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EquestrianCowgirl4 07-22-2013 12:01 PM

My horse wont get going between the barrels..
Ok this is kind of confusing to explain but I do barrels and my horse will not get going and speed up between the barrels! I don't know what to do! I have tried spurs and I have tried a crop. Spurs will make her all crabby even though I used them all last year and she was fine. The crop doesn't do anything either.
She is my barrel prospect so I need to figure this out or we can go to bigger barrel races right now she is running 18s which is not very good and she is not very consistent with it.
She has been running barrels for 2 years in competition with me now so I am not sure why she hasn't figure it out yet. She learned the pattern a year before that.
Right now we are just going to little local runs just to get her started but I am not sure what to do anymore.

I am getting the Chiropractor out next week to see if that could be her problem but idk because she runs home just fine.

beau159 07-22-2013 02:48 PM

Do you have a video? It would be nice to see what is going on.

Pain could certainly be something to rule out.
--saddle fit
--Even a vet visit for health, to find out why she's not "firing" (like ulcers for example)

If you can rule out all those things and there isn't something inhibiting her, maybe it's possible that she is perfectly content going at the speed she is going. Not every horse is going to be a rodeo winner. But that's okay, because there's always going to be varying levels in rider capability that we can match the horse to.

Maybe she's not going faster between the barrels because this is all she is capable of. Maybe her heart is not in it.

Or.............. maybe she still needs more time. Yes, most horses are running hard after 2 years but there is always the exception.

On a side note, spurs should NEVER be used to "speed a horse up". Spurs are only to be used for lateral (side to side) movement and/or refinement of cues. I'd be pretty grouchy if someone wanted me to run faster by jabbing me in the gut with pieces of metal too. (Because chances are, folk who use spurs to make a horse go faster, are downright kicking the horse to go faster with those spurs. Not a good combination.)

A crop can be useful to express to a horse "Hey, get moving!" but it depends on the horse.

This is why a video would be helpful to see what is going on, because right now I'm guessing.

SorrelHorse 07-24-2013 01:07 AM

The spur thing was addressed at a Sharon Camarillo clinic I got to sit in on. She says kicking is going to irritate the horse and actually cause some to slow down, or knock the wind out of them.

When you are loping you horse, just around the arena, and you ask him to run, does he respond? Or does he keep up the same speed?

It sounds like he's a pretty lazy, chill horse, am I right? I would get an over and under (Ditch the crop if he's not responding, my mare doesn't respond to a crop either, only the whip) Give him a loose rein around the rail, ask him to go faster, then get after him with that whip. Relax as soon as he speeds up and let him go, then melt down and let him come back to a lope again. Get him really firing just loping around the rail. If he's a hot horse this might make him get flustered though, so just be aware of that. My mare is chill and it works for her. She just recently got over her issue of not firing between the barrels.

Have you tried breezing this horse? Will he run out in a big, open, safe field? Is he anticipating the barrels at all? If he's anticipating, I would purposely run him past the barrels and continue around the rail of the arena. Stands him up a little. I mean, don't run by every single time, but don't let him anticipate and duck in or slow down on you. Make him think and listen to you.

I agree with beau, a video would be nice.

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