Just starting my horse on the pattern
 
 

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Just starting my horse on the pattern

This is a discussion on Just starting my horse on the pattern within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Horse swidhes tail going around barrels
  • Cutting him off barrel pattern

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    12-10-2013, 09:46 PM
  #1
Yearling
Just starting my horse on the pattern

I started him on it like 6 months ago, and we have only walked and trotted and loping at local gymkhanas, but this summer I'm hoping to start picking up the speed. I think he's ready. Anyone have any advice or tips?
Oh and this is just a fun picture of him turning around a barrel. I know it's blurry and I'm kind of looking down but I'm excited with his progress.

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    12-11-2013, 01:45 AM
  #2
Yearling
Do you have a video? It is much easier to watch the horse in motion on the pattern.
     
    12-11-2013, 01:57 AM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrelRacingLvr    
Do you have a video? It is much easier to watch the horse in motion on the pattern.
Yeah, it's a little old, and I know my seat is a little funky, because I had a cut on my leg that was rubbing on my saddle
View My Video
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    12-13-2013, 11:47 PM
  #4
Yearling
Anyone else?
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    12-14-2013, 11:10 AM
  #5
Foal
The 3rd barrel was a little rough (really sit and pull) he basically just lazily loped around it, throughout the pattern he drops the canter multiple times.
The second barrel was the best and he broke stride at the end of it. So you could try to work on keeping him loping through the whole pattern?
Hopefully that helped some! I haven't barrel raced in years. :)
     
    12-14-2013, 12:12 PM
  #6
Yearling
The horse needs some more basics and foundation work be honest. I personally would take him off the pattern and do some spiral work with a single barrel.

This will help teach him out to go the same speed around the barrel without breaking gait. It will also get him to smoothen his turns out.

So spiral in till he breaks gait. Right there you know is too tight so take take him back out and spiral back in except leave the circle a little bigger so he stays at the speed you want. Until he gets comfortable and gets used to collecting and using the correct muscles don't worry about going so tight. Same on the pattern, your taking the barrels a little too tight and have too small of pocket yet for him so he doesn't know what to do with his body.

So now on the 1st barrel you cut off your pocket going in, which is why he came out wider. So give yourself a bigger pocket going in and he should tighten up leaving (good 5ft-6ft pocket right now). Your 2nd barrel was pretty nice, maybe just let him go straight towards the sense a 1/2 stride more then ask him to turn. And your 3rd he just sorta went were he wanted. So make him turn it again (don't stop just sort get him and circle it again). Do NOT pull him around, that doesn't do anything to fix it, it will only throw his body off whack and he will drop onto his front end and hip swinging everywhere. But seeing him go wide but keep loping, tells me he isn't comfortable turning tight so he breaks gait. Which is why Spirals are great! They get the horse comfortable getting a little tighter each time, strengthens the muscles they need to use to go tighter, and helps get them collected and smooth.

And on your way home, go straight and ask him to stop when you want, don't let him round house back around especially that close to a barrel.

So work on spirals for a bit and get him smooth and responding well to you then apply that to the pattern and see where you are?
beau159 likes this.
     
    12-14-2013, 03:30 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarrelRacingLvr    
The horse needs some more basics and foundation work be honest. I personally would take him off the pattern and do some spiral work with a single barrel.

This will help teach him out to go the same speed around the barrel without breaking gait. It will also get him to smoothen his turns out.

So spiral in till he breaks gait. Right there you know is too tight so take take him back out and spiral back in except leave the circle a little bigger so he stays at the speed you want. Until he gets comfortable and gets used to collecting and using the correct muscles don't worry about going so tight. Same on the pattern, your taking the barrels a little too tight and have too small of pocket yet for him so he doesn't know what to do with his body.

So now on the 1st barrel you cut off your pocket going in, which is why he came out wider. So give yourself a bigger pocket going in and he should tighten up leaving (good 5ft-6ft pocket right now). Your 2nd barrel was pretty nice, maybe just let him go straight towards the sense a 1/2 stride more then ask him to turn. And your 3rd he just sorta went were he wanted. So make him turn it again (don't stop just sort get him and circle it again). Do NOT pull him around, that doesn't do anything to fix it, it will only throw his body off whack and he will drop onto his front end and hip swinging everywhere. But seeing him go wide but keep loping, tells me he isn't comfortable turning tight so he breaks gait. Which is why Spirals are great! They get the horse comfortable getting a little tighter each time, strengthens the muscles they need to use to go tighter, and helps get them collected and smooth.

And on your way home, go straight and ask him to stop when you want, don't let him round house back around especially that close to a barrel.

So work on spirals for a bit and get him smooth and responding well to you then apply that to the pattern and see where you are?
Okay thanks for the advice! We will keep working at it!
And I only turned him that way at the end, because at gymkhanas, he tries to run into the gate and I'd rather him turn to the right.
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    12-14-2013, 03:32 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetTyree    
The 3rd barrel was a little rough (really sit and pull) he basically just lazily loped around it, throughout the pattern he drops the canter multiple times.
The second barrel was the best and he broke stride at the end of it. So you could try to work on keeping him loping through the whole pattern?
Hopefully that helped some! I haven't barrel raced in years. :)
Thank you that does help! I'm no expert, I just wanted my horse to know the pattern well enough to do some gymkhanas. So I appreciate the advice.
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    12-20-2013, 11:41 AM
  #9
Green Broke
I agree with BarrelRacingLvr.

I would honestly forget about barrels right now, and simply work on getting your horse better broke and more responsive to your aids. If you can improve that, when you bring him back on the pattern, you'll progress MUCH more quickly.

