Is my horse starting to go 'Sour' ??
I am 16 and I've been training my 6 year old on the barrel patterns for about 2 summers now and this is the first summer that we've actually gone to barrel shows and entered the classes. I usually only trot/canter the patterns because she is still learning and there is no need for to push her right now-the speed will come later after we have mastered the patterns :wink:
Tonight we took her to a small show ( Small, as in I was the only speed horse there and there were 2 others doing the patterns in English saddles for fun) and she was totally fine when we walked around, she warmed up in the arena good-everything. When it was time to do the pattern I circled her like I always to and asked her to pick up a canter and instead she gave me a full run like her tail was on fire. I have ridden horses like that before.. but I have never ridden her like that-- Yes she did respond to the bit and turned when I asked but as soon as we turned for home she was hauling off again. She has never run like this at any other show:shock:.
We ran the cloverleaf pattern ( Which she knows) and we were all over the place! She tried to run it with out listening to me and we overshot the first barrel because she tried to run full out instead of canter like I had asked. I was sitting back and trying to bring her down again ( Ans she did after a minute or two of getting excited and wanting to fuss). At the end of another pattern, She wasn't listening to me really at all when we turned for home and would not slow down until I did and emergency stop and made her listen. She stopped immediately and didn't put up a fight when I asked her to walk the rest of the way.
Is this a sign that she's starting to go 'Ring Sour'? She has never done this before at other shows and walked in and out of the arena perfectly fine with out any fussing. I definitely don't want her thinking that she can get away with not listening and barging through patterns. I am planning on just doing the patterns walk/trot at home ( there aren't any shows for a while ) so she doesn't get any ideas. Any suggestions? Please help! I want to correct anything that I'm doing wrong before it's to late
How often are you working on patterning?
With my barrel horses I'll work on patterns maybe 1 a week or less, the rest is spent trail riding, doing groundwork, basic flat work, or long trotting. Maybe a breeze or two before a show, but they never run a pattern at home and never go faster than a trot.
Do you work her on any other speed event patterns but barrels?
She could very well be resenting her work.
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Had she ever been to this arena before? If so was it in a show setting?
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No I think she is telling you that she is tired of going slow and is starting to get bored. Yes going slow is VERY important, but at some point you need to start adding speed or else they will start loosing complete interest.
So I would start at home letting her open up a little (NOT full blown get up and go), a little faster then the lope you have been doing and let her stretch a little more than you have been. But ask her to slow to a collected lope when getting ready to turn, then push her back up when going between.
And when you take her to a show......DO NOT let her go when she takes off. Make her stop and get her paying attention to you.
But I am pretty sure she is telling you that she is wanting to go faster because you can't keep them going slow forever. Because your not really teaching them anything once they have the patterns down. Also haul her to more shows and get her to where she is listening to you and doing what YOU ask of her, not what she feels like.
I am tired so if I forgot anything I am sure the others will fill you in lol.
GamingGirl- I do practice wit her at home but I have been taking her down to the local fairground to practice with her and get her used to the arena setting all this month at least once or twice a week. Sometimes I practice patterns and other times we just puts around and-I also practice halter with her on the side which we do light work on.
BarrelRacer23- No, thsi was our first time being at this arena. It was very laid back, nothing competitive at all.
BarrelRacingLvr- I will keep that in mind, I guess I didn't think about her being ready to go faster xD. I just figured that keeping things slow would keep her from feeling overwhelmed or rushed.
**My greatest fear is unintentionally ruining her and turning her into one of those crazy horses who get wild and spazzy when pointed towards a barrel pattern.
Hmmm, I'd think pain. Just from experiences
What do you ride her in? (Bit, hack, halter, etc..) there could be soreness or pinching.
Possibly an abscess?
We have the best evil pony mare, dream kids pony. Old, never sketchy, and will walk the pattern or flat get down.
Once had a bit pinch her lip around the barrel, totally blew the pattern.
Once had an abcess that we didn't see, and shed been running fine, do a 360 between barrels.
May be small and seem unrelated, but they'll let ya know.
Just something to rule out.
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She rides in a snaffle bit. We've never had an issue with the bit before, I check it each time before riding to make sure it's not pinching or rubbing sores. I haven't ridden her much this week or last because I've been so busy but I will start keeping an eye on that just in case! :)
What else do you do with her? My daughter's mare is used for barrels and reining, but she only spends about 30 minutes in each of her 2 lessons a week working on that stuff, the rest of the time it's trail stuff, or something different and fun. When she was stuck inside all winter, the horse was getting very ring sour just from not being able to work outside of the walls. Now that spring is here and our trail course and outdoor arena have opened up, she's much happier. She's never happier than when she goes on a trail ride though.
Sometimes the constant drilling and schooling fries the horse's brain. My daughter's horse would throw her head around, would buck, would run like she was being chased, etc. As soon as she got on the first trail ride, the horse we bought came back...lesson learned, get her out of the arena to see something other than walls.
It's always good to remember that when your horse hasn't been somewhere before they may gawk and not pay attention to you. So get out there before the show starts and make sure you ride around before it. And do warm ups if offered, just go out and trot at least once so she can see everything.
Otherwise I agree with everything BarrelRacinglvr said.
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We haven't done a whole lot besides going to shows, working on Halter, and just putting around at home. We've been doing some conditioning about two weeks ago but it was just a lot of trotting and walking. We've never taken her on the trails though :-( She's the only horse we have now and I'm not sure how she would do in a trail setting.
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