frustrating*slight rant*

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frustrating*slight rant*

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  • Gymkhana frustration

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    03-04-2012, 12:36 AM
Green Broke
frustrating*slight rant*

Well had gymkhana today basically rode 2 horses, my boy outlaw and my trainers horse nuggy(in time onlys). Well Outlaw seemed like he was having a great day a little goofy but not anything unmanageable, well that is until hurry scurry and flags (which im considering just skipping from now on) he took off on both events and messed with my back pretty bad. Going onto barrels he was just an antsy mess wouldn't stand still wouldn't stop bobbing his head chomping on the bit acting like a complete greenie to gymkhana it was ridiculous. Finally got to my turn ( our order was so messed up today was all around frustrating) and he was high headed and completely distracted so I circled him got him focused and off we went turned an okish first barrel but our second and third for whatever reason he acted like he completely forgot what turning or leg pressure was I had his head almost to my leg and he was just running sideways. Now this is extremly frustrating because at home he will throw me a gorgeous pattern but the second we get to the gymkhana arena he loses his head. I really want to get more focused on barrels and each gymkhana it gets harder and harder to stay optomistic that he will be upto it mentally. I know everyone is going to say slow him down take him off the pattern but honestly I've tried all that and my last hope is taking him to another arena and seeing if he is just having flashbacks of previous riders or if he just can't handle it. I just don't know what to do with him anymore, everytime I think I've got him going good he proves me wrong. He has such potential but even with the improvements I've gotten with him I don't know how to handle it anymore.
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    03-04-2012, 01:07 AM
Some time the horse really gets in to the running part of gymkhana-this happen horse some times love to run like the wind and that is what he is doing so fly with it
    03-04-2012, 01:52 PM
Green Broke
I understand that but that is not what the complete thing is here. He had previous riders who taught him to take off from the barrel too soon which has caused the running sideways thing and nothing I do seems to be changing his mind atleast at gymkhana. At home I can run a full speed pattern and he will turn beautifully at gymkhana no matter how short my rein is how much leg I use how far back I sit how quiet I am he just reverts and yes I have tried going slow. I'm starting to think that he just won't come out of it and I can't 'just go with it' I'm trying to get competitive in barrels and that costs us huge on time.
    03-04-2012, 06:17 PM
Try not running the pattern at home, or very rarely. Most, if not all, of the barrel racers I compete with/against will very rarely work patterns at home, with the exception of a youngster. When I was running I never ran the pattern at home. Just lots and lots of circles and bending excersizes. Lots of trail riding as well. Maybe he's a bit sour on the pattern.
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    03-04-2012, 06:21 PM
How many events are you doing?
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    03-04-2012, 06:27 PM
Green Broke
I agree with Kassie, try lots of other riding ideas..New things to make him think.

Another idea, instead of taking Outlaw to the shows and running him. Take him and make him walk all of the patterns, do not let him have any speed...Now that he's used to showing and has gotten comfortable with you at a show he sees it all as "I have to run in the arena" and will slowly work him into a mess...I'm guessing barrels is at the end of the show? And he's okay and the beginning of the day and then it just gets worse throughout the day? That's because he's having to go in the arena and run many times..He's starting to sour on it and work himself into a mess...Take your home work back to basics and no barrels, take him to shows and make him stay nice, slow, and collected doing all of your patterns..Doing this for a while instead of just run, run, run at every show will take him back to that cool and collected might take a few shows so don't expect this to be fixed in one of two shows..
    03-05-2012, 12:23 AM
Green Broke
I don't run him at home a lot I have a barrel lesson about once every other month and only practice on barrels occasionally. I do lots of other things with him he is never kept on only barrels, we do trail rides(which can be a not so calming and enjoyable thing he is so jiggy and rushy if he isn't in front or if he sees other horses on the trail) track work outs random patterns circles and loads of ground work. He goes fine generally all day minus hurry scurry and figure 8 flags, we do generally 7 events with about half an hour to an hour in between each event depending on if its a fast event or a slower on, single stake vs hurry scurry for example means we have about an hour to get calmed down and refocused.
He is definitely not sour on the pattern I can promise that he goes right in and out of the arena and wants to go no fuss with that he just is such a high strung horse that was taught to take off to early from the barrel which I fixed at home and got him going good last gymkhana he didn't do it but this gymkhana he just fell apart during barrels. All day he was running great a little rushy but nothing crazy. He isn't arena sour either he has bad habits and has always been hot headed as an arab that used to race and is just now getting a structure and routine starting august he still gets goofy headed and that is where I'm thinking he may just be better suited to something like endurance which he had done after racing and shortly before I started back with him.

