To me, SO WHAT if you don't win or get the lowest score? My first barrel race - I didn't break the pattern and I didn't knock any barrels, my score was just over 30 seconds. Best thing ever in my life and I could not have asked more form my horse than a simple Thank you!
Here are the things I do when I barrel race.
- On the home stretch, I stand up in the saddle and lean forward a little and give all my rein to my horse - letting him know to hit his rockets.
- Going around barrels
- A few feet before the barrel, I melt and sink back into my seat, and add slight pressure back on the reins to let the horse know to slow down for the turn. I also push myself back into the saddle as we turn.
- As we turn, I apply pressure into his side with my inside leg to let him know to bring his hind over and curve around the barrel.
- between barrels, I make sure I have my reins and also get ready to cue for the next turn. I also give my rein to let him stretch out further.
I never kick my horse or use any sort of wip because he doesn't need it. No horse should need it.
Before my first race, I practice barrels about six times. Brisco did his very best and succeeded greatly on our first run. More than I could ask for!
When you begin training your horse for barrels...
- At each barrel, where you would begin to cue for his turn, slow down before the turn to let the horse know not to run past the barrel. So from a walk go to a stop, from a trot to a walk, and from a lope to a trot, etc. This helps the horse know to no run past the barrel and prepare for the turn in races.
- on the home stretch, practice leaning forward and getting up in the saddle and giving your rein to the horse. This gets your weight off his hind and allows for more movement with his hind without your butt adding more weight or getting in the way of his movement. Giving your rein lets the horse stretch out as for as he can and lets him know he can take off.
- just pretend like ever practice is a real race - whether it is a walking barrel race, trotting barrel race, etc. Just practice at different speeds - the slower you go the easier you can prepare for cues and teach the horse. The faster you go another better way to learn because the horse will then know he should go fast. But practice at all speeds and make sure to rate the barrels ( melting in your seat and preparing for the turn.)
🔫 Don't Tread On Me 🐍