Calling the barrel racers! Tips?
We've recently purchased a 12yo QH gelding. He's all cutting bred, Doc bar, etc. He's my little project for the summer. He's not much horse. We're giving him supplements and feeding him grain to liven him up a bit. I decided that I want to run barrels on him. Maybe it'll teach him how to run, get him going a bit. I ran yesterday and he was great; we went at a nice steady pace and around the last barrel he gunned it. I'm guessing its because I've been playing around at home. I was told by someone who used to run pro not to worry about my leads right now. I'd like to go to my Provincal finals this summer so does anyone have any tips on how I can get him down to an 17-18sec run? Once he gets going, hes a little firecracker. I have 5 months to get to that point... At my finals are in august. So, if you have any basic tips on starting a new horse on barrels, help me out please!
He's 14.2hh, So wraps around the barrels nicely. Quite chunky :P :D:lol:
If you want a sane barrel horse....don't plan on going to your Provincal finals this summer because your not going to have a nice pattern and get to 17-18 second runs in 5 months.
There is A LOT more to it then running, you need to lay down a proper foundation on the pattern (which doesn't happen overnight). You want a horse that can properly carry himself at all 3 gaits, can lope collected circles at all sizes, work off of leg and seat, basically a very well broke horse. And the pattern just isn't about walking, trotting, loping, and running, you need to teach your horse how to rate, how to make a pocket and keep that pocket, set up for the turns, work off their hind end properly around the barrel, ect. We don't start adding any speed till their 2nd year of training and it isn't smoking fast speed either. If you just rush through training and try and take shortcuts just to run someplace your going to get a horse that falls apart in every run, and is going to turn hot headed real quick.
But that is just from my experience with training barrel horses....and suggest you worry more about getting him a nice foundation on the pattern this Summer then plan on running him and blowing him up. Because you can make them run the pattern....but it is not as easy fixing a blown up barrel horse that doesn't know the basics on the pattern.
Hi and welcome to the forum!
I recently started a general information thread for barrel racers.. It's packed with really good information and advice...I definitely agree with BarrelLvr, training a barrel horse isn't a quick process, to train a successful barrel horse takes time and patience.. Another thing to remember is that not every horse will make a barrel horse..He has to want it and be able to handle the stress mentally and physically..
Barrellvr, you should add onto my thread any ideas or advice you want to share..I'm sure you know the ropes and could add plenty of ideas to it.
Here is somethung to do, like walk, tro or canter to the first barrel leaving a pocket stop back him up for steps and continue around it, do that to every barrel and that helps me a lot
The #1 tip to starting a barrel horse: GO SLOW
BarrelRacingLvr gave you excellent advice. It takes about 2 years to train a finished barrel horse. It's much more than just racing around the 3 cans as fast as you can, whippin' and spurrin' the whole way.
I really, really question this person who "used to run pro" who is giving you advice. Because first of all, you should be worrying about leads. It is one of the fundamentals that your horse should know (simple and flying lead changes) before you even start pattern work. How are you going to cue the horse to be on the proper lead for their barrel approach and pocket? They need guidance and they need to learn. Not that you'd ever gallop the barrel pattern in the first few months of training anyway...... You should only be walking and trotting during that time because it takes that long to pattern them.
I would suggest you start reading up books and watching DVD's by the real pro's who have accomplished great things in the barrel racing world. Of course, it's best if you can have a hands-on trainer to help you, but resources are good too. Sherry Cervi, Martha Josey, Dena Kirkpatrick, Charmayne James, Ed and Marth Wright, etc are just a few names you should watch for. Some of them also have free YouTube videos.
Either way, don't even think about getting your horse to qualify you for finals in only 5 months. It isn't going to happen. And if you try to make it happen, you are going to end up with a sour horse with terrible bad habits and an awful pattern. It's easy for an experienced barrel racing to pick out a horse that was pushed too fast and too soon on the barrel pattern. So just don't do it.
It's fine to haul him places this summer to practice your progress with exhibition runs, but don't expect to compete. It's just not realistic.
I have read a number of books, Charmayne James included.
I understand he's not going to be a finished barrel horse, thats not what I'm expecting.
*Please note: the pattern I run on at home is SMALL. So a 18sec run on it isnt unrealistic at all*
Im not expecting to be amazing; I'd just like to have a decent run.
I've had TWO pros tell me not to worry about leads right now.
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