Training a horse

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Training a horse

This is a discussion on Training a horse within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • How to train a horse to Barrel Racing
  • Horse racing training forums

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    07-09-2011, 08:11 AM
Training a horse

I just recently bought a percheron cross and am interested in training him to do some barrel racing. I am more familiar with teach a horse to drive a cart so I am lost. Does anyone have any suggestions on where I should start?
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    07-09-2011, 01:00 PM
Is he alredy broke under saddle? Are you wanting to start him under saddle for future barrel racing or just barrel barrel racing? To start a horse on barrels the best thing to is start a walk. Walk him through the pattern untill he can pretty much do it without your help. Make sure you make pockets, pockets are key! Go wide around the barrel and then cut in at the end. After he can walk it really well move on to a trot, same thing as at a walk, make sure he is bending aroung the barrel, once he can trot move a lope and so on, all the steps stay the same as you get faster and faster yor horse will lean in more and make the pocket seem smaller.

Here is a diagram.see how when you first comw around the barrel they are wider then when you finish, that's the pocket,, I hope this helps!
    07-09-2011, 01:17 PM
Lots and lots of bending and flexing. Your horse needs to be as limber as possible. Start the pattern slow and only speed up when you think the horse is ready to. Don't over work the pattern! That can lead to a sour horse before you ever finish the training. Work on turning around anything, trees on the trail, posts that don't have fencing on them, whatever use your imagination! Don't let the horse drop it's shoulder into the turn, you can assist him with this by making sure that you ride centered through the turn, and keeping his nose tucked into the turn. The more collected that you can get the horse, the better, he needs to work off his back end to make the turns necessary. The more flat work, the better. The more supple that you can get this horse before you ever look at the pattern the easier it will be to train it.
    07-09-2011, 01:18 PM
I have no advice knowing nothing about barrel racing, but I would love to see a pic of your boy, a Percheron cross does not sound like my first choice as a barrel racer, but why not? I've seen some beautiful Percheron crosses doing all sorts of things
    07-09-2011, 04:35 PM
First: Get a quarter horse.
    07-10-2011, 02:37 PM
^ Because we are oh-so-very pretentious and breed-biased, blah blah blah. :roll:

No reason you can't train a draft-cross on the barrels. Heck, I used to take a purebred 18-hand Belgian gelding through the pattern--entered him in the pony classes at the local playdays. We made some wiiiiiiiiide turns, but had fun doing it. But now, don't expect him to every be particularly fast or competitive. How successful he is will depend on how much he takes after the Percheron side, but regardless, don't think he's going to go beyond the local shodeo level. But it sounds like you're just doing it for fun, anyway, which is what it should be about.

Get him really broke under saddle first, if you know how to do that. W/t/c on both leads, stop, back, flex. Get him responsive to leg pressure, and get him moving laterally with the bit ("pick up" to move over). Practice turns with a "pocket" on barrels set up in the arena or the pasture, both in the regular pattern and randomly. Start at a trot when you go to train the actual pattern. Keep a hold of your inside rein, bend him, push him out, and pull through to finish. Remember your pocket. Reach down your inside rein, drop your outside rein. Remember to keep the shoulder picked up, and work on leads. If he starts rushing, stop, back, and make him wait before allowing him to turn. The biggest thing is don't push too hard/fast, too soon! Like this video shows:

Take your time, start slow, build your way up, practice RIGHT, rather than FAST, and have fun!

This gal knows how it's done:

    07-10-2011, 04:00 PM
Maybe I was a little blunt but to me I get the horse that goes along with what sport I want to do so in my opinion if you want to get into barrels then the quarter horse is how I would go

Any breed can do any sport just all depends on how they are trained but wether or not they are that great at it or not is different
    07-10-2011, 04:26 PM
Thanks for the videos Bubba, just shows what the big boys can do.

If you want to compete at a high level it's best to look for a breed suited to that discipline, if you just want to have fun, then go for it.
    07-11-2011, 08:31 AM
He is broke under saddle but he is still a little green. I have started working with him in the pattern but at the last barrel he always starts to cow hop a little. I bought Hercules from a kill pen back in june and he has improved a lot. He was in good shape apart from all of the mud and being almost seventy pounds under weight. Here is a photo of him without me using a lead rope, which shocked even me. I guess that any horse can be bribed with sugar cubes.
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    07-11-2011, 02:22 PM
I agree with lots of slow work. Don't let anyone tell you he can't do it. I have a 16hh paint that I was told would never be a barrel horse. Proved them wrong. He went from pasture ornament to running 2D. He is actually better at it than my QH is.

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