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CatrinaB87 05-15-2013 03:02 PM

"diving"??
 
2 Attachment(s)
I am pretty much brand spanking new to barrel racing. I have done a handful of "fun shows" on mostly schooling horses, so it really doesn't count as barrel racing. I would like to become a little more serious about it.

About my horse: 9 y/o paint gelding who was originally trained to run barrels, but wasn't fast enough to be competive enough for original owners. Ended up being neglected, rescued by a therapuetic program. He didn't work out for the program because he was too tall and couldn't double as a lesson horse in the off season (he doesn't do well with multiple beginer riders) So I had the opportunity to purchase him and gladly did so. His conformation is not the greatest. Not even close. He is built down hill, and his legs are too under him. His canter/gallop is pretty rough, and I have found the best way to ride it is with an "english style" seat, forward and up.

My problem is when I get to barrels, I am obviously not sitting deep in the saddle, therefore I feel like I am throwing the both of us off balance. Can anyone recommend some excercises/tecniques to help me get deeper in the saddle, and for my horse to not be so rough? Is it a roundness issue? He also has a problem changing his leads, and breaks into a trot to do so. I have been around horses most of my live but would consider myself a novice when it comes to "training fixes." Most of what I do is on a trail, so leads obviously aren't that important (until now!! gosh.)

Any constructive, experienced advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm not looking to go to national finals, but the ability to compete in some little local shows might be a fun thing for us to do, and about the level I would like to compete at.

I have attached a link to a video of us running (not really...) the pattern for the first time before the batteries died just as an idea of what I'm working with. I had a fall back in novemeber that I'm still mentally recovering from, but as the evening progressed I did actually run the pattern. I have also attached a couple of pictures, for an idea of how he moves, his level of collection ability, and my diving.


Thank you in advance!

Attachment 186514
Attachment 186522

Fowl Play 05-15-2013 05:09 PM

One of the things I always hear my trainer yelling at my daughter is "Ride the outside of your horse!" It has helped my daughter keep from leaning. Of course her horse is smooth so I don't know if that would make a difference, but when she concentrates on riding the outside, she stays more upright, and her horse does too. She puts more weight in her outside stirrup and holds up the inside shoulder by lifting the inside rein a little higher. Plus, she uses a pretty hard inside leg for her horse to wrap around.

EthanQ 05-15-2013 05:34 PM

My barrel horse is built downhill and similar to yours, and I've found making sure he is collected, with his nose turned in towards the pocket, and getting him to wrap around your leg, sitting centered, really helps with the turns. Also make sure your turns are "circles" around your barrel.

EthanQ 05-15-2013 05:37 PM

From the video, it looks to me like you need a wider, rounder pocket going into the barrel. Don't worry about it being so big, once the speed is added, it'll shrink more than you'd ever imagine.

sparks879 05-15-2013 05:43 PM

From the pictures, it looks like you shoulders are slightly in front of your hips, its only a tiny bit, but remember a horse can feel a fly or the turn of your head. Open you chest bring you shoulders back over your hips and square them up. doing excercises like sprirals (in and out) will help you with your turns, your horses flexability and your ability to ride square over your horse. If your horses is built down hill, you're going to have to work a little harder to get your horse back on his haunches. a horses running heavy on the forehand is going to drop his shouldr in the turn, in response you may drop your shoulder making it that much worse. Back up slight grades, roll backs and flexing excercises will help this. Also, doing small circles, while keep your inside leg on at "B" nd your outside leg at "C" while squeezing and releasing, gives your horse s a bending point while keeping his haunches in. Its not all about learning the patturn, its about learning tha patturn while moving properly. A horses motor is in the back end. kind of like a VW bug.

CatrinaB87 05-15-2013 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fowl Play (Post 2524642)
One of the things I always hear my trainer yelling at my daughter is "Ride the outside of your horse!" It has helped my daughter keep from leaning. Of course her horse is smooth so I don't know if that would make a difference, but when she concentrates on riding the outside, she stays more upright, and her horse does too. She puts more weight in her outside stirrup and holds up the inside shoulder by lifting the inside rein a little higher. Plus, she uses a pretty hard inside leg for her horse to wrap around.

I'm thinking part of my problem is that I'm attempting to neck rein him around the barrels. Maybe that's causing me to lean into my inside stirrup to reach? Thank you for the advice!

CatrinaB87 05-15-2013 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EthanQ (Post 2524834)
My barrel horse is built downhill and similar to yours, and I've found making sure he is collected, with his nose turned in towards the pocket, and getting him to wrap around your leg, sitting centered, really helps with the turns. Also make sure your turns are "circles" around your barrel.


And advice how I would go about getting him to wrap around my leg? Do I just do lots of circles and figure eights using more leg pressure than rein? And I'm guessing the "pocket" is the space around the barrel?

CatrinaB87 05-15-2013 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EthanQ (Post 2524874)
From the video, it looks to me like you need a wider, rounder pocket going into the barrel. Don't worry about it being so big, once the speed is added, it'll shrink more than you'd ever imagine.

Guess I was trying too much too fast! Thank you for the tip!

CatrinaB87 05-15-2013 10:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sparks879 (Post 2524946)
From the pictures, it looks like you shoulders are slightly in front of your hips, its only a tiny bit, but remember a horse can feel a fly or the turn of your head. Open you chest bring you shoulders back over your hips and square them up. doing excercises like sprirals (in and out) will help you with your turns, your horses flexability and your ability to ride square over your horse. If your horses is built down hill, you're going to have to work a little harder to get your horse back on his haunches. a horses running heavy on the forehand is going to drop his shouldr in the turn, in response you may drop your shoulder making it that much worse. Back up slight grades, roll backs and flexing excercises will help this. Also, doing small circles, while keep your inside leg on at "B" nd your outside leg at "C" while squeezing and releasing, gives your horse s a bending point while keeping his haunches in. Its not all about learning the patturn, its about learning tha patturn while moving properly. A horses motor is in the back end. kind of like a VW bug.

When he canters, it's almost like he skips with his back end. He doesn't look like most horses do when he runs. I don't know if it's a conformation issue or a laziness issue, but it's almost as if he doesn't quite bend his back legs to bring them under him, instead he lifts his hips and keeps as straight a leg as he possibly can. Is this part of the needing to get him on his haunches more? Also, what do you mean by "B" and "C"? I have never taken a former lesson, my only lessons were ever outside of an arena!

sparks879 05-15-2013 10:44 PM

Have you had him looked at by a chiropractor? Sounds like some stiffness or soreness in his hips or hocks. As for the B and thing, horses have different "buttons" your legs rests at B slightly foreward of that is A it controls the shoulder movement, when you ask for a turn on the haunches your leg goes ever so slightly foreward. C controls the haunches, when you ask your hose to turn on the forehand your leg goes ever so slightly back. Others may call A B and C different things, but when I teach beginers this is how I explain leg cues.


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