Slow horse in general? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 03-12-2011, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Slow horse in general?

Hey All!
I used to run barrels on this little old arab mare when I was really little. It was more a hold the horn with both hands and kick sort of deal lol. She was awesome and really knew what she was doing. I haven't been on a fast horse much since (and that was probably 8 or 9 years ago, so I would have been 8 or 9 years old lol). Anyways, I wanted to start barrels up again a few years ago, and couldn't afford much for a horse, so I settled for an amazing yearling prospect. I would run around the barrel pattern and she would follow me around them when she was little. ( and quite quickly I might ad.) I just trail rode her when she was old enough to ride, and she could move quite quickly when I wanted her to. Now this last year we decided to start barrels, and she did great doing the pattern at a solid lope (minus the lead change). Once she got that perfectly, we decided to ad a little bit of speed to it. No amount of vocal encouragement could get her moving quickly, so I decided to give a crop a try. I didn't whip her but I gave her little taps to encourage some more speed, but she would just pin her ears and slow down. I also gave spurs a try and she just ignored them and continued to run at a easy lope around the pattern with her ears pinned. I would love to have a little help, in general she's a great horse, and I don't want to use whips and spurs too much if I can avoid them, but I will use them if absolutely necessary. I would really love some input on what I can do! I know she's not sore, as we've had a chiropractor out numerous times, as well as the saddle fits her great. I can't afford a new horse, and I really don't want to give this girl up, because I've had her for so long, and am waaay too attached to her!
PS-I've left a video of her from the fall
PPS-theoretical cookies and brownies to all who read this whole thing!
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-12-2011, 01:37 PM
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If a horse has never been asked to really flat out run under saddle, it takes them some time to figure out the mechanics and some of them are uncomfortable with the whole thing. Just give her some time. Also, I have more success asking for th run on a straight away rather than in some kind of pattern. Sometime when you are out on a trail ride and have a long stretch of flat, safe ground, ask her to run.

Don't kick hard because that causes her to suck up her ribs and shorten her stride, and will actually slow her down (as you found out). Just gently nudge her sides (at the most, bump) and use vocal cues such as a word, clucking, or smooching. Don't expect an explosive take-off either. So long as she gradually gains a bit of speed when you ask, then you are making progress. Gradually build up her speed over time and don't work on it every day or she'll end up hot.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-12-2011, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks :) I will definitely try that. I have gotten her running before though, without a problem, but we will definitely work on it. I forgot to include that she is better at a new place, than at home, so I'm wondering if she's just bored?
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-13-2011, 09:17 AM
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I agree with above poster.

I will say though... stop leaning into the lead when your heading to the first barrel. Sit don on your pockets and drive your horse up into the bridle.

I'm not really understanding your training method too much on the pattern. You have a very wide approach to the first, then allow her to drop in and cut off the second, then another very large approach to the third. Before adding speed, establish a little more uniformity in the way your asking her to turn. AND STOP LEANING. Sit down.

Does your horse know how to counter arc? Pivot? I would get her very light to those exersizes before asking for any more speed.

That way, when your lift with your inside rein, she pick up her shoulder and moves over. You really need that extra room behind the second barrel, so that you can get a straight line to the third.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-14-2011, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=BuckOff41570;960607] I'm not really understanding your training method too much on the pattern. QUOTE]
Thanks very much for your input, but I really don't want any critique on my riding. I know she was cutting her turns really odd, but she was giving me problems that day, fighting on the first barrel, so I made her turn it wide to teach her that she needs to listen to me rather than anticipating the turns herself. Also there was a bit of a hill on the second barrel, so yes I cut that one WAAAY too sharp. And yes I lean forward quite a bit, but that is the way I train my horse. That if I lean forward off her hind end, she will pick up the pace for the most part. Thanks again for your input, but the information you gave me had nothing to do with what I was asking.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-14-2011, 12:36 PM
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That's perfectly fine. Not everyone is willing to learn I suppose.

But I will say that by being more aware of your body position through the pattern will help your horse understand what you expect of her... thus drawing a more definate line from slow, to fast.

Best of luck to you. Just remember when you post videos/photos on a public forum, people typically will try to help in any way they can... myself included.

Again, good luck. :)
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-14-2011, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks very much then :) And sorry if I came across as a little hostile. I just wasn't having a good morning in general, but there is no excuse for that. And thanks for your input.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-14-2011, 02:25 PM
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No worries. EVERYONE has bad days. Just gotta take everything with a grain of salt on these type of forums. The good thing is... life is too short to worry. :)
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-01-2011, 01:37 PM
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[quote=xXSweetBreezeXx;961723]
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckOff41570 View Post
I'm not really understanding your training method too much on the pattern. QUOTE]
Thanks very much for your input, but I really don't want any critique on my riding. I know she was cutting her turns really odd, but she was giving me problems that day, fighting on the first barrel, so I made her turn it wide to teach her that she needs to listen to me rather than anticipating the turns herself. Also there was a bit of a hill on the second barrel, so yes I cut that one WAAAY too sharp. And yes I lean forward quite a bit, but that is the way I train my horse. That if I lean forward off her hind end, she will pick up the pace for the most part. Thanks again for your input, but the information you gave me had nothing to do with what I was asking.
That attitude certainly won't get you anywhere, whether or not you were having a "bad day".

Based on your original post, I'd consider you a beginning barrel racer at best because you've barrel raced a pony when you were 8 or 9 years old. That's it. That's not much and certainly not enough to be rejecting GREAT ADVICE from a very experienced board member like BuckOff.

What you need to realize is that your body language has 100% effect on how your horse responds. I can give you tons of advice based on the video you posted and the problem you are having, but I'm not going to bother to waste my time if you aren't going to listen to it. Would you like to learn or not? I'm willing to help if you are willing to learn.

∞•*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*•∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-02-2011, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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I understand where you are coming from Beau. I'm not good at giving very informative posts either. For one, she won't really run at all whether it is on the pattern or not. I've taken a few riding lessons with that issue in mind on lesson horses without a problem, and a couple on her aswell, with no avail. Along with that, I never claimed to be any better than a beginner rider when it comes to barrels. Also this is just my opinion, so take this with a grain of salt, as I may have completely misunderstood you, but I was just looking for input and suggestions on what to do, and I do not need comments that are completely unrelated to you about my attitude. And just so you know a "bad day" can actually mean a bad day (like I don't know possibly finding out that my grandfather is extremely sick?), not just some excuse for acting like a brat. But I would definitely appreciate it if you would give your suggestions and opinions.
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