So. At Christmas, I got my all new favorite thing - a NBHA membership!!!! Now I need to practice, practice, practice!! In mid-April I'm going to my very first NBHA race. It's open to all the districts in my state. I really need some help with training for it though because the ground in my pasture (only place to ride) is VERY wet and muddy, my mare (not a barrel horse) got horribly sick so I'm caring for her, my gelding (the barrel boy) is being onrey, and I'm worried I won't be good enough for the competition!! Over the summer, my gelding (Copper) and I have worked on barrels, we've ran pretty fast, but I'm always accidentally holding him back on the way to the first barrel. Pretty much we trot (REALLY bouncy trot) to first, and just fly around the rest. We make some pretty decent pockets, but I need to let go going to first. Also, our pocket on the first barrel is always to tight or to wide. Suggestions? Like I said, the pasture I ride in is pretty muddy, so lately I've just been walking around with him bareback. Is this ok? If you have any suggestions at all, even dealing with my sick mare, please post or private message me.
Thank you so much!!