2nd Show Video
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Coming into the arena, you are on the WRONG lead. That's not an issue for a finished horse, but for a horse who is just learning, you (as the rider) need to set them up for success and get them on that correct lead. If you need to circle him a few times before you start your run to get that correct lead, do it.
Your pocket size going into the first barrel was fine, but then you allowed him to blow the backside. If you allow him to take the end of your turn wide now at this point, you are creating huge bad habits. Perfect practice makes perfect. You need to FINISH the turn; don't let him drift away from it.
Also, when coming into the first barrel, I do NOT see any change in your body language. You should be sitting your weight down in your seat, to ask him to rate and collect for the turn.
Also, your reins at TOO long. Look where your inside hand is when you are on the backside of the first barrel turn. It is at your KNEE. That is too long, first of all, and you are having to pull too far back, and way too far down. Shorten your reins and keep your hands up in an invisible box near your saddle horn.
Same thing on your body language when you get to the second barrel. YOu are leaning forward the whole time, and literally caught your horse off-guard because he had no idea he was supposed to turn. I don't blame him, because your body language told him to keep going forward (learning forward, no weight in the outside stirrup, etc), rather than turn the barrel.
Again, wide backside turn second barrel. Do NOT let him do this at this phase in the game, or you will constantly be fighting this bad habit the rest of his career. Bad habits are easy to create, but hard to get rid of.
At home, you need to circle each barrel 2 times (minimum) or more until he's is completely focused on the barrel you are turning, and not thinking about the next one until you are actually on your way there.
I won't say anything about the 3rd barrel, because it's the same repeat of the first two.
He does seem to be listening to you more at this show, than your last one, but you as the rider need to start helping him out. Use the correct body language to prepare him for the turn. Send him to the barrels on the correct lead. And do NOT let him drift out on the backside of a turn.
I'm going to use our own BarrelHorseLvr as an example of what you should be doing in slow work (Hope you don't mind, Bailey!! Maybe you shouldn't post such awesome practice. :wink: )
--Watch how she keeps PERFECT straight lines from barrel to barrel.
--How she asks Zoey to stop and rate before each barrel.
--How she does not let her drift out from the turn, but keeps a uniform circle around the entire turn.
--Her hands are UP and elevating the shoulder; they are not down at her knee.
--Sure, she is sometimes loping to the barrel on the wrong lead, but she's going to break it down into a trot anyway at the turn (to teach rate). I myself personally like to always have them on the correct lead even if I am doing that, but to each his own. But on the last one, where she galloped through, that horse was on the correct lead going to the 1st barrel.
We have never had our turns go wide like that before. Usually he closes it in around the barrel just perfect. But, he did it because I allowed him to and I should have been ready. It seems our practices go really nice, but I forget everything when we do our run at the show.
Yesterday I practiced just like the video shown here,slowly. Practicing my hands and body position as well as straight lines to the barrels.
Thanks so much for all the input I do appreciate it. I knew it was a terrible run, but I was just looking for him to complete the pattern. So now I need to step it up!
When you are at the show, pretend you are practicing at home!
Make a game plan in your head, before it is your turn to go, and then STICK to that game plan. Don't get caught up in the fact that everyone else going faster than you, or if no one else circles before they run like you need to, etc etc. You do what YOUR horse needs. Don't change your game plan just because of what others are doing.
Barrel racing is very much a mental game, so that's why it is a good idea to have a plan set, before your nerves (or mind) get rattled by whatever else is going on.
Ok I am going to start working on everything you told me about tomorrow morning! I am so anxious and excited to get better. We are going to another show next weekend and I hope we improve on that also. Will have to record that too. It def helps me see what I'm doing wrong.
At the shows remember that you can take up to a minute in the warm up. On a horse with no show experience if I go to a new place I normally do a few warm ups, the first may just be to go out and trot so they can look around and see the pen. The second I make sure the horse is going to pay attention to me loping. I always try to get to a show early anyway to ride in the arena first but especially on a horse who hasn't been hauled. I want them to get to see everything first. Just some tips.
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He is so much better after all the practicing. He is straight to each barrel and turns and heads straight for the other. Today he was able to speed up faster after turning. I was so excited :) He is going to be a remarkable barrel horse
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