I am having problems with my first barrel and I need some advice!!
 
 

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I am having problems with my first barrel and I need some advice!!

This is a discussion on I am having problems with my first barrel and I need some advice!! within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • My horse has.trouble turning around first barrel
  • My horse does not turn the first barrel

 
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    01-29-2011, 12:32 AM
  #1
Foal
Unhappy I am having problems with my first barrel and I need some advice!!

Ok sooo... I have a 7 yr. Old mare that I have been working with for a year now and she is ready to start being pushed a little.. but sometimes Im having problems with her first barrel. At the house in my arena she does awesome sometimes she comes out wide on the backside but I fix it once and she does fine all the rest. When I go to other arenas not just to run but to just practice... I can be a lope and she will go into it just fine but once she hits the back side she just goes nuts and rares up with her head up and I have to completely stop her for her to settle down. Some people say to just run her to the first and see if she sucks back like she is supposed to.. but when I do that she runs past it and hits the fence! This is only at other pens though.. at my arena, no matter how fast I go with her there she has a great pocket and sometimes its better than her second and third!! Does anyone have any idea on how to fix my problem or have some ideas on trying different things on her!!??!!??! HELP!! Thanks!
     
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    01-29-2011, 08:17 AM
  #2
Yearling
Well look around, does something spook her? That's all I can ask cause i'm confused.
     
    02-02-2011, 12:44 AM
  #3
Green Broke
The number one thing you need to check: Is she in pain? Your first barrel is turned a different direction than the others. Maybe she has a sore back or her saddle is pinching or she has dental issues when you turn that direction. Either way, you need to rule out pain before you can call this a training or behavioral issue. Have her checked by your vet, chiropractor, dentist, and farrier.

If pain or tack is not the issue, then you can look into fixing the problem. I always first look at the rider before the horse. Is there something you are doing (without realizing it) that is different on the first barrel than the others? Maybe now that you know she does this at arenas away from you, you might be accidentally sending her body language that is adding to the problem.

If you are not sure if you may be causing the problem (without knowing it) have someone you trust and knows what they are doing to watch your run. Videoing it is a great idea too, if you can.

Once we know it is not the rider's fault, now we can finally look at the horse. Being away from home is always different than being at home. Have you tried giving her a wider pocket? Have you tried doing exhibition runs where you can school her during the run? Is she rating properly at the turn? Do you need to slow her down sooner?

It's kind of hard to tell what exactly is going wrong if we can't see your run. Anything else you can describe for us?
     
    02-03-2011, 08:13 PM
  #4
Foal
Yeah I think she might be having some back issues... but I was thinkin if that is the case then she would act up at home too... I know my tack fits her good its not pinchin her or anything..
     
    02-03-2011, 08:22 PM
  #5
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by kzapalac    
yeah I think she might be having some back issues... but I was thinkin if that is the case then she would act up at home too... I know my tack fits her good its not pinchin her or anything..
There lies your problem. What kind of back problems? Have you had a vet or chiropractor out to look at her? It may only hurt her when her body's angled similar to when turning around a barrel in one direction. Just because she doesn't act up outside the ring doesn't mean she's not in pain.
     
    02-03-2011, 08:38 PM
  #6
Foal
Idk she may be in out in her hips... but I just got her worked on about 2 weeks ago.. am I goin to have to keep gettin her worked on everytime she acts up.... that's goin to be more of a hassel than anything.
     
    02-03-2011, 08:49 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by kzapalac    
idk she may be in out in her hips... but I just got her worked on about 2 weeks ago.. am I goin to have to keep gettin her worked on everytime she acts up.... that's goin to be more of a hassel than anything.
Horses are not a convenience. It is our duty to make sure they are comfortable and pain-free if we are going to ask them to perform and work for us on the barrels. If you don't fix whatever the problem is, it is only going to get worse. And she could also learn to hate the barrels, because it causes her pain. Would you want to do something that hurts? Of course not.

So it may be a "hassel" to you, but it is important to your horse. How else is she supposed to tell you she is in pain, except behaviorally? She can't talk to you so she is doing the only thing she can.

I am assuming you had a chiro work on her hips. Did he/she check the rest of her body?

Have you had the vet out? Maybe it's not a back problem; maybe it's something else.

Have you had the dentist out? Maybe she has issues with her teeth on one side of her mouth that is affected when you ask her to turn that first barrel.

Does she have any feet issues? Has the farrier checked her for any tenderness or balance issues?

Just because she doesn't do it at home, does not mean that she is not in pain. (As someone else already pointed out.)

If she truly is not in pain after you have ruled everything out, then you can treat it as a behavior issue. But you always need to assume it is pain until you can prove it is not. Because again, horses can't talk to us and tell us what is wrong. We have to find it.
     
    02-12-2011, 02:26 PM
  #8
Foal
I would say that it is just that she does not want to be away from home. M aybe you can start off when you are in a different arena to first walk around barrels than trot around barrels than lope around barrels. Another thing I do when my horse doesnt want to go around barrels is at that speed I keep on circling around the barrel he is having trouble with.
     
    02-13-2011, 05:01 PM
  #9
Green Broke
My friends horse has this same issue. Something to look at is what kind of bit are you using? Are you on her face to much going to the first barrel(this combo is my friends issue) if so maybe soften up and use more leg and seat rather then hands.
     

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