Whip issue
   

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > Western Riding > Barrel Racing

Whip issue

This is a discussion on Whip issue within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Best whips for barrel racing speed
  • My horse is scared of whips

Like Tree21Likes

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    05-24-2013, 05:03 PM
  #1
Foal
Whip issue

Hi Everyone!
I'm new here, so I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post my question in, but here it goes. :)

I am having a little issue with my barrel racing runs. I don't feel comfortable picking up my over and under and smacking my horse with it. He's not scared of it, and he really extends his stride when I use it. I'm just not comfortable using it. He is very good at the pattern, but he won't run his hardest unless I use it. I think that I'm scared of going fast, because at a race I was participating in, a horse tripped on the last stretch and flipped. How can I get over my fear?

As a side note: My trainer has been working with me and my horse for a year on the basics of barrel racing, and the previous year was dedicated to making sure that we had all of the basic training for any kind of riding.

Thank you all in advance! :)
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    05-24-2013, 05:12 PM
  #2
Trained
Most problems with barrels are bc the rider lets the horse take over the whole job. Stop running barrels this WHOLE season. Instead, school on the flat for total obedience. Teach him to take cues between gaits and cues within gaits. Get a book on basic dressage or take a few classes in it so that your barrel horse gets some education as a RIDING horse.
The reason the horse flipped is bc he/she is running away from that whip SO FAST that the horse wasn't paying attention to where the feet go. People can trip down a flight of stairs doing the same thing.
When you get back to the barrels again, make a bunch of exercises out of it. Walk the barrels, go from #1 to #2, then back to #1, then to #3, then back up, then circle ALL of the barrels, change gaits between barrels--just get creative. Horses don't forget ANYTHING, and he won't forget how to barrel race just bc you took some time off. Once you have schooled your horse like this you're going to feel more like you are driving a tuned up sport's car, and they aren't always driven at race car speed.
     
    05-24-2013, 05:26 PM
  #3
Foal
Thank you for your advice! :) My school is going to be on summer break starting next week, so I'll have plenty of time to work on transitions with my horse.
     
    05-24-2013, 05:36 PM
  #4
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
Most problems with barrels are bc the rider lets the horse take over the whole job. Stop running barrels this WHOLE season. Instead, school on the flat for total obedience. Teach him to take cues between gaits and cues within gaits. Get a book on basic dressage or take a few classes in it so that your barrel horse gets some education as a RIDING horse.
The reason the horse flipped is bc he/she is running away from that whip SO FAST that the horse wasn't paying attention to where the feet go. People can trip down a flight of stairs doing the same thing.
When you get back to the barrels again, make a bunch of exercises out of it. Walk the barrels, go from #1 to #2, then back to #1, then to #3, then back up, then circle ALL of the barrels, change gaits between barrels--just get creative. Horses don't forget ANYTHING, and he won't forget how to barrel race just bc you took some time off. Once you have schooled your horse like this you're going to feel more like you are driving a tuned up sport's car, and they aren't always driven at race car speed.
I have a huge issue with this post.

First off, you are assuming this horse was not a riding horse first. If the OP is working with a trainer, then no self respecting barrel horse trainer would let her get on a horse with no training and just whip and spur around the barrels.

Doing the dressage work is an excellent idea, however the OP doesn't sound like she has a problem with going slow. She has a problem with going fast. I'm going to quote 1RedHorse here: If the problem appears at speed, fix it at speed. Now, this doesn't mean fly around at mach 20 all the time, but I'll talk about what I would do with my lesson kids in a minute. The same thing happens because I don't see how doing transition exercises is going to help her with her problem either...Unless, OP, your fear does also appear while going slow? In which case, by all means.

On the comment about the theory on WHY the horse the OP say crashed....There is NO correlation between using the whip/stick and wrecks. There are a million factors that could have caused that. I've had horses trip and fall on me at a simple lope because they just hit bad ground. I do NOT whip or even push going to the first barrel, (Free running horse), but my mare once hit a patch of deep ground and stumbled. I do not typically use a whip on my mare as she is a very free running horse, however when I do there is definitely no "fear", and you will find very few horses who are actually afraid of it. It's a cue, just like anything else, and you will find they are there more for noise than anything. Just like when people say barrel racers "kick" too much. So many of them FLAP their legs, but don't actually kick. You kick too hard, you slow a horse down. It just looks like they are kickin the snot out of the horse when they aren't.



Now, onto helping the OP. Since you work with a trainer, I'm assuming you probably have an arena with good footing to practice in, right? What I would do is take him around the rail of that arena, put your outside hand on the horn and your inside hand on the reins, and "breeze" him. Walk, trot, canter, then let him run. Push him with your legs and keep encouraging him to extend out without the whip first. See how that feels. It's a controlled environment, no tight turning, very safe on a broke horse. I do this on my mare quite often. Actually I think I even have a video...Our arena is pretty round but you can do it in a square or rectangle too.

Not one of our better days (She had a lot of time off before this) but for the sake of the thread I'll put it up, haha. It's the first clip. Notice how I don't push her too much. It's a confidence builder for you but also for your horse, showing him that he can run and it's okay. The only way they'll find their feet and balance for running is from preperation...And finally, just letting them do it and teaching them it's no big deal.




Also, when practicing your barrel pattern, emphasize the drive out of the barrel by speeding up significantly out of it. Here is a video of a lesson, the two palomino horses are good to watch and I think there's some good advice there from my own trainer. It's all about focus, forgetting your fears and just doing what you need to do. It's hard but as you get more comfortable you will find yourself tuned into your horse and know when you should ask for more, and when you shouldn't.



