I recently decided to work with my horse and turn him into a barrel horse. My goal for this year is to have him successfully running a pattern at a decent speed. I'm normally a western pleasure junkie, so horsemanship is very important. An adrenaline rush should be a reward for TONS of slow work in my opinon.
Simon is an APHA registered paint gelding of age 10. He's VERY intelligent and easy to handle; he's for the most part, lazy. However, after he returned from a reining trainer, he became chargey and hot at the lope/canter quickly and easily. This is one of the problems that I'm working on solving with him before I point him seriously at barrels.
I've started with his fitness work after having a semi-long layoff at pasture. I'm doing a lot of extended trotting in our open pastures and bending him in small and large circles, doing figure eight etc.. I'm tuning up his transitions to hopefully make that transit. To the lope quicker so he's not running into it, thus having the oppertunity to get chargey (as much). I'm pushing his hip without asking for a lope, working on his pivot, pushing his ribcage, and doing an overall course on setting his mind into slow motion so that when he and I feel comfortable adding some speed, he hopefully won't feel the need to crawl out from under me.
Simon gets hot easily at the lope, and that's where I'd like to ask for help from everyone. Are there some more ways that I can help ease him back into a steady rhythm instead of a rush that you could share with me? Any tips at all would be GREATLY helpful. I'm just worried about him handling the mentality it takes to make a nice barrel horse. He has the speed- PLENTY of it, but it's going to take a lot of slow work (which is nothing new to me) to get him comfortable. If you have tips on helping a horse along with anything of that nature, please share it!
Thanks so much!
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