Video Critique Please - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-02-2013, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Video Critique Please

Ok looking for some pointers because I am very new to this.

Here is Leo and I at a local race cantering the pattern.

IMG 1190 - YouTube

Sorry about the bad quality, and I usually wouldn't lean so forward in our first canter circle, I can feel when he is on the right lead but really wanted to double check that he was set up correct for this run.

We have been working on the barrel pattern since mid-June. This video is from July 27th (so about a month and a half). I usually only work him on the barrels once a week and just recently began asking for a canter through them (Other days we trail ride, ride dressage, breeze in the field or I work him in his western tack in my version of "reining" where I focuses on a lower head set with no contact and work on stops, backing and turn on haunches to an immediate canter - which I'm pretty sure has another name).

How do you think our turns look and what do you think we need to work on? I do lots of work in general outside of the barrels working on collection and such but what can I do more of in our slow barrel workouts? One thing I noticed he has done a few times (and which he does in the video) is take one trot step around the second and switch to the left lead. He switches back at the third barrel but is this something I am doing wrong or just a young horse figuring out his leads and balance? Today I worked him at home and cantered a few times through the pattern and he did not switch around the turn like this. He held his canter and was switching one or two strides out from the first barrel and then one or two out from the second barrel (to the wrong lead and then back to the correct for the third). Haha, makes me think he is just focusing on setting himself up and forgets he gets to go right again around the last barrel? He's a funny little guy. (He prefers his right lead and is much more balanced to the right in general). It also almost seems like he speeds up into his turns or maybe he is diving in? It doesn't really feel like that much when I am riding but I wonder if this could be a problem down the road when I add speed.

Also, I ride him one handed around the barrels in our trot practice but he was totally losing it and not able to turn in the canter when I tried this so I have been supporting him with two hands (mostly bumping him with the outside rien - is this ok? Today I practiced one handed in the canter and he was much better but I felt it was helpful to ride through with two hands correcting him then let him handle it more with one hand until he dove in or something, correct with two and go back to one when it is you guys think this just going to confuse him?

I am pretty clueless as to how he is doing in the barrel department and if we are on track so I would love some input :)
EmmaWay24 is offline  
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-02-2013, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
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Overall, not too bad at all!!

You're pattern itself is good. You are making straight lines from barrel to barrel, and finishing each turn.

I like that you trotted him in a circle to start him off on the correct lead. When training one for barrels, it's important to help the horse get on the correct lead. When they are "finished" they will know what to do on their own.

The video is so bouncy, I can't really tell when he switched his lead for the 2nd barrel. Typically, when training a horse for barrels, once I finish the first barrel turn I will break the horse down to a trot, and ask them for the other lead. Of course, I've spent time ahead of time teaching the horse simple lead changes. Your horse seems to be doing pretty good so at this point, I would probably just let him figure it out rather than dropping down to a trot and switching him.

One thing to be careful of is that you do not let him turn the barrel too soon, and that you keep him on his hindquarters. Especially your third barrel, watch how his hind end swings out around himself. He's not planting and using it there.

I would definately use two hands at this point. It gives you better control and helps your horse. To "hold him off" the barrel and make him wait to turn, you should be lifting his inside shoulder with your inside rein (think of twisting and lifting your inside hand toward the direction of your outside shoulder) while also using your inside leg to ask him to bend around your leg. That will keep him shaped for the turn, but hold him off until the pocket is right to turn.

Keeping this shape throughout the turn will also help keep him on his hindquarters. Make sure you keep your weight even in the saddle, or even slightly back, to encourage to keep him weight back on his hindquarters.

Your first barrel was acutally your best barrel. Is there a reason you are starting on the left barrel? I think you should actually switch your pattern, and go to the right barrel first.

If you want any more tips, you can check out the thread we started for newbie barrel racers.
Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills.

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
beau159 is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 08-02-2013, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Thanks! You are very helpful

I actually started him out the other way and his first barrel was so much better I switched haha. I think I may just set him up better for the first in general as I am still learning myself.

He definitely switches his leads but its right before the turn and I think it might be what is throwing him off balance a bit. And I did start him out switching through the trot until he figured out how to do it on his own (I made sure he was well versed in simple changes before looking at a barrel). Last practice he began switching right after the first barrel so I think this will help us out.

So you'd say really work on keeping that hip in before going any faster? I'm excited to try "lifting" him with that inside rein and sitting deeper. I will try and get a better video soon

Also, do you think it is too confusing for them to try switching the direction they go a few times? My friend says it is but it didn't seem to phase him and maybe I will try back to the right first just to see. He is SO SO much more balanced to the right though, he can almost canter pirouette to the right and can really rock back on his hind end to a super slow collected canter but we are still working on balanced 15 meters to the left without him grabbing the bit and trying to take off (although he somehow pulls it together around the barrels, not super balanced yet but it feels ok - maybe he just likes to go fast that direction?).

Given his history would you suggest I switch him and see?
EmmaWay24 is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 08-02-2013, 06:45 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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I find it very helpful for horses to practice running the pattern the other way once in a while. My old horse Beau, I could run him either way and he'd perform the same. But some horses will often always have a "better" turn in one direction, much like how humans are right-handed or left-handed. So no, you aren't going to "screw him up" by trying it the other way. If anything, I think it keeps their mind fresh because they have to listen to you to find out which way you want them to go.

And it could certainly be the rider. He might do better with whatever approach you take to the first barrel. That's good, because a good first barrel means a good first money barrel!

Absolutely, keep that hip IN. You can do some slow exercises at the walk and trot to work on that. Really use your outside leg (back just a tad) to keep the hip in. And you can work on this (along with the lifting and bending) away from the pattern. Just do simple circle work.

You can also do other drills with the barrels, without doing the same cloverleaf all the time. One of my favorite drills is using four barrels set up in the square, with each barrel being about 40 feet from the other or so. Then do all rights, or all lefts around the barrels. This drill really makes them stay bent the whole time and keep that hip in. And you do it where you start from the inside of the square.

Or do a simple one-barrel drill. Make a big circle, and then place the barrel somewhere along the path of that circle. When you get to the barrel (this time you'll be coming from "the outside") you will turn it in a 360 degree turn basically, and then continue on your big circle. Do this to the right and to the left.

Then at least it is different barrel work to keep your horse from getting bored.

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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