Please do not read my posts as overly defensive, I tried my best not to put into text that way and just be direct... But it's tough online. I find your information valuable and I appreciate the effort and energy to post... I have my response to your quotes below them :)
What appalls me is that you've had this horse for 6 years and you are now just
realizing there is something wrong.
The inclination he's been in pain for six years is a bit unfair. He's ridden perhaps a dozen times throughout the year. So, the unfairness in me is asking him to haul butt without the proper gymnastics. I get that, I acknowledge and I volunteered that information. Bad judgment, period.
As far as I knew there was nothing wrong with him until the last few years. We aren't all born to know the signs of our horses nor is it predominately natural. I think it is unfair to assume he's always been this way and that I have ignored his cries of pain. I hate that he's uncomfortable and I hate it even more than I wasn't more aware when the signs became evident and I was too naïve to notice them.
I'm not an expert. Nor has anyone come up to me to express concern for my horses "pain." Even in the years of sharing random videos here and there Every horse handles something differently, I am not arguing he's in discomfort, especially now.
My first guess is that the problem is in his back end, since he refuses to use it in a turn, but that is not always the case. Could be out in his back, or it easily could be a combination of things since it sounds like this horse has never had a thorough examination with an equine vet.
This I agree, I believe the problem is localized in his rear end, hence the idea for injections. However, I had no intentions of slapping injections into his hocks without proper examination. I understand your concern because I didn't elaborate that I was going to "Hey, slap those injections without any consideration to the real problem." They aren't a one-stop fix, I understand that, he needs a thorough examination and that was my intended plan.
What a great horse you have there, who continues to try his best for you, even though he is in pain, the rider is cueing him wrong....
Yes, he's an incredible horse that has endured a lot and unfortunately a lot of pain. I am not a professional barrel racer nor do I intend to come off as one. I have plenty of flaws and he's been more than a saint and a hard worker for me making things much harder than they should be with him.
Obviously, you should not even be riding your horse at this point, until you give him the medical attention he is due.
1) Equine lameness specialist
Logan is rarely ridden. I think I had two rides on him before the show. I know, a glaring "How dare you ride so hard so out of shape!" That being said this was a "hurry up and wait" show so when I wasn't in the ring, I was on the ground walking him around.
This was his second show through the entire year. He is more of a pasture puff and has been the last several years and no one would know that unless I stated it. I apologize
He's already had his teeth done a few months ago. I have an evaluation for both lameness and massage in the next month. I already had the ball rolling on these before I posted.
He clearly loves his job, since he continues to try so hard for you, despite all these things against him.
The reason(s) is 1) Pain 2) Pushed too fast on gaming events before he was properly trained 3) Cued wrong by the rider.
He's just trying his darndest for you to understand what you want. You just aren't helping him.
I haven't had a harder worker and more tolerant horse than Logan. He's always gives 100% of himself to his job when I ask him. He's never had proper training for games, I was a teenage her knew he could go fast, which meant "Hey! He can game!" Without any regards to training. I think we all do that in a naïve part of our life when we live in a non-equine related family. I'm the only one who rides and the last five or six years have been alone.
I'm 24, I'm only recently learning of saddle fitment amongst other things. I will say again, I'm still learning. We all are. We're never completely up to date. I only defend myself on this because, well, you don't know if I know it or not. I wish I knew every sign and every bit that entailed to make my horse comfortable, but I don't. I can only learn more through others.
So you've instilled PAIN and bad cueing on him for 4 years, and you expect him to turn a barrel perfectly just because you went slow one time?
Again, he's ridden a handful of times throughout the years, he has been to one show per last two years and the first year of four he went to two shows. This year was the first time he'd been to 2 in one year since the start of the four years. A remark I left out, I apologize for the confusion.
Nothing wrong with staying at the same level you are at now (everyone has different goals) but you at least owe it to this horse to get him pain-free.
I have no intentions of progressing. I've always gamed for fun, not competition. When I did "serious" aka one show for money, it was too much for me (and him). I get stressed out and he's incredibly in tune with me, it threw him off... So I chose backyard horse shows to stick with and very happy with the ones I go to :)
You lean to the side, and forward. Don't lean. Stay up right in your saddle.
Agreed, I lean forward and to the side terribly. Has always been a bad habit, one established through solo riding so no one has harked at my ear to sit up and straight.
And at the risk of sounding like a broken record: Again, leaning forward. And you are looking AT the barrel. Never look at the barrel. You need to look where you want your horse to go. Do you want your horse to run on top of the barrel? Nope. So look at the spots on the ground around the barrel where you want your horse's feet to go.
I was very torqued off when I kept catching myself looking at the barrel, believe me ;) I will be sure to remember this if there's another time on gaming him.
I would also shorten your reins. They are too long.
You also have a habit of what I call "chicken arms". You are pumping your arms when he runs so that they look like a flapping chicken. Keep your hands and arms quiet. Use your body to drive him forward.
Ugh, yes I do... I get so wrapped up in what I'm doing I tend to throw my arms and look like a fool. I'll remember the chicken image and that'll do the trick ;)
As I already mentioned, you typically cue him too soon to turn. And he doesn't have the correct bend in his body before the turn to make the turn. And therefore, you could use a little better body control with him.
Check out this thread. Lots of good info here. Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills.
Thank you for the link, I'll be sure to check it out :)
This perhaps would be our last gaming show, not for the problems, but Logan may be heading to TX where a friend of mine will be using him for her munchkins. He's been such a darned good horse that deserves "retirement" aka "babysitting" would be an enjoyable job for him. He's impeccable with kids and, well, he deserves it.
I appreciate the advice and like I said in the beginning of my response, I hope I don't come off as overly defensive, I certainly don't mean to at all... There were factors I hadn't told you that you only could assume from.
Thank you :)