Okay, I'm not trying to knock Kaley, but some of that is very wrong..
First, it would be helpful with a little more information about yourself and your horse. Has your horse ever ran barrels? Is this your first time? How much experience as a rider do you have? How serious are you wanting to get with running and are you wanting to seriously compete?
We can help a lot more with more information about the situation..
Now for the advice part, THE single most important thing when training for barrels is to S-L-O-W...Very, very slow.. Don't stretch your horse before warming up first, that can cause you to pull or strain something in your horse. Support boots and other equipment are all about personal preference and what's best for each individual horse..I'll get more into that when I know more about your situation..You don't need to just start at a canter and expect to jump right in feet first and pick it up. It takes tons of practice and perfecting everything at a walk, then a trot, then a lope..months after you start learning the ropes you can look into adding speed. You, as a rider, have to understand all of the mechanics and necessary placements of body weight, seat, hands, feet, where you look when turning the barrel, and what you have to do to ensure a nice setup for a run on your horse..It's also best to start out with an already trained and seasoned horse if possible..Those horses already know their job and can teach you without you worrying about getting frustrated trying to learn everything yourself and teach your horse...It's not an over night learned skill..I would definitely start with lessons and a coach to guide you in the right direction and make sure you are set up nice to have a successful future in barrel racing..
Good exercises you can do with your horse are lots of slow work, flex and release work, bending workouts, setting up and turning workouts, working on side passing and leg pressures..Most of these workouts can be carried out with a few barrels, cones, poles, or anything you can move around that can be lying around your house. You don't want to constantly to barrel work, a horse will become sour and start to hate their job causing you both problems. You want to keep workouts fun and different, keep your horse moving and constantly thinking, keep your horse soft and responsive to you. Good ways to keep your horse in shape without working barrels can be slow work, long trotting, and things like trail riding..you always want to change things up, keep challenging your horse....I will only work my horses on barrels once or twice a week at most, and I NEVER run at home. I want my horses to know that it's not always about speed and running, we work on rate and keeping flexing and soft in the mouth... We do lots of trail riding also. I don't want my horses to always associate riding with work, it needs to be fun and a good experience for both of us..and last but not least, always end on a good note, set small goals for yourself, enjoy those small goals when you reach them and know that focus, enjoying yourself, and being a "team" with your horse is worth more than winning and having the fastest time...I would rather enjoy myself and have pretty, clean patterns than be everywhere, whipping my horse, blowing turns and win..
I can help more when I know you more as a rider and what your plans are for your future in this awesome sport!
I am Sparkly Meanie Doodie Head and I approve this message!
Last edited by DrumRunner; 02-27-2012 at 12:14 AM.