Bailey McQuailey's Training Thread :D
Bailey is my barrel mare I'm leasing. The McQuailey part I came up with because it rhymed. She's also referred to as "Bay Bay" or "Bailey Foe-Failey" :D
I've been riding her for a summer and yet we're still figuring each other out. She's a talented barrel horse but we have some "Mare days" where she becomes hormonal. I got some drops for that from a herbologist (Or whatever you call them) for horses and I'm hoping that works.
Mostly she's just very hot, and stiffened against me a lot. I'm working on getting her softer and relaxing to my cues, because she likes to get worked up over every little thing.
We're currently doing a lot of slow patterning for all the gymkhana events. I'm going to take her to play November 5th with my other gelding.
She's very on the muscle when we're in the arena with the other horses. She won't slow down and wants to blow right past everybody, and doesn't like other horses coming close to her. So what does this mean? I'm going to shove her in a group lesson twice a week and make her stay behind the slowest Western Pleasure horse I can possibly find.
Wish me luck - I'll be updating as we go.
Enjoy this sweaty monster :D
Sounds like you are doing just about everything I would try.
Lots of bending, flexing, and giving when she stiffens up on you.
Ask for lots of maneuvars when she gets nervous in the pen with other horses, to try to get her to focus and attention back on you. Nothing "exciting" because she clearly doesn't need any more spunk. Maybe a nice proper rollback at the walk, or a stop and back, or leg yields at a slow collected trot.
And the more places you take her, hopefully she'll start to calm down in those environments.
Rode her today, worked on just getting her relaxed. I loped large circles around barrels but didn't ask for much. Just big, perfect circles. I watered the arena so I could see my tracks and that helped us mentally.
There were two other riders in the pen so I had one of them that I knew well lope in front of me while I kept Bailey behind her. She did well, I just kept her a horse length away until she relaxed.
We also did a lot of "Cruise" exercises, where it was basically just stop riding and let them go around the pen. This was VERY good for Bailey. Instead of just running around madly, after about ten minutes of cruising she settled down, relaxed, and loped very nicely around.
I just kind of rode her bareback today since I didn't have much time. We did a lot of counter arcs and haunch turns since she's not so good at those. Also some flying lead changes. She did good but is sticky on switching with her hind end and her front end at the same time, but that'll come easier with more work.
She did better in the group lesson today. She still got frustrated with the other horses running past her, but all-in-all, much better than last time. I don't expect this to happen overnight so any fraction of improvement will make me happy.
I have seen more recent posts from you and curious if your still working with the same horse or if your on to someone new? Did this horse turn out well on barrels?
I gave Bailey back to her owner. She was just too dangerous of a horse to keep in a stall or trailer and needed more time than I could give her. I got her soft in the face, working her rate well, doing a nice pattern but just needed so much hauling and experience and I didn't have the ability to deal with her bad habit of pulling back in the trailer by myself either.
Right now I have a four year old and my main mare. Selena is my mare who is showing right now and the palomino colt is the 4yr old who just turned and is adding speed now.
Ruger, the colt.
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