I am against tie downs. They hide training issues etc. Go back to the trot and work your pattern, sounds like maybe he is sore or something. Maybe he has gotten 'sour' and needs a break or something else added to his routine.
I agree with the others. I'm on my phone right now, so I will come back later and type a more detailed explanation, but if you were doing that 6 months ago and you are STILL having issues (especially on your first barrel) you have pushed your horse too hard too fast. He is confused because he does not know what I'd expected of him. And you are spurring him to go faster and your hands are wild. I can see exactly why this horse refuses to turn the first barrel. If I were in his position, I would not want to run barrels either.
If you have a more recent video, please post it but I suspect we will still see issues on all 3 barrels.
Don't take all this personally, but I see a soured horse that needs to be taken away from the barrels and retrained fundamentals. You don't know these things if you've never been told before, so again, don't take things personally but use our feedback to help your horse and help yourself.
Okay, that horse needs some slow trot work on the barrels, he also looks really nervous. My horse had problems with the first barrel and when we just slowed down and did alot of trot work he didnt blow past it anymore, and now is a million times better.
This horse is NOT ready for what you are doing to him. Its not your FIRST barrel that is a mess. Your WHOLE PATTERN is an absolute wreck.
He's hot, he's nervous, he's a mess.
I suggest you find a trainer to help you. Take this horse off barrels, and go back to the basics...walk/trot/canter/whoa/back/sidepassing/counter arcs/rollbacks/spins...before its too late...and this horse gets ruined. Posted via Mobile Device
So nice to be back on a computer. I hate typing on my phone, lol
Okay, I agree with the others --> LOSE THOSE SPURS. Spurs are not meant to kick your horse to make them go faster, which is exactly what you are doing. Spurs are meant for lateral (side to side) movements and refining those movements. You should NEVER kick a horse in the belly with spurs on. I don't care if they are simple bumper spurs either. How would you like to be jabbed in your gut with a piece of metal?
This is going to sound very, very harsh, but sometimes the truth is. Watching this video is a perfect example of someone who thinks that barrel racing is "easy" to just spur and whip your horse around 3 barrels as fast as you can. I honestly want to bookmark this video to show people how NOT to barrel race.
That said, you are on here asking for help and taking it in stride.
Kudos to you for taking in our advice! It's a good thing to see a young rider wanting to fix their mistakes and wanting to learn, versus one that thinks they are God's gift to the earth (we do have a few of those around here.... But they usually don't stay long!)
Circling a horse before a run:
This is a good thing to do for several reasons. 1) It gets your horse to be collected and relaxed. 2) It gets your horse on the correct lead for your first barrel. 3) It gets your horse to focus and listen to you.
Unfortunately, your circling before your run does none of those. You are leaning to the inside (never lean inward; sit square and tall in your saddle, and keep most of your weight in your outside stirrup), she is completely hollowed out in her back and not collected (head in the air and nose out), she is swinging her butt around the outside instead of engaging it, etc. Again, you circling twice before your run did nothing to help your horse.
And she even took off in the WRONG lead to your first barrel.
I will post a video of myself as an example. Granted our pattern isn't perfect, but this is one of my practice videos for my horse Red that I am currently training for barrels. He is very energetic and HOT so we usually ride 2 to 4 miles before I do any barrel work, so that he will lope softly and collected before we take off to do the pattern.
As you approach the first barrel, you are pulling on both reins, tense, leaning forward, etc. Nothing that would actually cue your horse to turn. Your horse is SO confused. Again, I don't blame her for running up the fence. She doesn't know what is expected of her because you haven't taken the time to show her.
When you get to your rate point (about 6 feet in front of the barrel, which will vary for each horse), you need to seat deeper into your saddle, drop your outside rein so that you can hold onto the saddle horn and brace your body, and use your inside rein to aid the horse in the turn.
Before EVER setting a horse on the pattern, I like to teach them "perfect circles" as part of Dena Kirkpatricks method. You teach this away from the barrels, and start with two hands. Keep their nose turned inward and keep their hindquarters engaged. Put your outside leg back a little bit to keep that hind end engaged if you have to. Allow your horse to veer in or to veer out of the circle, and make a mistake. Then correct them with your legs to move them in or out and get back on the perfect circle track. Horses learn by making a mistake. When they learn where you want them to be, they will stay there. Eventually, you won't need the reins much at all because your horse will have learned to keep a perfect circle on their own.
Dena doesn't have that exact clip on her YouTube page, but this video shows how the horse's body position should be during perfect circles.
