Bracing against me ?

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Bracing against me ?

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  • 2 Post By QHriderKE
  • 4 Post By nherridge
  • 3 Post By beau159

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    01-08-2012, 01:19 AM
Bracing against me ?

My 3 year old I started 3 weeks ago on barrels is not turning and bracing against me when I cue her and it only on first barrel. She bends effortlessly both directions so I know it's not hurting her or stiffness, but even when I'm walking when I go to the first barrel she braces against me and I use leg,seat, ect. And have a pocket .*She still does it . I don't know why!
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    01-08-2012, 01:53 AM
Not understanding your explanation very well. Do you have a video?

3 is still young, and maybe you are rushing things a bit and expecting too much too soon. But I am not a barrel person, so I don't know in detail what sort of problems are typical to expereience. Have you a video?
    01-08-2012, 09:56 PM
Okay now I am a barrel person, but am still learning new things my self.

have you tried changing which barrel you run first?

My mare makes better left turns so I go to the right first which makes it so there is only one right turn and two left turns. See what I mean? It just might be that the turn you are using first isn't her strong suit. My mare isn't the best at right turns, her balance is off, so it may be that you're horse is also experiencing the same difficulties. It takes time to get them supple and well moving at both the sharp left and sharp right turn. Always make sure the correct lead is used.

Btw I am NOT telling you what to do, but 3 years old is a tad on the early side. The horse's joints are connected at the knees yet most of the time, and their footing/balance with or without a rider isn't as good as an more aged horse would be.

But you are the best judgement of your horse! So if you think he is ready, have at it!!! (:
    01-08-2012, 10:02 PM
She will be running futurist and that has to be under 5 years old. So I run the BIG futurity race when she is 5 . I run to the right bc the left turns for her are better.
    01-08-2012, 10:06 PM
Originally Posted by Tequila1233    
She will be running futurist and that has to be under 5 years old. So I run the BIG futurity race when she is 5 . I run to the right bc the left turns for her are better.
then yep, you have the same problem! It takes time, how long I have no idea lol since I am still faced with it, but you and your horsey can do it!
    01-08-2012, 10:10 PM
She is doing her first local show this weekend. If you want to see my NBHA mare I trained . I just posted a thread in this category under my mares training. Click the link then comment and tell me what you think.
    01-08-2012, 10:49 PM
Green Broke
She's three.
I don't start my horses on any speed event until the Spring of their 4th year.
I find that so many horses have been ruined because they were rushed into 3 year old futurities. At 3, their minds aren't ready for everything it takes to be a successful horse in the long run. If you don't encounter more problems in the future, I'll be surprised.

I'd stay away from the barrels for a few rides. So many barrel horses get pattern's sad actually. Go out for a trail ride. Get out of the arena and let her relax a bit. Maybe work on relaxing in all gaits, do some big circles, lead changes, just let her be a 3 year old.

When I start my mare on the pattern this Spring, I'll maybe trot the pattern a couple times each ride, then leave the arena and ride in the field.
Northern and 2BigReds like this.
    01-08-2012, 11:50 PM
That's what I do . I JUST started her and she turns 4 next month.
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    01-09-2012, 12:05 AM
At 3, they should be backed.
At 5, you should be able to safely START speed events.
At 6, you should be able to start jumping.

My horse is turning 3 in March and hasn't ever been layed/sat on. Horses need time to mature. MOST horses finish growing to a good extent at the age of 5. There are a good couple breeds that do not mature until 6-8 years old. Any real hard work I.e. Barrel racing, speed, jumping ... is very harmful and detrimental to their futures.

I completely disagree with those young age classes, just like 2 year old races. Why put a horse through what is obviously too much? Why promote people to do that? Why reward them for ruining horses? JMO.

Anyway, to actually answer your question (without seeing a video) your horse lacks very basic foundation training. A horse must be trained from the ground up. Let me guess, you have a tie down on her? Also, what bit have you trained her in? She needs a very SOLID course in basic training (working back to front, supple, easy w/t/c positions, lateral work etc) which she has none of, because she is bracing.

