Mare HATES running barrels
I recently got a new mare a couple months ago. She doesnt have much time on the barrels as I am a big fan of drills before they ever see the pattern. But I have hit a major roadblock. She hate barrels. She gets nasty whenever she even see thems. I mean pinning her ears flat back,bucking,throwing a fit. I am having a chiro look at her for anything that could be causing her pain, my saddle fits properly and I have a good saddle pad. What could make her be this way. She has never seen the pattern except for once before I bought her. I havn't even pushed her more than a fast lope even just loping around a field. I am extremely discouraged because I sold my best horse to buy her and can't afford to buy another and keep her and really don't want to sell her. I have been trotting up to the barrel and stoping. I figured maybe she thinks barrels are all about work and that when they are out it doesn't mean work. HELP
How old is she?
And to me it sounds like she is just being a little witch...she just doesn't want to work, so make her do it. Give it a few months and see if her attitude changes because that is I am a seeing when I read was a serious attitude problem if she isn't in any pain anywhere.
Also how is she on the ground, respectful? Disrespectful? Have you done any groundwork with her?
If I do really drill her will she hate running them when the time comes? I don't want to sour her.....
I suspect she has been ridden on barrels by previous owners and ridden nastily. She has come to see those barrels as the beginning of a very unpleasant time. It could be that she will NEVER learn to like them.
My question is, knowing she hates them, will you MAKE her do it anyway? Why? Is there nothing else you could find for her to do? Not every horse likes barrels...or dressage...or jumping. The deal is to recognize that and find something they can love doing. Making them do anything they don't like will never produce a winning horse.
Allison, LOVE your post..love, love, love it..
It doesn't sound to me that she's just being a snot..Those signs are usually pain, sourness, and/or pushing too fast..
What do you know of her history? How long has she been on the pattern? Does she like the bit you have her in? Does your saddle fit her? Are you using spurs? Are you using a whip? How much pattern work are you doing with her?
You can't make every ride about barrels..You want your horse to think "fun" when you ride and not just work, work, and work more on the pattern and barrel drills..Take her for a trail ride, work on other things like a trail course.. If someone made you do drills over and over again every time, you'd grow to hate it to..It seems like you need to back off of barrels and get her to associate riding as a good thing, keep her mind working and constantly do new things...The ONLY thing you can do fast on a barrel horse is ruin one..
If she isn't the barrel horse you want her to be, sell her. Don't make a horse do barrels just because you want to. They have to want to do it too or you'll never be a winning team..It's a partnership, a team...Not a rider making a horse do something.
Sorry - at 12 if she doesn't like them - to the point she is telling you has hard as she is telling you - I wouldn't force her. She will likely progress to arena sour and then saddling sour, play hard to catch, etc.
We can't force a square peg into a round hole. Not kind to the horse.
It's not that different than people. If you told me that I had to make my living doing math and counting long lists of numbers, or else....I would pin my ears and kick out too. No amount of "forcing" would change my mind.
Why would we expect any different in our equine partners? Their likes and dislikes count too.
Beautifully stated post Allison.
To the OP: You just purchased this mare. Do you know her history? Do you know if her previous owners soured her on the pattern and/or forced her to do it even when she clearly doesn't like it?
It certainly doesn't sound like you have done anything wrong (after all, you just bought her, right?). Either she needs a long time off from the barrels, up to a year, and then try it again then after she's done something different for a whole year. Or else, she just needs a new job, period. Because barrels seems to be not her thing.
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