My horse won't RUN! Lazy or Disinterested? - Page 2

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My horse won't RUN! Lazy or Disinterested?

This is a discussion on My horse won't RUN! Lazy or Disinterested? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • My horse turns the barrels but wont run in between them
  • My horse wont run faster

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    02-11-2012, 11:33 PM
In addition to what has already been said, she is knocking barrels because she is either anticipating the turn and you aren't correcting her or you are inadvertently cueing her to turn with your body and she is complying. She needs to softly, quickly, and willingly move every part of her body from pressure on the flat, with no pattern at all, to ever hope to have a good start at barrels.

If you can't pick her shoulder up and move her ribcage over while you're just plodding around in the arena or loping circles, then you definitely won't be able to do it around a barrel.

Your best bet is to try to find a good barrel trainer that can work with both you and your horse. There is a ton more than just "turn and run" that goes into training a good barrel horse. IMHO, training a good one is almost on par with training a good reining horse.

Until all of that is perfect going slow, speed is only going to cause it all to fall apart and frustrate both you and your mare..
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    02-11-2012, 11:42 PM
It takes me around 2 years to completely train a barrel horse. Generally the first 4 months are just walking and trotting the pattern. After that I slowly will add a lope between the barrels, but I drop down into a trot around the barrels. It's easier to control them when your going at a slower speed. This will allow you to enter and exit the pocket accurately. I also tend to push my horses past the barrels by quit a bit because when you do start adding speed, they tend to get it in their mind and cut the barrel too soon. So I add an extra 5-6 feet in my pocket for about 8 months, then I slowly over the next couple of months I'll get them closer and closer to the barrel.

I don't start pushing them into the turn at a lope until I know for sure they they know what they are doing. A lot of times, I'll ride on a really loose rein and see what they do when the pattern is set up and I point them in the general direction of the first barrel. 9 times out of 10, they head straight for the pocket just the way I taught them.

After about a year, they are high loping a nice, consistent pattern, and I let them do that. I don't push for anymore speed. A lot of times a horse has to learn how to run anyways and eventually they naturally start adding speed themselves. The only thing I'm concerned with after a year, it a super nice, clean, smooth, safe pattern.

Once I'm comfortable with the high lope, I start pushing for speed. But this is usually half way through their 2nd year of training. So they've had 1-1/2 years of walking, trotting, and loping the pattern. I don't use spurs, and I don't use a crop on these horses. I do use a crop on my seasoned horses, but they have years of racing under their belt.

And I never start a horse on the pattern until they know all of the basics. Walk, trot, canter, whoa, back, side-pass, leads, flying lead changes, roll-backs etc.

Retraining a badly trained barrel horse is the worst! So take it slow. It's the best thing not only for your horse's body, but his mind too! Your mare is already showing classic signs of a hot-headed barrel horse. The prancing, tossing of the head, hopping around, etc. I do NOT accept this behavior from my horses. I want my horse to have a sane mind forever. I want them to listen to me when I'm on them and a lot of barrel horses are so focused on RUN RUN RUN that they totally forget about their rider and become dangerous under saddle, not only to their rider, but also to the riders and spectators around them.
    02-11-2012, 11:43 PM
Green Broke
I haven't seen the video, I guess others have...

I have to agree with CLaPorte, You do NOT need to be pushing her right now..At all..If she's only been training on the barrels for a month you should even be trotting the pattern..Maybe she's going slow because she just doesn't enjoy barrels. BIG possibility..Some horses just don't like it. If she's a good jumper and enjoys that that's great, but it doesn't mean she's going to enjoy running barrels..

SorrelHorse gave you very good advice in her answers..A few things that jumps out at me though are..

Why are you racing your friends at home? That's not a great idea..Are you even racing in a safe place, no holes, not on grass, no debris on the ground, no rocks, no pavement...I don't let my horses run at home. Period.

I'm guessing you thought the trainer wasn't helping you one bit because things weren't happening as fast as you'd like..Training a barrel horse is an EXTREMELY slow process and it has to be taken step by step..NO short cuts. Right now you don't need any extra tool either, NO whips, spurs, nothing...You need slow and repetitive exercises.

When your trainer was teaching you and your horse to stop and back at the barrel, it is teaching your horse to slow before the barrel and rate..If anything it will teach your horse to go slower through her turns..

You don't need to pay ANY attention to what you're friend's horse is doing..It's not YOUR horse, you need to pay attention to her needs, ability, and physical and mental stress for training..Not every horse is the same.

Right now you need to be working with flex and release, rate, staying collected and soft at a WALK around the barrels..Only, I mean ONLY, when she can do that with you on riding her with the very slightest of movement should you move to a trot..It's not so much as being slow in her turn, it's being collected in her turn..You can have fast turns but they must be collected to be good fast turns..But as we've said, you shouldn't be worrying about any kind of speed right now..I'm betting that your trainer also told you that...Any good barrel trainer knows all of this is basic knowledge when starting a horse on the pattern..If you continue to push her too fast you'll end up with a mess and a sour horse who hates their job.
    02-11-2012, 11:48 PM
How do I post a picture? I can't copy and past into the text box.
    02-11-2012, 11:50 PM
Green Broke
How are you trying to post a picture right now?
    02-11-2012, 11:55 PM
We seem to have different ideas of what a bombproof horse is, from what you say about your mare I would not use the term bombproof to describe her.

I am getting tired of repeating myself and sick of these threads, they are almost as bad as some of the "is my mare preggo" threads.

That being said, I really want to add I do wish you all the luck in the world and I do hope you get the help you need, I just do not think it is us you need to be listening to, its your mare.

She is visibly telling you one of three things...

1.) I do not like doing this, so stop trying to force me to do something I do not like

2.) This hurts, why are you inflicting more pain when I am already hurting

3.) I am not ready, I have no clue what I am doing why do you keep asking for more when I am already confused

Or maybe she is telling you all three of these things, who knows nor can I give you an answer without being able to at least see how she is acting.

I would love to see a video, please do not be scared that we will bash you.
We have all had our not so great moments and we have all needed help at one point or another.
If you could post a video it would really help me help you and your horse, I mean whats the worst that could come of it?
People you do not know and will most likely never meet pass neg judgment on you? Trust me, I have dealt with worse.
    02-11-2012, 11:57 PM
Originally Posted by Ally56    
How do I post a picture? I can't copy and past into the text box.
save it onto your computer, scroll down when you go to post a post and click on "manage attachments"
    02-12-2012, 12:03 AM
K. I'll just do slow work, work on flexibility, bending, leg yielding, balance, etc. When do I know she's ready to go faster? When she wants to go faster, her attitude changes, she turns better?
    02-12-2012, 12:04 AM
Originally Posted by Ally56    
K. I'll just do slow work, work on flexibility, bending, leg yielding, balance, etc. When do I know she's ready to go faster? When she wants to go faster, her attitude changes, she turns better?
I could really help you if you would post a video.
    02-12-2012, 12:06 AM
Green Broke
When she can do all of the above things PERFECTLY, I mean perfectly without you even having to do anything to help her.. If you move up to a trot and she isn't doing it well you need to go back to a walk..It's a very, very slow process. I seriously advise you to get a trainer or someone who knows what they are doing to help you and your horse...

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