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dressage or barrels? feeling pressured

This is a discussion on dressage or barrels? feeling pressured within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        06-22-2014, 09:51 PM
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    Start training her in basic dressage. Basic dressage, like basic reining training, helps any horse be a better horse no matter what direction you end up going. Having control over all parts of a horse's body, having control over speed and collection and having control of a horse's mind will make him more successful at whatever he ultimately trained to do.

    Additionally, one can turn a horse with a dressage background into a barrel racing horse a lot better than you can take a barrel horse and turn him into a dressage horse.

    Another thing to think about is even if you do not want a dressage horse, if he really takes to it (you can't lose with free training if the trainer is any good), you could probably sell him for a lot of money and buy a really good barrel horse with the money. I do not see how you could lose by at least starting him in dressage.
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        06-23-2014, 12:37 AM
    I was going to say what Cherie said better.

    Basically, you have a spoiled barrel horse. They are no fun to fix, and often can never be run again safely. I shouldn't even call her a barrel horse, since she was just hauled around the barrels without preparation. That can leave a horse hurting, confused, angry, and fearful. But still: a spoiled barrel horse.

    I wouldn't necessarily hand over your horse to dressage trainers without your involvement. Maybe negotiate. See, if you decide to do it, they'll be putting buttons on your horse and you won't know how to ride her effectively. In fact, you can untune her as quickly as they tune her. So talk to them. Discuss dressage for your horse and lessons for you so you can ride her. Discuss western dressage. Is that an option?

    Here is the thing: dressage teaches a horse that the rider is in control, and it gives a knowledgeable rider control over the horse's movements, to the point that you can have forward impetus without forward motion or ask for a right lead on a left circle and have the horse grant it and move in a balanced fashion. Having a solid dressage foundation can put you back into the barrel arena because the horse will understand self-carriage and obedience to the rider.
    DraftyAiresMum likes this.
        06-23-2014, 12:43 AM
    The horse doesn't care if it "excels" at something and doesn't give a fig about its "potential". The horse cares if it is fed, has water, and a place to sleep and poop.

    Do you want to keep this horse because you've invested time in her or because you're emotionally attached or something else? You don't sound all that crazy about the horse (I could be wrong though!). The horse doesn't sound like barrels are going to be her thing and Dressage doesn't sound like it's your thing.

    It's OK to sell a horse if you and the horse are meant to go in different directions. You could use the money from her sale to buy a barrel horse.
        06-23-2014, 11:18 AM
    I am very attached to her.

    Ill see about the lessons

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        06-23-2014, 11:25 AM
    Super Moderator
    I agree - dressage training could be the turning point for this horse because its all about focus and learning self control in a more settled environment and even if she never goes on to be competitive it will hopefully have improved her attitude
    If you want to ride the horse though you really need to learn how to do that because a dressage horse is maybe going to need a different approach to the way you ride at present.
    DraftyAiresMum likes this.

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