Can she do it?
Long time without posting! I don't have a computer at my new place as I am putting all my money into competitions and lessons but I figured I would update everyone on Gidget.
We went to our first SOBRA event. We did three practice runs before hand. They turns were a bit sloppy but we did well and I got almost three runs in within a minute and thats with me going and circling before I run the barrel to make sure I have her on the correct lead so overall I thought we did decent on those. However when it came our turn it wasn't so great. We ran a 19.069. I ended up losing a stirrup as I didn't band my feet. The run was clean but it could have been SO MUCH better. Honestly,I was disappointed =/ I know I shouldn't be but I was. I was in the 4D and placed 22nd out of 32 in that division. I have a lot to work on and I talked to my trainer and we are finally going to do barrel work :D Along with our conditioning.
My biggest issue is letting her have her head. I hold her back too much. I use to do jumping and english so I'm use to having contact and I really have to break that as I am confusing her :oops: I ended up shortening my reins more as SorrelHorse mentioned they were still too long.
I did buy a pair of charmayne james bumper spurs and they work SO much better than your classic spur.
My trainer said Gidget can get alot faster and probably around 16 seconds. I know she probably won't ever reach 14 seconds. She is a smaller horse...stocky,yes but she is only 14.2 1/2 hands and I was curious if her height holds her back as well? Most barrel horses I see are around 15 hands+...there are those exceptions though.
When we were practicing I ran an 18.5 but We are stalling around the turns and she seems to be a bit rate-y at the first barrel..anyway to fix that?
She is going on 11 yrs...does she still have a lot of barrel racing years? She was never ran hard on the pattern with her previous owner but she was started at 4 yrs old,I believe...isn't that a bit young?
anyways,I need a pick-me-up...
Her height isn't going to hold her back, she might now have as long a stride as a 16 hand horse but they're plenty of smaller horses running good times. As for her being rately, make sure you give her head and push. Kiss to her while turning the barrels, keep forward motion.
As for her age, if she is sound and in good shape she can last for many more years. Just depends on how well there maintained in life. 4 to me isn't to young to start one, most horses are started at 3 and are doing just fine. You have to start somewhere and most people aren't going to be running 1D times for awhile. Your running in a division, your being competitive and you can only get better right :) cheer up and stop being so hard on yourself, just have fun
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I have a lesson next friday so I am going to see if my trainer will let me run the pattern...I will keep pushing her around the turn. I was suppose to go to SOBRA on the 28th but she doesn't want me too. She told me to wait till the 4th of November to go. I'm not going to sponsor myself as I'm just not ready :) I still have lots of fun but I guess I am wishing it would happen over night which is impossible but it's a nice thought! :P
Lol don't we all wish it would happen overnight? It takes awhile to figure everything out, and then a bit longer to make it muscle memory so your not even thinkign about doing it. I ran the same horse for years then a year old bought a 4 year old and started him on barrels, and even though they had both been started the same he was completely different to me to ride. I had to change most of my riding style on the barrels, figure out all my timing of when to do what, it took awhile before I got with him. On the poles to, I couldn't ride him through the poles. He's a much better/faster pole horse than my old mare, I'm finally getting with him on them after having my mom get on him then tell me what I needed to do. Just takes time and patience. I'm my biggest critic and normally am not happy with a my run, I just think of what was good about it and what I need to do next time to fix it.
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We are our own worse enemy!...I am hard on myself..very hard on myself. As long as our time is improving I am happy. I was cheering for myself when I got an 18.5...lol..I was so proud.
Remember to keep your hands low on her neck, if you hold them up you could confuse your horse and she could slow down... My trainer pointed this out to me as I was doing it.. Also keep her legs clean, keep her running on her back end and make nice clean pockets, rate before barrels, I could go on.. These are things I do to keep my gelding running at his best! Her age shouldn't serve as an issue- We have a 30 yro mare that has been running barrels for years upon years and she STILL loves it!
Also- this might be out of price ranges for some, but Platinum and swimming your horse can drop a couple of seconds off your speed- also extends the stride of your horse!
I think I can probably help you out a little bit now that I've seen you guys run in person. You were correct for the mmost part in the pattern, but you're not a hugely aggressive rider which I think is one of the reasons why you aren't faster. However, that comes with confidence building and a lot of practice. You're still fairly new at this, there's no reason to be hard on yourself.
Next time I see you, if you're up to it, I might like you to ride Selena a little because she does a few things that you can feel extremely easy that should transfer over to Gidget. Your horse has "it", we just need to get you more comfortable. Honestly, Gidget is a pretty powerful horse, especially since she knows what her job is. She is little but Selena is littler, and she has ran a 16 in that arena before. I know you guys can get up there.
I think you could also benefit from a little breezing maybe. If you can find an open area, put one hand on your horn, move your other hand up her neck and just let her fly and keep kissing and nudging her and just feel what she can do. Let the reins literally flop. Right now, I don't think Gidget believes that you really want her to go fast. That is a lot of people's problems to, and that's why you notice a lot of hot horses that get kids on them settle down: Because the kid doesn't radiate aggressive riding energy. Same with a passive rider. There's not a huge amount of "go" yet in the rider because they don't know what it really feels like, and that's perfectly fine. If you would of told me a year ago that Selena would be the horse that has been winning at Gymkhanas I would of laughed and referred you to a mental hospital. What I found out though was that she was more than capable of running; She just didn't believe that I wanted her to, because I didn't believe she could.
Even miss Sherry Cervi, Brenda Mays, Brittany Pozzi, Jody Sheffield and Martha Josey were exactly where you are right now. The point between slow and fast where you are trying to get moving but you aren't quite sure what it really feels like and you don't know what you are doing wrong and how to fix it, which is why we have trainers! :lol: :lol:
To this day I can't go into a barrel lesson with Toni without hearing at least once "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING?"
Also the inside leg I was telling you about while we were waiting. Tap tap inside leg five strides out, get the bend, soften her, enter 3/4 feet away from the barrel, outside leg to finish the turn at the third quarter of the turn and then pull yourself forward again with your horn and just let her fly again.
First time I ever tried breezing Selena and that was the fastest she had ever gone under saddle up to that point. She only got faster from here.
Now, you can't get the little witch to slow down.
Oh, and this may help. From a lesson when Selena first was started on barrels last year, you can hear Toni yelling instructions to me and Amber. Particularly the inside leg, and about me pushing her out instead of establishing bend. You don't need to keep Gidget as round as I keep Selena in this video, I was only doing that because she was feeling very hot and she relaxes when she's round. Particularly good example of the inside leg is at the end when Toni was telling Amber going to the third.
Sorrel Horse, I just gotta say I love your signature!
Haha thank you! It was the story of my life for a long time. :)
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