How often to Practice - Page 2

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How often to Practice

This is a discussion on How often to Practice within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

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        08-14-2012, 01:04 AM
    What I think horses just need different jobs to get their minds off of barrel racing. Not necessarily trails, but definitely not barrels.
    My horses get ridden on cattle a lot.
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        08-14-2012, 12:38 PM
    Thanks for the replies. Yeah I'm not a barrel racer...or would consider myself one but have tried it for fun and see how one of my horses would do at it nothing to serious. It is fun but often wondered if people and their horses did it everyday or what.
        08-14-2012, 04:45 PM
    Green Broke
    Depends on the horse, and what level of training they are at.

    Horses that are learning the pattern get exposed to the pattern AFTER they know their basic fundamentals (lead changes, soft in the bridle, control and calm at all gaits, leg yields, sidepassing, etc etc). I like to do pattern work about 3 to 5 times a week on a horse that is learning. In the beginning, we keep things calm, collected, and in control. And we don't always work the pattern "in order". Sometimes you can just work on turns randomly around the barrels, or make 3 right turns, or counter arc past a barrel, etc. Teaching your horse to listen to you and to know how to handle their body.

    When we speed it up, you still always keep that control (being able to move any part of their body at any time, no matter how fast or slow you are going). I may do the pattern less as we increase the speed, if they are doing well and know it.

    On a finished horse, I usually only work on the pattern if we are having an issue. And I make one or two RUNS during the week, especially if we don't go anywhere that weekend.

    But mostly I focus on trail riding for conditioning. I like to go at least 4 miles per ride, or 6 if I have the time that day. And I'm out there at a bare minimum of 3 days a week but usually 5 or 6 times a week. Gotta balance work, family, and community involvement.
        08-21-2012, 02:44 PM
    It really depends on the horse in my opinion. My finished horses run patterns every other day; how long and hard also differs from day to day. My young not finished horses are ridden through barrels most days (3-4 days a week) today it's way to hot!! 110 degrees to be exact.
        09-04-2012, 12:11 AM
    On my finished mare I ride or work her everyday, it is very important to keep her I the best shape possible if she is making competitive runs. I don't work her on the pattern at all in practice because I don't want to sour her. I do a lot of long trotting, flexing, sidepassing, moving every part of her body and keeping her limber and her mind on me. I will set up one barrel in the middle of the pen to practice keeping her body soft and supple around the barrel without souring her.

    My young horses I put them on the pattern 3-4 times a week, slow, trotting and maybe a little loping, but along with that they get rode out on trails before or after their patterning. I also rope on them to keep them doing something else and not letting them get soured out on the pattern.

    It is really important finished horse or not to keep their mouth's soft and body supple. :)

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