Okay so my Barrel horse wont go around the 1st barrel.! he is great around the 2nd and 3rd barrel but not the first.! He takes them to wide or just doesnt want to turn. He has always been on a dog bone gag bit and has done great. But i tried flexing him the other day and he would flex great to the left but to the right he didnt want to flex. He faught it and didnt wanna give me his head to the right. Which would be the same as going around the 1st barrel. And him flexing to the left would be 22nd and 3rd barrel. So what should i do? I keep flexing him and he is getting alittle bit better. Would it be something in his neck? Thanks.!!
Well first get him checked legs, hips, shoulders, back etc by a vet and if needed chiro to make sire something isn't physically wrong. If he is clear and nothing is wrong then slow him down and work on circles and getting him bending to the right at the walk / trot only once he gets that down perfectly then ask for more speed. Someone else might have other exercises also.
Yes VET CHECK. Jester was stiff in his neck going to the left and it turned out he had a large bone spur in this left stifle causing him pain. Totally the other end of the horse, but stiffness anywhere is a sign of pain, especially if it's a recent development.
ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE RULED OUT PAIN: I would do a lot of loosening up and shoulder control. Haunch turns/spins, rollbacks, counter arc circles, making the horse really soften and bend. Also, make the first barrel his "resting spot." Work him at the gate, then run to the first barrel, stop at your rate point, let him stand and pet him, then walk a perfect circle around it and continue the pattern. Also do this at the end of your workout. Lope or trot to the first barrel, stop, get off, loosen your cinch, let him stand then head out.
It sounds like he is running up the fence too. Go ahead and go to the fence and do some rollbacks and really get after him, then go rest on the backside of the first barrel.
Do some all-left or all-right drills too to get control and make perfect circles. Then, do some spirals.
A video would help too. I'm just throwing stuff out there now.
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