That's excellent to hear that you've been taking is slow the last 6 months. Too many people rush through training too quickly.

Just curious, can you post a picture of what bit you are using on him?

And also just curious, how old is your horse?

As far as your picture:
--Your reins are too long. Your hand is nearly at your hip. Shorten them.
--Each horse horse will need a slight different rein cue, but I much prefer to "lift" up and in with my inside direct rein (so my inside hand lifts in the direction of my outside shoulder), to help keep the shoulder up. In your picture, you are almost pulling straight back and outward. I personally like to do something like this with my reins during a turn:


And ideally, if you've got good body control on your horse, you shouldn't need too much rein in the turn because they should be doing it automatically to some degree.

And I just want to say: YAY for another helmet wearer!!!

Looking at your video:

You need to give your horse more "warning". You got to the first barrel, and then you all of a sudden asked him to turn. And I do think you are pulling "down" too much with your rein cue. You don't want your hand to go that low. Keep your hands UP.

As you approach a barrel turn, you should be asking your horse to BEND. Nose in, ribcage out, hips in. Use your legs to accomplish this. He needs to have bend in his body when you arrive at the pocket, or he won't physically be able to make the turn.

Overall, you are just happening to randomly lope around 3 barrels. It doesn't look like your horse understands what is going on, and you don't have any precision. You should try to ride the exact same pattern and lines every single time. Follow these red lines:




And do that EVERY single time. Horses learn from consistency.

Is there a reason you take him to the left barrel first? Nothing wrong with that, but just curious why you have chosen that direction.

So when you head to your 3rd barrel, do you see how you head WAY wide to it, cut the backside tight, and then come out WAY wide? Instead, look at my drawing above. Head directly for your pocket point. And do not start to turn until your knee is AT or PAST the barrel. And then make sure you finish the turn tight.

Work alot (in general) on controlling your horse's body. Be able to move his shoulders, ribcage, and hips all independently of each other, using your body and legs. Do lots of circles, figure 8's, and spirals to learn how to control every step and every piece of his body. You want to be able to place his body wherever you want it, at any time. You need this precision in order to make split-second adjustments when you run a barrel pattern. Of course, you have to teach this slowly in the beginning so that you rhorse is broke, broke, broke.

Check out this sticky we made for beginners:
Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills.

I noticed your horse swishes his tail a lot. While some horses just plain do that, it could also be a sign of discomfort.
--When have his teeth been looked at last?
--Does your saddle fit?
--Has he been checked by a chiro or vet?
     
    12-20-2013, 01:58 PM
  #10
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by beau159    
I agree with BarrelRacingLvr.

I would honestly forget about barrels right now, and simply work on getting your horse better broke and more responsive to your aids. If you can improve that, when you bring him back on the pattern, you'll progress MUCH more quickly.

That's excellent to hear that you've been taking is slow the last 6 months. Too many people rush through training too quickly.

Just curious, can you post a picture of what bit you are using on him?

And also just curious, how old is your horse?

As far as your picture:
--Your reins are too long. Your hand is nearly at your hip. Shorten them.
--Each horse horse will need a slight different rein cue, but I much prefer to "lift" up and in with my inside direct rein (so my inside hand lifts in the direction of my outside shoulder), to help keep the shoulder up. In your picture, you are almost pulling straight back and outward. I personally like to do something like this with my reins during a turn:


And ideally, if you've got good body control on your horse, you shouldn't need too much rein in the turn because they should be doing it automatically to some degree.

And I just want to say: YAY for another helmet wearer!!!

Looking at your video:

You need to give your horse more "warning". You got to the first barrel, and then you all of a sudden asked him to turn. And I do think you are pulling "down" too much with your rein cue. You don't want your hand to go that low. Keep your hands UP.

As you approach a barrel turn, you should be asking your horse to BEND. Nose in, ribcage out, hips in. Use your legs to accomplish this. He needs to have bend in his body when you arrive at the pocket, or he won't physically be able to make the turn.

Overall, you are just happening to randomly lope around 3 barrels. It doesn't look like your horse understands what is going on, and you don't have any precision. You should try to ride the exact same pattern and lines every single time. Follow these red lines:




And do that EVERY single time. Horses learn from consistency.

Is there a reason you take him to the left barrel first? Nothing wrong with that, but just curious why you have chosen that direction.

So when you head to your 3rd barrel, do you see how you head WAY wide to it, cut the backside tight, and then come out WAY wide? Instead, look at my drawing above. Head directly for your pocket point. And do not start to turn until your knee is AT or PAST the barrel. And then make sure you finish the turn tight.

Work alot (in general) on controlling your horse's body. Be able to move his shoulders, ribcage, and hips all independently of each other, using your body and legs. Do lots of circles, figure 8's, and spirals to learn how to control every step and every piece of his body. You want to be able to place his body wherever you want it, at any time. You need this precision in order to make split-second adjustments when you run a barrel pattern. Of course, you have to teach this slowly in the beginning so that you rhorse is broke, broke, broke.

Check out this sticky we made for beginners:
Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills.

I noticed your horse swishes his tail a lot. While some horses just plain do that, it could also be a sign of discomfort.
--When have his teeth been looked at last?
--Does your saddle fit?
--Has he been checked by a chiro or vet?
Thank you for your advice. I'll definitely work on that stuff. To answer your questions, he rides in a billy Allen bit, I don't really have a picture. But you can probably google it. Maybe my hands are too low but I keep them that way because I don't really want to pull his head up, he gets really high headed if I put my hands too high. And I don't want to use a tie down.
He is 8 years old, and no he's not in pain, that's just how he likes to carry his tail. His teeth were done in June, the chiropractor was last out in august. But thanks for your concern.
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