Originally Posted by PintoBean
At home I have been practicing barrel racing for a couple of months.
Most horses are not ready to gallop after a couple of months of training. I've seen some that are, but they are the exception instead of the rule. Don't get in a hurry with his training, take it slow and easy. Do lots of bending and flexing, and work on his transitions, and collection. Also, depending on the size of your lot(actual size, not just the pasture), you can set up the barrels outside of the pen, if you think it is too small now. Once he is collected and balanced at the lope he will be ready to start working on the gallop, at home. But asking him to gallop before he has the lope down is unfair to him. Think of it as asking a kid that is just learning about grammar to write a grammatically correct essay the first time. It's not going to happen, and it's unfair to ask of the child to begin with. I have an exercise that I have posted the directions to on here, Good exercise for teaching flexing while in motion...
that I use to work on a horses flexibility and collection. Give it a try. You can do it in the center of a barrel pattern, or in a round pen, where ever you have an open space. As the horse becomes more flexible and collected, the pattern will actually get smaller. Start at the walk, and when he's comfortable with that, start trotting it, then eventually lope it. It will help him with his pockets around the barrel too.
Enjoy your horse, and try to make his training enjoyable for him.