Making a barrel horse go faster - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 06-25-2012, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Making a barrel horse go faster

I have a horse that is about 14 now she is a paint horse and se has had two babies. For the past three months I have been training her in barrels and poles. She seems to be doing well with the patterns but the only thing is I can't get her speed up. I am using spurs on her at the moment. I don't want to resort to whipping her. Is there anything you could think of to help? Should I continue to just work her more by loping her around?
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-25-2012, 01:38 AM
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You have to realize that she's 14 and has had two foals.. Maybe her body just isn't up to it. If a barrel horse doesn't have the want to go faster you can't make them. Don't ruin a horse just because you want her to go faster and start using spurs and whips. Maybe she's just not a barrel horse..Loping her around more and continuing to push her hard will just make it worse, you can't at MAKE her something she's not or that her body can't handle.
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-25-2012, 01:53 AM
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I agree with Drumrunner. An essential characteristic of a barrel horse is 'get up and go'- if she doesn't have it, you can't make her learn it, it's not a skill. She may just not have the temperament for barrels. Is she conditioned? How long ago did she have a foal? What's her breeding? If you look at the horses in her pedigree, that can also tell you something. I personally do think that having two foals has effected her too, although that's my opinion, not fact.
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-25-2012, 02:37 AM
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Also this horse has been on the pattern for three months, why do you want her to start really running?
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-25-2012, 11:18 AM
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Depending on the spurs you are using, and how much your using them...a crop very well could be more humane...
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-25-2012, 11:19 AM
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-25-2012, 01:01 PM
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She has only been on the barrels 3 months...she doesn't need to be going fast yet. A slow lope at most.....if that.

So don't rush things....it doesn't happen fast. Training barrel horses takes a lot of time and patience. If you rush the process your going to have a lot of issues down the road. And you need to remember it isn't all about speed.....you need to have a solid foundation which is strongly built by going slow.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-25-2012, 01:24 PM
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How long did you spend getting her back in shape??

It takes months for horses that have been out that long to come back. Tendons have to get their elasticity back....muscles have to be worked and rebuilt etc etc


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post #9 of 14 Old 06-25-2012, 01:38 PM
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14 with two foals is pretty hard on a mare. Especially if you want to run her. Maybe you should try to ride a diffrent horse and work with them on barrels or make one of her foals yours and pay attention to them and wen they get to be 2 or 3 start them. A over under rope is not inhumane, I use one and my horse isnt hurting.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-26-2012, 10:50 PM
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Two years ago I was in the EXACT same situation. I had a 14 year old paint mare who had two foals (one recently). My stepmom used to barrel race her so she new the patterns already. After months of light patterns and just really getting her back in shape I started to get frusterated because I just couldn't get her to speed up. I didn't use spurs or whips on her though. What I did was put her in a field and lope a short corner and then let her go on a long straight away. I didn't ask her to go faster, just let her run at her speed and encouraged her. It really made her want to run. After going to shows and letting her run her own speed I started to urge her to speed up and before I knew it she was flying through the barrel pattern! She turned out to be faster than she was when my stepmom raced her. Your horse has to be willing and want to please you. If it isn't you will get no where. It really takes time and patience on the riders part but in the end you will have a great horse!
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