So my gelding is in good condition, he just isnt getting any faster? I have seen this horse run really fast before, and I have ridden him at these speeds but he just thinks that when it comes to barrels, he dosnet have to try and goes really slow. If I whip him or kick him he crow hops and slows down more. So what should I do? Thanks.
1) How old is your horse?
2) How long have you been training him for barrels?
3) Have you had him checked by an equine dentist? Equine chiropractor? Equine vet?
4) Do you have a video you can show us?
Usually, most horses that are learning the barrels just take TIME to figure out that they can add speed. Whipping and kicking are just annoyances to him (as you've clearly discovered) and don't encourage all horses to run faster. Some horses will run SLOWER the more you try to push them. Every horse is different.
Just because a horse can run fast in the pasture, free and by themselves, doesn't mean they have figured out how to run fast in an arena closed in by fences.
What are you doing with your body during the run? This is where a video would help tremendously. Some riders don't realize they aren't using their body languange correctly to encourage their horse to "hurry". Make sure you have your weight forward and up and out of the saddle in-between the barrels, and make sure you are keeping your hands up and quiet. No pumping chicken wings. (I have a terrible habit at that.)
Also, are you sure barrels are the thing for him? Some horse's simply do not like going fast on barrels. That could be a possibility that he just doesn't like it.
Ya i agree with beau it takes time it took me about a year to finally get my mare up and goin!
Hello! My horse is 11, we have been working on barrels for about 2 years, yes to all three of the vets, I can get you a video! He was a reiner before I got him and I have done patterns with him and he trust me can get up and go when it comes to reining, but the vet dosnt want him to stops like he used to anymore due to his age. I will certainly get you a video this weekend! Thanks!
It is incredibly possible he just doesn't enjoy it not all horses do.
Sounds like the OP had the same issue I did with Selena.
I'll give you my little personal experience.
Selena was also a reiner. She was finished when I got her and won money being shown as a three year old, and I got her when she was four. She was lazy. I mean, kicking, whipping, spurring, and you got to trot. Without spurs or split reins in hand? No way in hell you were getting her to even lope. She was a safe, consistent reiner but she wasn't a lively, run-jump-slide sparky reiner. She was correct but not exciting to watch or ride.
If you would of told me two years ago she would be my main barrel horse and be winning, I would of laughed. No way she had that type of energy.
Well, I started working on her in lessons with other people. We worked a lot on speed transitions, so when we were asked to speed up and the other horses would pass her..She got mad. She wanted to be in front. So she sped up until she was in front. She stretched out and just flew. Ever since then, her speed has improved. But he had to learn how.
Still, at this speed, she wasn't as fast as she is now. Faster, yes, but not fast. She had to learn, especially in confinement, that she COULD run and really stretch out without hitting a fence.
Here's what I did.
Once or twice a week I would breeze her. That means, walk, trot, lope, then push for the speed and make them run. Then back to the lope, trot, walk. She had to build those muscles slowly and learn to run. She got into running shape quickly with this added onto her. She sleaked out and learned what she could do.
She still shut down between barrels. What I would do then is push her hard to the barrel and not turn, just run past it and run her along the rail. She learned that sometimes she wasn't going to be asked to turn, so she started stretching out before. Then I started adding more of the turn. She learned how to do these things and made an exceptional transition from a reiner to a nice little 3/4D horse (And getting faster)
^^Great examples Sorrel.
For another example, I trained my first barrel horse (Beau) and started hauling him lightly when he was 4 years old. And then asked for some more speed when he was 5. Now he was a big horse and was FAST when we breezed out in the field. But I think he felt claustraphobic in an arena with fences. He never ran hard, but he would usually clock okay due to his sheer size.
For most of his life, he was a consistent 2D horse at jackpots (probably would have been 3D nationally at the big races, if I had taken him to any huge jackpots). Well all of a sudden, when he was about 11 or 12, he surprised me big time by consistently WINNING the 1D at jackpots. He was actually running for a change!
It just took him THAT long to figure it out that he could run hard in the arena too.
Some horses just do. Each one is different.
One thing I've been taught to do while training is always kiss to them leaving a barrel. At a trot even, it teaches them they need to leave fast. Speed comes with time and each horse is different. Some advance to fast others advance slow. My 6 year old started out running local 3D times, it was 6 months before he picked up the speed to run 2D at good sized shows. The main thing is to concentrate on your barrels and perfecting them. You don't want to speed up if your turning isn't good. Have you never had any help?
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Thanks for your help guys!
BarrelRacer23, yes I did have help for a long time till my trainer, who did just about everything, got into doing eventing every weekend it seamed like. So I dont have help now, but I think I found someone to help me again.
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