Finally, just go out and play sometimes. Have fun. If you find a big open area let him run. Just remember after doing all the running, emphasize your rate. It's so cool to see and ride a really awesome barrel horse, because you can go from a flat stretched out gallop to a pony lope in .2 seconds just by giving them their command to rate. You don't find that in any other sport, except maybe reining, which is why I condone barrel horses as reining horses first (But that's another story)

Just remember that falls are probably going to happen, but this is a wonderful sport and going fast is such a freeing feeling that if it's something you love, you can push past it. Good luck OP and let us know how it goes! We love updates here and would love to add you to our barrel racing "family" here on the forum :)
     
    05-24-2013, 05:59 PM
  #5
Green Broke
SorrelHorse you took the words right out of my mouth.

Corporal: I usually agree with most everything you say, but I don't in this particular case.

It does not sound like the OP has an issue with the barrel pattern; nor does her horse. She is simply scared to go FAST, which is nothing to be ashamed of at all. But if you are uncomfortable going fast, then you need to do it more often so that you DO get comfortable with it.

Quote:
Stop running barrels this WHOLE season.
I most definitely DISAGREE with this statement.

You aren't going to get more comfortable doing barrels fast if you don't do barrels at all.

Barrel exercises never hurt anyone and they can always be useful to the horse and rider. But she's got to get comfortable with speed, so speed we need.

Quote:
The reason the horse flipped is bc he/she is running away from that whip SO FAST that the horse wasn't paying attention to where the feet go
There is no way you can know that, and it's highly unlikely at that.

Accidents happen. Horses slip and trip.

Yes, there are riders out there that abuse whips. Absolutely. But we can't assume that is what happened in this, because more likely than not, the whip had nothing to do with it. (The OP actually never even said there WAS a whip involved; just that a horse fell.)

EmeraldPony: You sound like you are doing everything correct. You took "basic" lessons all last year to have a good foundation, and you are working closely with a barrel racing trainer. You are nervous right now going fast and that is okay! It takes guts to barrel race. Are you just afraid your horse may fall? He's taken care of you so far, right? There certainly is a lot of trust involved in barrel racing, when you send your horse at Mach 9 speed at a barrel. But it really sounds like you've done your homework and you've got a good horse. You've just got to learn to trust him!

Practice going fast! Even if it's just taking a big lap around the arena. The more you do it, the more comfortable you'll get. And you can always start small. Gallop slow laps around the arena. THen along the long wall, ask for some speed. If you need to pop him with the over and under, go ahead. When you get to the short end of the arena, ask him to slow back down. Go around a full lap. Then ask him for a short burst of speed again. Doing these speed exercises in short bursts helps you build your confidence that you will always be able to slow him back down again if you need.

But be careful: Once you catch that speed bug, there's no going back. Keep us updated!!!
     
    05-24-2013, 06:06 PM
  #6
Trained
Ahaha! The speed bug for sure is the best thing! There's no known cure You'll just have to keep runnin'. :)

I have to say too, we talk a lot about other sports being helpful to barrel horses, but I find getting a horse and rider comfortable at speed helps you do other things too. For example, you should see our large fast circles in our reining pattern...When I hit that center marker I could see the judge's draw dropped to the floor and the crowd went WILD Never would of gotten that had I of not started Selena barrel racing. And even in western pleasure...So many people will put emphasis on going slow, but a horse with a naturally good gait needs a rider who rides like they're going to go someplace! You find, once you go fast, you always have that internal "drive" to your seat.

Even if you decide barrels isn't your thing, you'll have an awesome experience you can translate to anywhere :)

Oh oh oh, and can we see a picture of your boy? I love seeing those barrel horses here :)
EmeraldPony likes this.
     
    05-24-2013, 06:28 PM
  #7
Foal
SorrelHorse:
Thank you for your tips! I don't have a problem with going slow, or even an extended canter. It's just when I actually gallop that I get nervous. :) I will most definitely "breeze" him in my barns arena. My trainer was actually having me use the over and under to help my horse jet out of his turns, and on the stretch home. My horse has a ton of rate, so keeping his rate tuned up wont be too hard. Your horse is so cute! :)

Beau159:
Thank you and I will follow your advice. :) I think that I am afraid of my horse falling, but he's always been balanced on his hind end when he's ridden. I'll keep you guys updated!
     
    05-24-2013, 06:29 PM
  #8
Started
I agree with SH and beau.
The only way to gain confidence going fast is to go fast. I remember years ago when I started team roping (nothing slow about it!) And I had never really run a horse before. Well. Any fears about going fast go away well... real fast... when your heading horse launches out of the box doin mach 20 lol.

I've had a horse fall on me going pretty fast... I feel your pain. Its tough. But once you are over it (and you are on the right path) you will deel comfortable at any gait.
EmeraldPony likes this.
     
    05-24-2013, 06:30 PM
  #9
Foal
I'm going to try uploading a photo, as soon as I figure out how. :)
     
    05-24-2013, 06:40 PM
  #10
Foal
Yay! I got one to work! This is Trafalger and I at a gymkhana clinic last March. :)
     

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Use of a whip BarrelWannabe Horse Training 14 10-15-2011 02:38 PM
What Do I Do with the Whip Exactly? Brighteyes Driving 4 08-16-2011 11:29 PM
Whip or Spurs Cowgirl101 Horse Tack and Equipment 23 10-25-2010 04:39 PM
Whip hand? RedTree Horse Riding 8 03-29-2010 12:31 AM
Whip or No Whip? Tayz Horse Riding 25 04-23-2009 04:48 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0