Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Western Pennsylvania
I'll tell ya, I just found the same thing with the new horse I'm leasing. She's never been on barrels in her life, nor has she ever cantered in an arena before I started riding her, and even though she can't keep a canter around the barrel yet, she wanted to run while I was trying to walk/trot the patterns, her ears were up, and I could tell that she just loved it. I'm really glad she likes it, because that's the reason I'm leasing her, to show her in games. I didn't know if she was going to be any good or fast at all since she walks like a tortoise, but I'm beyond ecstatic that she seems to enjoy what I enjoy.
She's safe and reliable on the trail, but she doesn't have the spark I saw in her on the barrels and poles.
Also, I think it's great that you're working with your friend who races consistently. I learned from my friend (we were both 15/16 at the time) and I've been told I was taught very well by whoever it was that taught me. The only thing I can suggest is to try and get the basics down with speed on a finished barrel horse instead of learning the speed (unless you're already at that point) on your horse which still needs a bit of work here and there. I ran the pattern flopping around on my friend's pony's back around each barrel, and that (I believe) would've been detrimental to a horse that wasn't completely aware of what he/she was doing and knowing it's job like they know their pasture.
And while I don't have any bling on my tack, barrels are absolutely amazing. I found my 30 seconds in the ring for a barrel/pole pattern more of a workout than a 15 minute pleasure class. The adrenaline is addicting.(;
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