How to keep your horse on track.

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How to keep your horse on track.

This is a discussion on How to keep your horse on track. within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

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    04-13-2011, 05:34 PM
How to keep your horse on track.

Well,I got taught by this,From my Instructor Jaimee.She told me,That sometimes Barrel Horses will get distracted by the crowd they perform for.And how she trained her horses,was to Keep their head ready to turn for the barrel. Since mostly riders wait ti'll their beside the barrel to turn.Wrong,Wrong.That makes them see the people and making them stop.So what I do with my horses,is I keep the left side of the rein tight to their neck,making their head prepared for the barrel.So their head is TURNED and focused on the barrel instead of the sounds.See how this goes?
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    04-13-2011, 06:25 PM
I see what you are saying.

However, if your only reason for doing this is to keep your horse focused, then I would simply suggest desensitizing to the crowd. A horse who doesn't care for the crowd won't be worried about it when running to the barrel. Me and my instructor put a Stereo in Rebel's stall with crowd noises and had one of us run around on the bleachers in her arena.

However, keeping your horse flexed into the turn is a nice way to stay prepared. I don't run with the flexion because I need to keep them focused; I run with the bend because that way, they are already in the turning position and it makes it easier for them to follow their nose around the barrel and get on their haunches.
    04-13-2011, 06:29 PM
Hmm.Good point.Well,My horses are the kind who yet hear the crowd.But yet ignore them,Their both 50-50.So,I train them to ignore them.But I have never heard about the radio thing.My Instructor never taught me that,She only said keep the horses head prepared for the turn.Well,The other thing I was taught was to talk to you horse while you are riding.They can hear your voice better than the crowds.
    04-13-2011, 06:33 PM
Yes, talking is good.

I use a lot of vocal cues when running, and I have an over-and-under if they really need a reminder.

I use the "Ssh Ssh" or just the classic cowgirl "Yaw!!" which is basically "Move your rump or I'll move it for you" lol. And the "Hey! Hey!" call for the turn is helpful.

Of course between the barrels I swear to god I'm giving a mini speech. Of course, this is only if I sense some tension. I'm a huge believer that the horses know what we're saying, at all times.
    04-13-2011, 07:05 PM
Bwahahhaha!!! I always say to my horses."Come on Joey,You got it Buddy." Or when we head for the stretch,Im just yelling."LETS GO!" and Excactly!!! Between barrels I give a small insperational speech (: and I sometimes yell."Yah,Yah" or "Yep".But yeah,Barrel Racing just keeps my pumped up! Its AMAZING!

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