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post #11 of 30 Old 06-25-2010, 12:19 PM
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I find that since I have gotten used to riding, sliding, and spinning the reining horses with one hand I stopped using the horn and noticed a 100% differance in the turn. I never realized how much the horn holding interfered until I started reining.
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post #12 of 30 Old 06-25-2010, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by SorrelHorse View Post
I find that since I have gotten used to riding, sliding, and spinning the reining horses with one hand I stopped using the horn and noticed a 100% differance in the turn. I never realized how much the horn holding interfered until I started reining.
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Holding the horn does not interfere with the turn. That's exactly why you hold the horn when going around the barrel. Since you want to use a tight rein when you're running barrels so it doesn't slip over the horn and you don't have to reach down a long ways to pull it towards you, if you use both hands you are pulling the bit a little bit on his off side which can cause him to go wider around the barrel. Spinning in reining might be different, because if you use your outside hand you can create a "frame" for your horse to spin into. Not sure, don't do reining. Correct me if I am wrong.

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post #13 of 30 Old 06-25-2010, 12:45 PM
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Yeah as far as the frame goes.......No? Lol I never used it like that. The reason you hold your hand like that is so the judges can see it and know you are not interfering. Otherwise we would have reiners with hands on their thighs, the horn the neck and everywhere in between and the judges would fin I increasingly difficult .

As for the horn holding, to each her own I suppose. I just know all the barrel horses I have don't like me to hold the horn.
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post #14 of 30 Old 06-25-2010, 12:49 PM
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I got the frame thing from my boss. She's not always the best trainer sometimes. Haha. Yeah, you're right, everybody's got their own preference.

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post #15 of 30 Old 06-25-2010, 03:24 PM
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when do you switch to one hand and grab the horn?
When going around the barrel I drop my outside hand to the horn. It helps to balance the horse better. Can't rememer how or why at this point, but this was told to me by the top runners in my area.

When do you sit down?
Just before the barrel when going into your pocket.

When do you start to turn?
I was always taught to pick a pocket, a little ways away from the barrel and also to push slightly past the barrel.

How many feet do you stay from the barrel during a run?
Lay the barrel down, put a cone at the end of the barrel. Put barrel back up, and when practicing go to the outside of the cone. That should be your pocket.

When do you rate?
Just before I turn into the barrel.

How do you position your horse?
See above about the pocket.

What are your top barrel practice patterns?
Circles. Lots and lots of circles. I also never, ever run the pattern at home. That can create a sour horse. I practice with one barrel and a few cones, just weaving and suppling.
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post #16 of 30 Old 06-25-2010, 04:51 PM
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I think everyone else has covered the other questions so Ill just stick with practice. Just like the above poster stated, I rarely run a pattern at home. I don't want a bored horse who is looking for something to do. I do tons and tons of stamina exercises. Lots of long and low trotting and easy cantering. I like to have 'gears' in all gaits. Slow, moderate and fast. I like to do lots and lots of rating exercises to get a horse used to my cues for each speed. Practice should be about getting your horse used to speed and turns. Drilling a pattern into a horses head will either make them sour or one dementional. Since my barrel horse is also my western pleasure horse and my trail horse and occasionally my HUS horse, I need one that isn't amped up all the time. Or only knows how to run barrels.
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post #17 of 30 Old 06-25-2010, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Also, I was told there was way to grab the horn and kinda lock your arm and it keeps you seated and secure and stops you from really bouncing during the turn. I'm not sure if that's the best way to explain it, or if I have it wrong, but does anyone do that? Can someone explain a little how to do it. I don't really understand.
I want to know. I watched a you tube video of someone explaining this but I can't find it anymore
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post #18 of 30 Old 06-25-2010, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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don't all the top racers grab the horn?

Do we have to teach our barrel horses collection?
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post #19 of 30 Old 06-25-2010, 10:24 PM
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All barrel racers I know grab the horn. I do. And what Pro mentioned about grabbing the horn in a way that keeps you seated, you shouldn't have to do that. I have had to though! You want your horse to collect himself and use his rear end around the turn. If he spins around it on his front it will cause you to throw yourself forward and sometimes come off. If he does this, you can push your hand against the horn and put your elbow in your side. That's how you do it. Doesn't feel great, but it would probably feel better than getting dumped on the ground. As for your question on collection, make sure they know how to collect their rear end. Trust me, it helps A LOT!

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post #20 of 30 Old 06-26-2010, 12:56 AM
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If you are a solid rider using the horn to really sit deep around the back of the barrel, holding the horn can be useful. It's more a personal thing. Unfortunatly, many people end up using it for balance. THey can not stay correct in the saddle without it. That's where you get in trouble.

Yes yes yes you should be able to collect your barrel horse. You need to have every button on him possible. Take dressage lessons. You'll see a cut in your times. The more balanced your horse, the more balanced your turns, the faster the times. When you rate your asking your horse to collect over his haunces, pay attention and turn. If your horse is unbalanced, you will have no curve in your turn, dropped shoulder, knocked barrels, etc.
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