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- - Training "Skelator" (http://www.horseforum.com/barrel-racing/training-skelator-211242/)
So, my fiance has stolen my horse. Hes decided hes fallen in love with toby, and that he will be his buddy, and help me turn him into a nice schooling barrel horse. We're not out for speed, just precision, ad if he ends up being fast, well awesome.
However, he wants to change his name to Skelator. o.0 ok,.... he needs a new registered name, which Fiance has decided will be "Skelatoryzer" since i told him it needed to fit with ParalyzingEquineINC.
so this thread will be about Toby, aka Skelator, ad his journy through retraining and becoming a barrel horse.
To catch you up, i bought Toby two weeks ago, from a woman who unfortunately had let him get into some very bad habits, and then let him get into pretty sad shape. he was bred at a pretty high end western pleasure/halter barn. shown in hand for a while, then turned out with a bunch of others until he was bought up by this woman. When he first got to DLF ( our barn) he reared, bit, bolted, and was MAJOR head shy. the woman who owned him ever really set limits, so his habits just got worse. He WOULD NOT tolerate a bridle, which she got on him by sedating him with 4 ace pills. the she rode him, ad eve sedated, he jigged, and wiggled and bolted. she hauled on his face, which made it worse. she gave up for a while, and a teen girl started working with him. she got the bridle on him, got him walking and trotting under saddle, she had beautiful light hands and a soft but demanding way with him. he responded well, ad after a couple weeks, the owner got back on, and he went right back into his frenzy. she decided he was not worth the training, and began dosing him with 10-13 ace pills every ride. O.O he still bolted, bit her, ad refused to work for her. so she bought another horse, and i picked up Toby.
well, since then, hes completed join up beautifully. ive discovered, he wants to be your friend. he now lifts all four feet for cleaning (trimming is a whole different ball game, he already broke my toe). i switched him to a fleece lined hackamore, and he does beautiful in it, eve lowers his head to put it on now (BIG change from rearing when he heard a bit jingling) he stops dead in it, and i see no reason to make him wear a bit.
His biting has gone down considerably, he'll still nip now and then, but hes pretty much decided its not worth the effort. the rearing has stopped for the most part. its still his first reaction to fear.
As for training, im pretty sure he was still drugged down the first two days i rode him, as he barely picked his feet up. third day, walking was great, he turned ok. trotting, he wiggled and wanted to go back to the gate. we did some circles and figure eights and he got over it. i asked for a cater, just to see, and BOOM. out comes my brand new saddle bronc! so i rode it out, and he cantered a few strides, ad we called it quits. next day, we aimed for a lap around at the canter, each way, and after some more figure eights and circles trotting we went for it. half a lap of bucking and BULLSEYE. beautiful :)
so for the last two rides, we've been able to canter without bucking, both ways. we need to work on our right lead a little, but hes doig great. we aso started with tie straps in the round pen, trying to encourage a long low posture to help out his topline (not many hills here. florida)he's started to relax into it a little, but only time will tell. hes got a nice turn at the trot around the barrels.
BUT yesterday, i tied him off to annie to drag him through a trail or two for experience. we hadnt eve left the barn yet, but one of the woodshop guys started a lawnmower, and UP went toby. and RIP
went the whole horn and pommel of my saddle. clean off, and dragging behind him as he head for the hills before the scarey horrible lawn monster could get him. -.- sooo, now i need a new saddle.
You are doing very good :) but, I must add that I do not like your hackamore. Thise big mechanical hacks are very heavy bits. A little S hack would be a better choice
Agreed, you're doing really well, but I'd find a different type of hackamore. Not only because that style is pretty strong, but also because it appears to have shifted on his nose from the pressure of the reins while asking for the turn. That caused the bridle to pull forward on this side and it's interfering with his eye in the one picture of you loping on him.
I suspect the root cause of that might be because your curb strap is too loose, but to tighten it would make the hack even stronger.
Anyway, he looks like a real sweetie by nature and I'm happy that he and your BF have bonded.
He really is cute!
But I have a few questions, maybe just need some clearification. You say you only got this cutey 2 weeks ago, and have had issues with his circles at all the gates, and definately at the canter. You also said that you were aiming for precision over speed.
