Starting Barrels?!

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Starting Barrels?!

This is a discussion on Starting Barrels?! within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

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  • 1 Post By SorrelHorse

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    04-03-2013, 11:57 PM
Starting Barrels?!

So i've just started walking/trotting around barrels to get my girl use to it, I was pretty surprised when I got to the first barrel and she turned like a dream around it without any force and headed straight to the second and again, turned like a dream, it was like she had been doing this for years, but then we got to the last and she went real wide and then tried turning real sharp (nearly knocking the barrel over)
Whats some good exercises that will get her more confident around that last barrel, I do not want to go any faster than a trot for now because I wouldnt want her to slip, she's only 4 and I don't want to put her off doing it.
Like they say, Slow and steady wins the race
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    04-04-2013, 03:38 AM
You already have a really good handle on slow before fast, don't ever forget that!

It sounds like if she is trotting this really well then check your angle going to the third. About 30 feet out tap your inside leg and get her bending. The inside leg is NOT to shove her out, but just to say "Hey, look this way". You should do it on all the barrels, sets them up for a smoother turn.

Remember the first part of your turn is the widest, so be sure you give her a good amount of space. I like a 3/4 foot pocket at this stage, and will make an oval shape going a stride past the barrel going slow (It will tighten up when you go faster) When you reach your turn bump your outside leg so she'll step her shoulder across and finish it tight. Go in with a bigger pocket, out with a tight pocket.

If she doesn't listen to your leg, stop and haunch turn into the barrel, then circle it again. Don't be afraid to circle twice, three times, etc if you feel you need to and don't let her quit until you get a turn your happy with.

This is a lesson from my barn that shows a couple riders of different levels, I like watching it because I think it's a good angle to see how they are asking their horses to set up.

Ash27 likes this.
    04-04-2013, 04:19 PM
^^ ditto.

I'd also suggest you read through our barrel sticky on the forum
Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills.
    04-04-2013, 04:36 PM
Pm me for more ideas on starting. I started a few years ago and I might go to nationals this year.
    04-04-2013, 10:49 PM
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse;

This is a lesson from my barn that shows a couple riders of different levels, I like watching it because I think it's a good angle to see how they are asking their horses to set up.

Barrel Lesson @ TLM - YouTube[/URL]

Really good video, I've noticed that my mare wants to bend down low and turn real quick instead of staying upright and turning, She really wants to learn right in and it does feel like she is just going to slip right out from under me! Is that a good or bad thing?
    04-05-2013, 01:09 PM
Some horses a low turners, but there's a difference between a low turner and a horse that dives in and drops the shoulder. The latter will be the one that hits barrels.

Every now and then I would lope up, stop at your rate point (Next to the barrel) and counter arc away from it. That teaches them to pick up the shoulder. Also, lope past it and go straight to the arena fence and stop instead. Don't let her think that she's going to turn every time you go to the barrel. Also, if she dives in while you're circling, hold her off with your outside hand and make her circle until she balances up.

Can we maybe see a video? That might help us help you.

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