Would a professional be able to sort her out?!
I have a soon to be 6 year old AQHA mare. As a four year old she was used as a barrel horse. I got her when she was 4 1/2. I spent a YEAR teaching her how to stay cadenced at a trot and how a loose rein doesnt mean that she is allowed to take off. Only thing with her is she cannot seem to figure out that loping can be slow and cadenced as well. EVERY time i ask her to lope she tries to rip my arms from the sockets. When i take her ANYWHERE away from the house she gets so excited, then when i try to make her slow down she gets super frustrated and starts head tossing, bucking, kicking ect. Now im not going to sell this mare. shes got waaay too much potential. However ive been attempting to slow her down for a year and a half now and were just not figuring that part out. Ive been thinking of trying her on a calming supplement but im not sure if that would affect her the way i want it too. I dont want her to have to rely on them or make them a shortcut for good training. So what about sending her to a reining trainer for a few months? She's ranch horse bred and can DEFINITALLY move and stop. Im just afraid a trainer couldnt do anything more for her than i could because she WANTS to go.
Would sending her to a trainer be the best approach in this situation?
Texas, what I will do for horses that won't hold speed is turnbacks. You need a barn wall of straight run of fence to help with this. Ride about 6' off the rail and when she starts to pick up speed immediately turn her toward the rail to head back the other way. She will likely stop the first time but keep her turning and ask for the canter again. Move her off the rail then do this again if she speeds up. She will get the hang of the turns and you need to keep her cantering. This is hard work for her. You will likely have to repeat this 4 or 5 turns each side before she figures out that speeding up results in extra work-harder work. This exercise has more than one benefit. You will begin to notice her movement becomes more floaty as the turns are forcing her to get her hindquarters underneath her. Once she maintains gait, reward her by putting her away. The next time you ride you may have to do this again a time or two then she'll likely quit speeding up.
Ill definitially give that a try. Things like this are a little difficult getting to work on her because she TRUELY enjoys working like this. Once i tried letting her just run and run and my legs couldnt hold up to the thirty minutes of straight fast loping. Ive also tried spinning her in circles when she goes faster and all it did was get her hyper.
Saddlebag made a good suggestion. I also use half halts, transitions, circles, anything that a particular horse may respond to.
How much turn out does the horse get? In how big an area? What's her diet?
She'll truly enjoy doing things a different way, too, once she learns it.
My 4 year old was EXACTLY the same this year. EXACTLY.
Just now, she's starting to figure out how to use herself at a lope, but it's almost as much work for me as it is for her!!
I have to really sit deep, breathe and drive with my seat. She needs contact at the lope, or else she gets a little outta hand, but I just have to REALLY follow her mouth with my hands, and eventually (a few circles) she'll start to calm down, slow down and start using herself.
I've tried a lot of the typical "cruise control" methods, and they only really helped with her trot, so I figured it must be a ME issue. It was. I was riding her lope WAY too forward and since she's a very forward horse, all I was telling her with my body was to go. The real problem was that I made her nervous, so her lope was a mess. But now that I'm figuring her out, she's just being an angel.
No offense, but, a 4 year old horse shouldn't be run full blast in the barrel pattern anyway.. (In my opinion)
Why don't you just teach her yourself?.. Save ya some money, and You'll get more out of knowing you did it yourself.
Um, is this directed at me? o.O
My mare has only been run full blast like... once in her life, and it was to cut off a longhorn calf from running through a fence. I'm not sure what your point is?
Sure, I messed up a little bit last Spring on the barrel pattern, but it's all good now, and she's doing wonderful with her training (barrels included), we're even going bridless a bit now.
QHRider, I think it was directed to OP. Just so everyone's aware, OP wasnt the one that ran barrels on the mare, the previous owner she bought her from did.
OP already knows my opinion and knowledge, so otherwise I'll leave my post as is.
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Lol, No. In general.
A horse isn't fully developed at the age of 4, and I don't think they should be running barrels full blast, until they are 6 years old, at least.. It can only mean problems in the long run.. like, Joint problems, leg issues in general, and it just makes them down right insane!! And by that I mean, all they know is RUN RUN RUN!! I wasn't speaking out about you.. Don't worry, I am NOT a snobby horse person.. Just throwing in my 2 cents is all. :wink:
Texas, unlike running or circles the turnbacks really work her whole body and especially the hindquarters. A horse is designed to run straight but now she will be doing tight bending. As she gets better at it she may even start to rock back and pivot to conserve energy and horses know it's important to conserve energy.
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