I would check for pain (get a vet, you are no qualified) and then start over with this horse. Teach her what it means to be ridden, and THEN teach her barrels. Too many people figure "Oh, she lets me sit on her and run around, lets try barrels!" Yeah, no. Barrel racing is a very serious and hard sport. Only a very well trained horse should try to go into such a sport.
    01-11-2012, 01:02 AM
Since we've got a double post here, that means I can post a double answer, right?

Straight from the barrel racing forum:

My 3 year old I started 3 weeks ago on barrels is not turning and bracing against me when I cue her and it only on first barrel.
She has only been on the pattern 3 weeks. That's a drop in a bucket. You should not be doing anything more than a walk or slow trot, because she is not ready to be doing anything faster.

She's not turning because she's not patterned yet.

She not turning because you haven't trained her for it yet.

She's bracing against you because you are pushing her too fast too soon.

She's bracing because she's not patterned yet.

Do you see what I am getting at here? She needs to be broke, broke, broke to ride first before you ever set her on a barrel pattern. You can learn the fundamentals for the barrels away from the pattern first, before you introduce it.

You are doing nothing but creating bad habits at this point, by pushing her too fast too soon.

She bends effortlessly both directions so I know it's not hurting her or stiffness, but even when I'm walking when I go to the first barrel she braces against me and I use leg,seat, ect. And have a pocket
How do you know she is not hurting or stiff? Have you taken her to the vet? The chiro? The dentist? The farrier? Does your tack fit properly?

Horses have extremely high pain tolerances and often you don't even know they are hurting, until a trained professional catches it. And then you see the amazing difference afterward, because the horse truly was hurting somewhere.

Clearly if she is still bracing against you when you are using your leg and seat, that you have not taken the time to train her properly first. (Remember when I said she has got to be broke, broke, broke first?) It's a fundamental to move away from pressure and give to your leg and body aides and if she can't do it on the barrel pattern, you have got to take the responsibility to actually train her to do it first.

She will be running futurist and that has to be under 5 years old. So I run the BIG futurity race when she is 5 . I run to the right bc the left turns for her are better.
So if she is barely turning 4 years old at this point, you've got a whole year and a half to prepare for the DERBY, since derbies are for 5-year-olds in the fall (typically). And futurities are for 4-year-olds.

Nothing wrong with a horse being better in one direction than the other (most humans are better at writing with their right hand than left hand, right?). However, that should make it all the more important to work on her right side because that first barrel is the money barrel and it's still got to be good. Fundamentals!!!

She will be running some big futurity barrel races when she hits 4 . So she has to be on it. I trained her when she turned to and I just started barrels on her and she is 3 3/4 now so she has had PLENTY of that work.
(Or wait now ........ are you going to do a futurity or derby? There's a whole year difference. Different information in your last post.)

But besides, no she doesn't need to be on the pattern now.

You need to get her broke first. And be able to stop at any gait with a soft mouth, back up any distance, sidepass, turn on the fore or turn on the haunches, move at a relaxed pace at all gaits (walk, trot, canter), do flying lead changes, neck rein, rollbacks, etc. She needs to be BROKE.

The barrel pattern will be a breeze once she's broke because she has her fundamentals.

You can work on turns, circles, spirals, rollbacks, collection, rate etc away from the pattern. If you try to train her to ride while doing the pattern, you'll do nothing but sour her and make her resent it, because you'll be doing the pattern over and over and over.

She is doing her first local show this weekend.
You've only had her on the barrel pattern for 3 weeks (which you really shouldn't at all at this point, as we've already established) and now you are taking her to compete in the show?
1) I hope you mis-wrote that and you are only taking her to exhibition and get used to a show environment
2) It is against futurity and derby rules. You cannot enter in any event at any level that is for compeition. Exhibitions only.

Train this horse first. Period.

Forget about the barrels for now. There's still lots of time for that.

There's nothing wrong with doing futurities or derbies, if it is done correctly and the horse is not soured, physcially damaged (joints, tendons, etc), or ruined.

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