If I don't put him on the pattern at all and run him its definitely worse, if I slow work it sometimes is better but generally no improvement if I work about once every other week on a barrel pattern of some sort he is better so I can't just take him off them.
    03-05-2012, 01:22 AM
Green Broke
See, now you're just shooting down advice before trying it, and why ask for advice when you're not going to listen and consider it before saying "No, that's not his problem."?

A barrel horse becoming sour isn't just going to show as a gate issue, it shows everywhere. In the gate, barrel work, at a show, at home..Seven events on top of eachother like that is just too much if you ask me. If you are properly warming him up and cooling him down between those runs you shouldn't have hardly any time for him to relax and calm down..The excitement, nerves, and stress convey to him through you and basically he's worked up and stressed all day. A horse can grow to hate that stress and start to hate that job.. This can also trigger his being "jiggy" on trails, he's now associating you riding him with being excited and working. So in his mind, when you're riding, he has to be on his toes and work.. If you go to a show, you don't always have to do those fun events..concentrate on barrels if that's what you want to keep doing in the future and get serious with.. There is also the chance that he just isn't suited for barrels, it can be too much on some horses and they can break down after doing it. Bad habits can always be worked out if you, as a rider, can stay consistent with the retraining process of those habits and realize IF you are causing the problems...There are always different sides to a story..Your's, Outlaw's, Your trainer's and the truth..Consider all options.
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    03-05-2012, 10:25 AM
I agree alot with Drumrunner. If you want to focus on barrels then focus on them. Running 7 times in the arena isgoing going to effect a hot horse. There's a saying "a horse only has so many good runs, why waste them" my shows only have poles, barrels, and flags. I do barrels, sometimes poles. Never ran a flag pattern. I suggest the next time, only run barrels or at least cut it back to 3 events. Some horses don't have the mentality to take running so many times in an arena, and it sounds like yours doesn't.
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    03-06-2012, 01:31 AM
Green Broke
See I'm not shooting down advice (although I didn't particularly ask for it was just venting really) I said that I have tried what you guys have mentioned and it does not help him. He has always been jiggy on trails even before I rode him as he associates them with endurance and I have gotten it down to only when other horses are ahead or if he hasn't been ridden in awhile.
It does not take me half an hour to warm up so yes he does get to calm down after a run I stay off of him until about 15 mins before the next run.
He actually has a pretty lazy routine generally work with different patterns and trail rides we used to try and get out atleast once a week but with the 5 o clock dark its difficult to work on the trail riding jigginess when I get out there at 3:30 but start riding/working with him at 4-4:30 due to chores.
I am aware bad habits can be worked out I wouldn't be on him still if I didn't as he has had many from running away with his rider to rearing and pulling back with saddling he was a mess when I took him on and I have gotten to this and nothing seems to be working. I will be finnishing out this year and giving him till next season (oct) to give me some improvement if not i'll be talking to my bo (his old owner) to see if she wants him back or selling him for a more suited mount for barrels.
He is an arab and he does have the typical I know better than you attitude and with the bad habits it makes it harder to convince/tell him other wise. I am trying to get him off of alfalfa to see if that'll bring him down a touch with the hotness, he hadn't seen the pattern in 2 weeks atleast before gymkhana as I didn't have time to do any pattern work just a quick work out before rushing to night class.

I do understand what you guys are saying and if he is the same next show I will be cutting back I only have 3 more shows 1 of which we may not attend because of a barrel race on the same day out of town. I didn't mean to sound ungrateful above but I wasn't really looking for advice, yes he needs work but he isn't one of those horses you can keep away from the pattern completely as once you bring him back to it he is worse so I do try and put him through pattern work (including a canter/hand gallop) atleast 2 times a month to keep him fresh on top of many other types of work outs (poles, ground poles, poles & barrels together, ground work, trail) so he isn't bored and I don't see how he'd be sour he wants to run I don't have to push him and usually his second/third barrel are his best which is why I was so frustrated as his first used to be his flare out barrel 2nd/3rd were tight as all get out so just frustrated me to think that everytime I get something fixed/wprked out he proves me wrong and throws me another curve ball which is embarrasing as me and my trainer see him at home and during lessons and what he can do and then at the shows its so different if that makes any sense.

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