In additional to teachiing perfect circles, before you ever start a horse on the pattern, I like them to be able to:
--walk, trot, and lope relaxed on a loose rein
--stop softly from any gait
--back up freely when asked
--sidepass and two-track
--simple lead changes and flying lead changes
--turn on the fore or a turn on the haunches
--direct rein and neck rein
Basically, you should be able to move any part of your horse's body (head, neck, shoulders, ribcage, hindquaters) at any time you ask at any speed. 100% control of your horse
This is what you need to go back and do and get your horse OFF the barrels for a while, and teach plain fundamentals.
This is going to take MONTHS to fix. Think about it: The video you posted was from 6 months ago, and you are still having problems. So you took over 6 months (probably closer to a year) to create these problems and cause these bad habits in your horse. Expect to take the same amount of time, or longer, to fix it.
You've got to be comitted for the long haul on this one, if you expect to fix your horse. It is going to take TIME.
Back to your video now.
So she has ducked off the first barrel and run up the fence. Now that you've got her turned around, she is making a dang good effort to get back to the gate and get out of the arena. That's where she fights you before heading to the second barrel.
When you finally get her to the second barrel, you are holding her back with both reins. This hollows her out. She has no collection to physically make that turn.
You are also pulling her nose to the OUTSIDE. Never should you do that. That causes her to shoulder in, and will either cause knocked over barrels, or will cause her to duck off that barrel too. You instead, should turn her nose inward (remember the "perfect circle" exercises?) and then use your LEGS to move her toward or away from the barrel, whatever you need. This keeps her body rounded and in the proper frame to actually turn.
I freeze-framed your video on the second barrel to see all this, and I also see that you are looking DOWN and directly AT the barrel. Never should you do this. That cuases you to lean inward. Plus, where you look is where you horse goes. You don't want your horse to go on top of the barrel, right? No, because you don't want to knock it over. Instead, look at your "axis points" (a term Charmayne James uses in her book) which are 4 points around the barrel, about 4 feet from the barrel. You should look through your horse's ears to these spots you want to get to. Never look at the barrel.
You get around the 2nd barrel quite roughly, and then immediately start kicking her with those spurs, while still pulling/leaning on the reins. AGain, you are confusing her by giving her two different signals. (But we are going to get rid of those spurs, right?)
Where exactly are you headed when you leave the 2nd barrel? YOu aren't going toward the 3rd, that's for sure. YOu always want to make a perfectly straight line from barrel to barrel.
This diagram shows it nicely. Do not drift or arch from barrel to barrel. Follow these lines.
As you come "near" the 3rd barrel, you are leaning foward again, you are hanging on both of the reins, her head is in the sky, and just looks like a mess. AGain, not fun for your horse. Why would she want to go in that arena? Is she starting to give you gate sour issues? Because that's how they develop.
Sit DOWN in your seat for the turn, at the proper pocket point. Get your horse calmed down and relaxed (you certainly should not gallop the pattern again for at least a month, if not longer. Walking or trotting only, after you teach her some fundamentals). Shorten your reins, and stop hanging on her mouth. And get rid of the spurs.
Also get your hands on a barrel racing book or DVD (if you won't get a trainer ... which I still highly recommend) to help you re-teach your horse the fundamentals she should have.
And I am still appalled in the first place that someone suggested you just slap a tie down on your horse, when she clearly has some MAJOR holes in her training.
I trained him myself, just like I did my other two and one of them that I trained made it to college rodeos!! i make sure I start them right from the ground up, I don't rush them into things and if there is a problem I stop until I can correct that problem and sometimes I have to go back to the basics!! So anything that will fix this problem I'm willing to do!! Thank you everyone for all your advice:)
Again, I do commend you for coming on her, getting critiqued apart, and still be willing to learn. But I am really, really surprised you had a horse at college level (or does the horse just "compete" at the college level but doesn't actually place?) because you certainly did NOT start this particular horse correctly from the ground up.
But definitely, stop running this horse. You've got a long road ahead of you to fix her.
8) He has been checked by a vet recently and he said there is nothing wrong with his teeth that they are doing great
9) the person that told me I needed a tie down was is a trainer so that's why listened to her
Kelsie, I know you said the vet checked his teeth and he was fine, but did you ever get him looked at by an equine chiropractor? I didn't see it in your responses. While we've already determined your horse needs retraining, he still could potentially have pain since the right turn was much worse than the two lefts. It's always a good idea to rule it out.
And ick, soooo stay away from that trainer who suggested the tie down in the first place. Wrong on so many levels.