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Keeping a barrel horse sane at shows

This is a discussion on Keeping a barrel horse sane at shows within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Horse rushing barrel pattern
  • How can i stop my horse prancing and head tossing?

 
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    06-05-2010, 02:20 AM
  #11
Trained
Don't focus on speed, or even the pattern when you practice...focus on keeping her attention on you, and maintaining your chosen speed, and encouraging proper bending and yielding, etc...

When I was in school, and we showed every spring through fall, my horses never once practiced the patterns at home...we focused on what I suggested above; I never had any problems with my horses rushing the gates, prancing head tossing, or refusal to go into the gate, because when we were at a show it was play time, not necessarily 'work' time, and they knew it. And because I focused on maintaining their attention at home, they were always intune with me at the shows. You don't have to practice the patterns at home, in order to do well, either...we always placed well even without actual 'practice' of the patterns. As long as you have your horse's focus, you will always do well, because he won't be rushing through your aids, or trying to do the pattern on his own.
     
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    06-17-2010, 02:54 AM
  #12
Foal
Well those are great ways to keep your horse under control. But you can also practice and still keep them sane. We work our horses twice a week and go to the ride nights on every 1st and 3rd weekend of the month. We always start working by bending and flexing and doing circles separate from the barrels. Its also important to do some trail riding to get their minds off the barrels all the time which in time can make them 'sour'. And bending and flexing which is making them 'give' their head can help calm them down at the shows because it makes them focus on you. But you should still keep practicing. Just don't over do it :)
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    06-17-2010, 02:57 AM
  #13
Foal
[QUOTE=MagicAmigo92;662938]Well those are great ways to keep your horse under control. But you can also practice and still keep them sane. We work our horses twice a week and go to the ride nights on every 1st and 3rd weekend of the month. We always start working by bending and flexing and doing circles separate from the barrels. Its also important to do some trail riding to get their minds off the barrels all the time which in time can make them 'sour'. And bending and flexing which is making them 'give' their head can help calm them down at the shows because it makes them focus on you. But you should still keep practicing. Just don't over do it :) however I still agree with the person above completely
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    06-17-2010, 11:39 AM
  #14
Yearling
Thanks everyone! The show was this past weekend and we had zero gate issues - walked in and out everytime, so I was pretty happy :)
     

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