Keeping a barrel horse sane at shows - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-05-2010, 02:20 AM
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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.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-17-2010, 02:54 AM
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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 dont over do it :)
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-17-2010, 02:57 AM
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[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 dont over do it :) however i still agree with the person above completely
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-17-2010, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! The show was this past weekend and we had zero gate issues - walked in and out everytime, so I was pretty happy :)

passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. it is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible. // <3 starlite - dream - lady - georgia
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