer" is probably not the answer you were looking for, but let's think about this. You are a newbie when it comes to barrel racing, while you're horse has some experience. That's a huge mismatch between you and your horse; especially if you don't even know the barrel pattern. Think of how frustrating it would be for your horse and bad habits it could create if you would be doing the pattern wrong (just for example of one thing). There are so many aspects in barrel racing that most people don't know about, because from the outside it may just appear to be "kick n spur 'round 3 cans as fast as you can". Your hand position, seat, leg cues, body position, where your eyes are looking, getting him set up for the pocket, how to correct shouldering in/out, etc etc etc
Yes, there are lots of books and DVDs out there but for someone so inexperienced such as yourself, it really is so much better to have a live person teaching you right there. So either find a trainer in your area or else talk to people you trust to help you find one.
Think about this: I could read a book about how to build a house. But does that mean I would be able to go build a house on my own right after that? Nope! I would need lots of lots of hands-on experience by someone showing me what to do.
But a few bits of information to help you out....
The black lines with the arrows on this picture indicate how you go around the barrels. You make a right turn around the first barrel (on your right) and then you make two left turns around the other two barrels. This is the picture on the left side above and this is what most people do.
You can reverse this! Since some horses turn better to the right, and a good barrel racing will recognize that. So you may elect to do the pattern the other way. So you would make a left right around the first barrel (on your left), and then two right turns on the other two barrels. This is shown on the right side above.
So it would be key to find out which way your horse is used to running the pattern, either to the right or left first, because that will be more familiar to him.
You can get your hands on other resources in addition to getting a trainer. Some great books/DVDs out there are made by Charmayne James, Sharon Camarillo, Sherry Cervi, Martha Josey, and Ed and Martha Wright, just to name a few.
I agree with everyone else about the trainer. Theres alot that goes into barrel racing. Its not just spinning randomly around barrels like alot of people think. You have to look where your going. Pay attencion to everything your body is doing (you don't wanna throw your horse off balence or set him up wrong for the barrels), get the correct pace, set him up for the barrels(dont want him cutting in with his shoulder etc), pat attencion to pockets (alot harder then it looks. Trust me)..... and controle your horse. And you can't go at a highspeed unless you have controle and to get controle you have to do all of the above. And more.
And you don't want him randomly switching into "games mood" and taking off when your not ready for it. (iv seen it happen before. In experiences rider on an experienced barrel horse. The horse just did what it new to do...but the rider wasnt ready for it)
Ok sorry for not sayin I knew how just didnt have it down pat. I've ran a few times but only walked with my own horse. He just needs refreshed as do I...im sorry for not bein specific. He's extremly taller than the horse I was riding before and he's always ready to go. Im just wondering if its because he's so much taller and im not comfortable, anything I can do to be comfortable.
Hes extremly taller than the horse I was riding before and he's always ready to go. Im just wondering if its because he's so much taller and im not comfortable, anything I can do to be comfortable.
I am not a Western rider, so I can't help with that. But I can tell you that it doesn't matter at all the size of the horse (well it does if you are too heavy for it, but that doesn't apply here). It only matters in your head and you can correct that.
ok sorry for not sayin I knew how just didnt have it down pat. I've ran a few times but only walked with my own horse. He just needs refreshed as do I...im sorry for not bein specific. He's extremly taller than the horse I was riding before and he's always ready to go. Im just wondering if its because he's so much taller and im not comfortable, anything I can do to be comfortable.
Whether or not you know the pattern itself doesn't change the fact that you are not experienced in barrel racing. Thus a trainer is STILL going to be your best choice.
It is sounding to me like this horse may be too much for you, since it basically sounds like you are scared of him because he is a large horse and you are not sure if you'd be able to control him. Where again, a trainer is going to be your best choice!
You won't get comfortable unless you ride him and get used to him. However, if this horse really is too much for you to handle, you could really risk getting yourself hurt or the horse hurt. I apologize if I am misinterpreting what you are saying (and that's not really the case), but I have seen a lot of inexperienced riders get hurt or else ruin a good horse --- just because the horse was too much for them.
So be honest with yourself and this horse. If you want things to work out and you want to be confident and comfortable riding him, get someone to help you. Even if you don't have a barrel racing trainer in your area, ANY type of trainer is going to help you learn how to handle this horse.