how to handle an ex-barrel/pole bending horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-16-2009, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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how to handle an ex-barrel/pole bending horse

My horse used to barrel race and pole bend and everytime we go in the pasture or if shes with another horse mostly, she just explodes and tries to race anything in sight! I know this is common with barrel racing horses, so i was wondering what is should do.

She did this 3 days ago and she was still going nuts when we came back into the ring from the pasture, so i let her gallop around and around the ring till she was dead, beat tired, and she still acted like she had lots more energy, but she was soooo sweaty and my legs hurt too bad to keep going anymore. Any suggestions? Thank you so much!

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post #2 of 12 Old 11-16-2009, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by PechosGoldenChance View Post
I know this is common with barrel racing horses, so i was wondering what is should do.
Sorry - that is not true. The majority of gamers might be hotter in the ring but they are (at least ours) wonderful trail horses, etc.

It sounds as though your mare is very sour. She needs quiet, quiet, quiet walking, putzing, etc. All someone did was run the snot out of her. Poor thing.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-16-2009, 02:36 PM
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I agree with mls, that horse needs a break and some quiet riding. It sounds like she's been taught to be crazy/run and doesn't know how to act normal/calm when ridden anymore
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-16-2009, 03:02 PM
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Agree with the 2 PP. She needs a break and when you bring her back, you might want to start her training over from the ground. Just keep things calm and slow. Since she is already soured and chargy, letting her run it out will only make it worse. Try not to let her run at all. And the one rein stop will be your best friend.

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post #5 of 12 Old 11-16-2009, 03:30 PM
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Don't keep pulling on her head. That is what makes horses chargy. Pull her down to the speed you want then release the pressure. You may have to apply it immediately but you gave a release. Eventually your horse will figure out what she has to do to get the release which is the best treat a horse can recieve.

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post #6 of 12 Old 11-16-2009, 03:41 PM
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That is the problem with MANY barrel/pole horses. They are worked exclusively on speed events. It was always my practice to work barrels a couple of days a week and do trails a couple of days a week. They don't get sour.

Maybe next time, like everyone said, do lots of slow meandering around. Maybe a nice, slow, quiet trail ride. Don't let her get amped up and ahead of the bit. She needs to chill out and not see a barrel for a LONG time.
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-17-2009, 06:09 PM
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personally i think the best thing would be to take her on a very long trail ride at a walk. i am not talking 1 hour, more like 4 hours. if she she starts jigging or taking off, one rein stop, sit for a second and walk on. dont even allow her into a trot. like kevinshorses said you dont want to be pulling on her face all the time that is why i suggest the one rein stop.
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post #8 of 12 Old 11-17-2009, 06:14 PM
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Yes I would say for this one go very slow. We had an ex field trial horse that had been soured to only go. In the arena she would do whatever you want, but on the trail she would do whatever you wanted but at a fox trot or canter. Lots of walking. You can also try checking her speed with one rein even without coming to a complete stop. When she tries to speed into a trot/lope make her slow down and walk. Do circles if you have to, adn you can do figure 8s. Whatever you do, put her mind to work and make her stay at a walk.
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post #9 of 12 Old 11-18-2009, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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I LOVE all of this advice. Sorry I wasnt able to get back sooner, I had to use a different computer for a while and it would always say my message was too short even though I had a few paragraphs lol. I appreciate everyones advice and I WILL take it slow from now on.

And yes, she always tries to run one the way back home from a trail ride, but on the way down shes amazing. She just dances around and practically lopes in place lol. I will do the one rein stop and check her with one rein also instead of checking her with both.

- If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday?
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post #10 of 12 Old 11-18-2009, 08:44 AM
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I'd approach the situation as if you were training her for the first time for the type of job YOU want her to have. Groundwork, lots of roundpen work, figure eights, etc. No more running for a while. You need to help her realize that life isn't is always a race. Slow and steady, steady and slow. Maybe introduce some new exercises to her, things she's not accustomed to or has never done before, to help expand her mind a bit.
And I agree with what lolayla said - trails would be highly beneficial, it will help her ease the go, go, go! that has been hammered into her head.


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