How Should I Start Training My Horse For Barrel Racing? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 16 Old 12-04-2011, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Smile How Should I Start Training My Horse For Barrel Racing?

I have been wanting to start barrel racing with my new horse, Koby, but I don't know how to start training. Any suggestions? Thanks!
~Kayla
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-04-2011, 09:07 PM
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This is the single most asked question in this forum it seems. And as always, my answer will be to find a trainer.
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Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-05-2011, 07:31 PM
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I don't think its necessary at all to get a trainer. If you have the money and the ability to, then I would, but if you don't, don't think that you can't do it. I grew up working for my dad starting at 7 years old saving up all my money to buy my own horses, hay, vet bills, everything. I didn't have any money to spend on any trainers. I learned all on my own. I also didn't have the money to buy barrel horses, and even tho I do now, at 19, I still don't buy trained barrel horses. I find much more happiness in training a horse from knowing absolutly nothing about barrels to winning races against trainers and people who send their horses to trainers yearly.

To start you need to start from the bottom. Get your horse responsive to you on the ground.

If you have established this I do simple things riding, I want my horse responsive to my cues, loping circles well, responsive to leg cues, doing figure eights, flying lead changes, things you will be doing during races.

I then move on to adding barrels to the picture. I set up 4 in a square and lope around them, do figure eights around 2, set them up in a row and lope around each one on down the line, many different patterns. You can find a lot of stuff online.

When I finally think my horse is ready to start the actual pattern I start slow. Someone once told me they set up cones a few feet away on one side and then slowly closer going around the barre (where yo would want your horse to be walking/eventually running) This is a good way to consistantly be working your horse the same way every time you do the barrels. Do not go to the next speed until you can do it perfectly at the speed you start with. I also don't run my horses full speed ever at home, only when I'm out actually competing.
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-05-2011, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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@BarrelAddict

Thank you so much! Right now my family can't afford a trainer so its nice to know that its possible to do it without one! That helped tons! I'm excited to try that now with my horse :)

A Horse Is An Extension Of It's Rider...Both Cant Complete Their Tasks Without The Other <3
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-05-2011, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaylaMarie96 View Post
@BarrelAddict

Thank you so much! Right now my family can't afford a trainer so its nice to know that its possible to do it without one! That helped tons! I'm excited to try that now with my horse :)
you're very welcome! Another thing you can do that isn't as expensive as a trainer is to go to a barrel clinic. I went to one last year and it was great. It was a 2 or 3 day thing we stayed over night at, it was like $200 or something not to expensive for what I got out of it. They are packed with information from not only the instructor but other people too. A good way for you and your horse to learn together!
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-05-2011, 08:09 PM
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Just wanted to add, my first post is what I do from start to finish, by no means do I do this in a day, week, or even a month. This is a long process and if you take it slow you can get a great barrel racer out of it. It takes some horses many days to learn flying lead changes and some horses it takes 10 minutes. Just take it slow and don't move forward without being confident!
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-05-2011, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrelAddict View Post
Just wanted to add, my first post is what I do from start to finish, by no means do I do this in a day, week, or even a month. This is a long process and if you take it slow you can get a great barrel racer out of it. It takes some horses many days to learn flying lead changes and some horses it takes 10 minutes. Just take it slow and don't move forward without being confident!
Thank you so much! Ya i've always wanted to go to a clinic...i'll have to check it out!

A Horse Is An Extension Of It's Rider...Both Cant Complete Their Tasks Without The Other <3
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-06-2011, 05:45 PM
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1 lesson won't break the bank.

Cones....tires...etc are just gimmicks that can't be used in a real run. SIMPLIFY.
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-06-2011, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 1RedHorse View Post
1 lesson won't break the bank.

Cones....tires...etc are just gimmicks that can't be used in a real run. SIMPLIFY.
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no one said anything about tires...

A Horse Is An Extension Of It's Rider...Both Cant Complete Their Tasks Without The Other <3
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-07-2011, 09:07 PM
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The cone was a suggestion that I said "someone once told me they.." I myself don't do this because I've been doing barrels for a while and I know where I want my horse to go. If someone is beginning and needs a reminder to stay away from the barrel going in, then a cone is a good reminder, even if its just on the first barrel so you see where you want to be. Just starting out.
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