Suggestions on flexing and bending exercises - Page 2

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Suggestions on flexing and bending exercises

This is a discussion on Suggestions on flexing and bending exercises within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
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    11-06-2012, 04:12 PM
Barrelhorseluver how old are you?
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    11-06-2012, 05:24 PM
15 why?
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    11-06-2012, 06:09 PM
Green Broke
i have been training him for about 2 months but then he got sore so I had to start again so about 4 in total
It sounds like you may be progressing too fast. Example being, I had my horse Red on the pattern for well over 2 months (closer to 3 or 4) before I even asked him to try to lope it. He just wasn't ready to go faster yet.

If you go faster than your horse is ready for, it causes confusion. If he's confused and doesn't know what you want, he gets frustrated. When he gets frustrated, he starts doing things like throwing his head in the air, and blowing by (or into) barrels.

You need to slow your pattern down to a trot, or even a walk, and show this horse what you want him to do.

I use a tie down on all my horses because it helps them balance properally
Yes, a tie down can be used to help a horse balance themselves. Are you *sure* that your horse needs it though? There are times when a tie down can restrict and inhibit a horse, instead of help.

I'm glad you didn't answer "to keep his head from flying up in the air" because that is not what a tie down is for.

Im not sure what the bits called it was custom made by dave elliot for him
Is there something similar on his website that looks like the bit you have?
Elliott Bit and Spur - Hand Crafted Spurs, Bits & Buckles by Master Bit and Spur Maker Dave Elliott

Once we see a video, we'll be able to help you with other things you may have going on.

In the meantime, it wouldn't hurt for you to do a little researching and learning on your own. Dena Kirkpatrick has a bunch of free videos on YouTube. One of them is here and you can find the rest.

Sherry Cervi also has a few:

As does Fallon Taylor:

Also be sure to check out the barrel racing "sticky" on this forum, started by DrumRunner.
Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills.
    11-06-2012, 06:24 PM
Ok thanks! And the bit website is the one but I can't get onto the section on bits! Lol
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    11-06-2012, 06:29 PM
Green Broke
Yeah.. I've missed this thread today. Not entirely sure how..

The others have given you great advice.. I do have to say that I think you're pushing him too fast and he could very well have associated barrels with being sore and now it'll take time to make that association go away before he'll be comfortable with it again. It's like people, once you associate something with pain you'd rather not do it again so you stay away from it or avoid it.. Your mind keeps that "bookmark" on whatever it was so you remember it.. The same goes for horses. If something makes them uncomfortable or in pain they remember it and will try to avoid it. When you try to make him do something he's wanting to avoid you really need to slow down and keep him comfortable before adding ANY kind of speed. He very well could be souring from pushing him too fast too.. and a tie-down is just a tool that should be used when running, it shouldn't be used as a training tool. Yes, it's for balance and letting your horse push into it but it shouldn't be used every ride. There are ways to train a horse without the need of a tie-down and it's something you should work on as well.

The videos Beau posted are great things you should watch and reading through my thread isn't a bad idea either.
SorrelHorse and beau159 like this.
    11-06-2012, 06:45 PM
Thanks but I have tryed him without a tiedown and he's worse
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    11-06-2012, 07:39 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Barrelhorseluver    
Thanks but I have tryed him without a tiedown and he's worse
Posted via Mobile Device
Then the tie down is being used as a crutch, and not simply as an aid for balance.

I do not like to use a tie down on my young horses until they are loping a decent pattern. I want them to learn how to balance on their own first. Then at that point when they are going good, I'll try a tie down and see if I notice a difference. If I do, great! They can use the tie down to their advantage. If I don't notice any difference, then they don't need it. (Everyone will have different opinions on tie down use though.)

If your horse is throwing his head worse without the tie down, or running through your bit without the tie down, or running over barrels without the tie down .... you aren't using the tie down for balance. You are using it as a crutch to hide an underlying issue. You've got to fix the underlying issue.

Again, a video would be useful to see what else is going on.
SorrelHorse and DrumRunner like this.
    11-06-2012, 09:42 PM
I agree 100% with Drum and Beau.

I think the tiedown needs to come off and some foundation needs to be put on. You need to teach the horse how to use their body first. When I add speed, I will put a tiedown on to run. I have never before had a tiedown on a horse doing slow work. I am considering a tiedown on my colt right now just because he smacked me in the face, but that will be too loose for him to balance on.

Plus, a lot of horses who use the tiedown early develop muscles in all the wrong places. They learn to brace on that, hollow their back, come out of roundness and cause the wrong muscles to get stronger. That is a lot harder to fix.
beau159 and BarrelRacingLvr like this.
    11-06-2012, 09:50 PM
Green Broke
Tie-downs are for finished horses, IMO. And that's if they actually do better with them.
    11-06-2012, 10:09 PM
I am not going to say anything until I see a video....

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