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barrelbeginner 04-30-2013 12:09 PM

Sunnys First Barrel?
I was just wondering how you guys thought Sunnys first barrel is going so far?:) Is there anything that I should work on? He seems to do better when I practice for like 10 minutes doing the pattern..( then he seems to get sloppy) so Ill walk to pattern and end that. Then I wait a couple days and go back and he DOES BETTER then before:)..:) please let me know what you think. I know it might not be easy to tell.. but I have to take the videos myself... Do you think that with him loping the pattern like that I can take him to some local shows? Or should I keep practicing?... also is he still shouldering the barrel alot? thanks:)

130430_0001_zpsda5230cf.mp4 Video by sjsj_2009 | Photobucket

130430_0003_zps7cdbae1c.mp4 Video by sjsj_2009 | Photobucket

beau159 04-30-2013 05:38 PM

Hmmm, there just seems to be something "off" that I can't quite put my finger on. Not so much on your first video, but on the second video where you also have a clip of the 3rd barrel.

Plus it is really hard to tell when you just see small segments of your run. Can you set the camera back a bit, to get all three barrels in? Yes it will be smaller, but at least we can see your whole pattern then.

But maybe Sunny seems a bit STIFF. He's not bending his body around the barrel. Now, that may be his style (some horses turn like that) but what if you try to ask for more bend and see how he does?

Martha and Lindsey Sears are the poster child for "bend" in a barrel turn!!

barrelbeginner 04-30-2013 05:52 PM

Yeah sunny doesn't have much bend. I will start doing exercises to help and get a bit more. Do you think that even though its a small piece of the pattern being at the small lope is okay? Thanks for the advice. And yeah ill back it up a bit tomorrow ... if we don't have 7inches of snow on the ground
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SorrelHorse 04-30-2013 06:16 PM

Subbing so I can watch it later tonight, darn internet right now is too slow.

waresbear 04-30-2013 08:29 PM

384 Attachment(s)
I am not a barrel racer but he sort of hops around the barrel a bit instead of reaching under himself. I guess this comes with practice?

QHriderKE 04-30-2013 10:06 PM

Along with more bend, I think getting him to step up and under himself would help as well. Same with some rate exercised.

SorrelHorse 05-01-2013 03:13 AM

He is hopping because he isn't doing what he needs to do.

a) His hip is popping up and out of the ground
b) He doesn't have established bend
c) He is dropping his shoulder as his hip pops up.

In theory your pocket size is good and you are getting a turn in at a decent size, however he is being slowed down by not using his body.

While you are going slow, trot up to the barrel, stop at your rate point, push his hip in, and walk around it a couple circles. While you are walking this circle, bend him as if you want to drag his nose on top of the barrel. Overbend, because when he runs he will stiffen up. Stay nice and quiet, soften him gently, and then on the backside ask him to pick up the trot again and set a straight line towards your next barrel. Here it is important to switch your bend halfway so he knows to change leads, but the idea is the same. Come to the barrel, stop, push the hip, bend and go several circles before asking for an increase in speed on the backside to get him powering out.

Also i like to push their hip in while we are on the straight too, but remember never to lose that bend, and keep him soft. I notice softening is one of the things you have struggled to get out of him in previous videos I have seen of you. This time though he isn't bracing so much.

This exercise should get you started. I would also do a lot of counter flex circles off the pattern at the walk and really just ask him to be soft. I suspect he is going to brace against you on this but just bump your outside hand and ask him to put his chin down. Outside hand is a huge key to softening and keeping a horse balanced. Often I will say "inside, outside" to someone I'm helping, which essentially is just "inside" rein for bend, "outside" to stand them up and keep them from falling in, and of course using your feet to drive drive DRIVE their hind end up.

In a snaffle you could get him walking slow, deliberate, soft, and hold contact with your hands and squeeze with your legs until you feel him stepping under himself. Getting a video too will help you see that. After the walk a strong posting trot with the same thing, asking for a reach and drive from behind, and finally as the lope. The leg and contact will encourage his front end to lift which will encourage his hind end to engage.

Little things on and off the pattern will help you, and that should get you going on the right path for now. If I can I will try and get a video of Selena doing these things, as she is a good example of a bendy, soft horse just in general. Like Beau said too, Martha is an extremely bendy horse and will show you what to aim for, however not every horse will follow that style.

Hope this helps.

barrelbeginner 05-01-2013 07:15 AM

That you! It does alot!:) I realize Sunny needs alot more bending and stuff.. I don't really know all the fancy terms and what not:/ but I get what ur saying. A video would be very helpful.

When you say he isn't bracing as much as in other videos- does that mean it's gotten a little better:)?
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QHriderKE 05-01-2013 10:26 AM

The one exercise SH described is basically what im doing here:

SorrelHorse 05-01-2013 02:18 PM

I'll try and do one sometime this week for you of some off the pattern exercises and slow work with her...It would be nice if I could find one of the more finished barrel horses to show you but it's kinda hard to catch them these days.

In regards to QH's video yep, that's pretty much it, I'd back up and then swinggg that hip in though a lot more than what she did with Squiggy. It looks like Squiggy has it a little more naturally than Sunny does however.

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