I would STRONGLY suggest that you take quite a few steps back. Get all his kinks out at a walk, once he can handle everything beautifully at the walk, then you can move up to a trot. Same thing, get all the kinks out at a trot & walk. Get him to the point that he makes a perfect circle automatically. Get him so that he rates & checks automatically, or at least knows what you want.
BABY steps!! I learned the hard way what happens when you rush a barrel horse. Arena poles HURT head on!!! Just some suggestions.
I'd strongly suggest the boyfriend wearing close toed shoes even if it's 'just' for pictures. Dont need the horse breaking more toes/feet.
Did you have him hard tied to your saddle? :shock: You were lucky that the saddle broke rather than something worse
Bucking might be due to that saddle pinching his withers. I wouldn't want to canter with a saddle digging into my shoulders, either, especially with a piece of leather in my eye.
the saddle had been checked, and the new one im buying will be fitted. No pinching. i LOATH back issues in horses. hes had a chiro app ad was tight in some places, but we're doing stretches with hi to help
4 months ago, a very nice girl got o him ad started working him. she got him to walking ad trotting under saddle beautifully. turning, stopping, backig, walk, trot, circles. NO cantering. his owner got back on him after about a month, and got alllll in his face again (twisted shanked bit of some sort) ad he went back to being a terror. she got fed up, bought another horse, and shrugged at this guy. for the two weeks before i bought him, i was working with him. first in the round pen, join-up. then in the ring, walking trotting and only after buying him, cantering. He doesnt have any issues with circles..... at any of the gaits....never said he did.
help me with the hackamore please? he doesnt have a bit with it, and im not well schooled enough in them to know how/why some are harsher than others.....
i havent actually started him around a barrel yet. we've walked em, jogged em with BIG circles around each barrel. he hast gotte to where i have to teach him to rate yet. at the trot we've done a lot of extending and collecting. (not really collecting, as he doesnt really like to work from uder himself, but we're working on that.) but i ca go from open trot to jog to working trot and back. getting him used to the cues before i try it at the canter.
yesterday, he and alex did join up. it was alex's first time doing any kind of natural horsemanship, and he had a big grin on his face the whole time. he was able to put the bridle on and off, pick up all four feet, and back him with no ropes, no tools. Im so proud of them!
he wasnt tied tight so much as the knot got pulled all the way up to the horn. if he had run, it would have come loose, but he went up, so the knot went up, and off came my horn and pommel. :( i dont blame him, **** happens. and i just untacked annie ad hit the trail bareback instead, sans lawnmower. so, no ground lost :)
thank you guys for the help!! i primarily ride english, and while im very familiar with the training aspect of teaching a horse barrels and such, im not as familiar with all the gadgets and gear. and some of the terminology. i appreciate your patience with me. :)
a few pictures :) just because. and one of annie and her minions :)
Plus if you are going to be doing any type of barrel racing which requires direct reining, a mechanical hackamore is not designed for lateral cueing.
Plus, you've got the mechanical hackamore OVER the top of the rope halter. Why? It's messing with the fit of the hackamore, plus think about those knots on the rope halter and what happens every time your hand apply pressure to that nose band on top of the knots. OUCH. There can be a purpose for riding with a halter (if you do long trail rides and need to tie your horse) but I guess I did not catch any reason why you need to have the halter on underneath.
Why have you not tried a basic smooth mouth O-ring snaffle on him? Why did you go with a hackamore?
Please ready this sticky we started, since you are a newbie to training for barrels.
Before starting barrel training, your horse should:
--walk, trot, and lope on a loose rein, and relaxed
--stop softly and immediately from any speed
--back up freely when asked
--give to the bit in any direction, and break at the poll
--neck rein and direct rein
--be able to sidepass and two-track
--can execute a turn on the fore, or a turn on the haunches
--simple lead changes (flying lead changes are nice but not necessary)
--can perform “perfect circles” with little help from the rider
--carry his hindquarters underneath him at all gaits
I have all that and more in my posts in that barrel sticky.
Plus, rate should be taught from step one. If you wait until the horse is blasting through the pattern and "oh, I guess I need to teach him how to rate" , then you are far too late. There's details on that in the barrel sticky when you read it, but I can go more in-depth.
And getting advice on the internet can NEVER replace the help of a trainer. I strongly advise you to find a good barrel racing trainer to help you.
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