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PrissyJewelThief 07-25-2013 05:54 PM

Let me introduce myself... any tips on fixing the third barrel?
Hey there!

I joined the forum years ago and have sense dropped off the face of the earth. My name is Sarah, I'm from Missouri, it's nice to meet you all! My horse, Jewel, is my baby girl, I brought her up and trained her myself, although I'm not what you would call an expert by any means. I've really only had to the point of entering for about two years now - we usually run 3D/4D times.

Anyways, I'd like to pick your brain here: Really, any advice you can give me is welcome - but right now the most glaring problem I'm seeing the last several times I've run this month is we seem to be blowing our third barrel pretty badly.

I haven't been running much all spring, maybe once a month, and not at all in June. Since I started running again in July, I got a new (used) Circle Y that fits my mare better, and she works a lot better in, with a rear cinch (my old saddle did not have this). I switched to a riding crop in my right hand to get a little more go out of her btw the 1st and 2nd and the 2nd and 3rd instead of a over under that I'm very clumsy at handling. I was really excited the first couple times I ran this month because I felt like she was stretching out a bit more and that with the crop I could focus a little more about helping out on the second and third barrels.

That said, the third barrel has been consistently bad all four runs this month, and last night it was really bad, we still ran 2nd in the 3D, which makes me kind of sad because I think we could be running 2D times if we fixed a few of those problems!

Nice to meet you all and thank you!

beau159 07-25-2013 06:02 PM

Welcome back. :-)

I don't see any glaring problems with your first and second barrel. The third barrel is dark and far away and kinda hard to see, but are you trying to "hold your horse" off the barrel? Usually, a blown barrel means you are letting them turn too soon or they are dropping their shoulder.

So make sure you do not start turning that barrel until your knee is PAST it.

Make sure you use your inside leg to create bend in her body, and then push her over with that leg. Do not tip her nose away from the barrel to hold her off it. That will drop a shoulder.

Make sure you look at the points on the ground where you want to travel. Do not look at the barrel.

Make sure she had enough pocket coming into the turn. Going on too tight will blow the backside.

Overall, it looks like a nice run. Just gotta tidy up that 3rd.
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SorrelHorse 07-25-2013 06:39 PM

I saw the same things.

It's hard for me to see from here, but I did see your hand up higher, which might be holding her off like Beau said? That'll cause you to go wide, holding off and holding her head the other way then making it so she can't see the barrel. She'll try to jump into the turn with a dropped shoulder and isn't properly set up to make it.

Definitely use that inside leg if you feel her leaning in. Actually, use your inside leg anyway, it tells her to look to the inside, lift her shoulder, and get set up for that turn.

Nice run though, except the third, and even that wasn't as terrible as you made it sound! lol

toto 07-25-2013 07:21 PM

Agree with the others- i see her dropping in on the barrels too- not just the third- all three of them.

flexing work- laterall and at the poll-- if you Get her flexing at the pole more going into the turns she wont be so stiff and dropping in.

BarrelRacer23 07-25-2013 11:34 PM

Along with what the others said about turning to soon, practice over turning the third. An easy way to make sure a horse finishes the third barrel is after getting the correct pocket, coming off it use your outside leg to push them over. Just pick them up and move them over like you would the other barrels, walking/ trotting alot of times I'll just take them to the rail after turning the third. You have a nice mare and have done a good job with her really.
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gssw5 08-04-2013 02:21 PM

I am going to add when your coming around the barrels sit up more and sit to the outside and use your outside leg to hold the hind end in. Your kind of leaning into the turn with the horse which makes it harder for the horse to pick up that inside shoulder and get around. By sitting to the outside you will free up that shoulder. Also your elbow is really to far from your body so your more pulling then lifting, you want to lift your horse. So your going to lift your inside hand, add some bend with your inside leg while sitting to the outside and putting your outside leg on to finish the turn. That will keep the horses butt from swinging out.

An exercise I really like and will help you get the bend is to spiral in and out around the barrel using your legs and body to move the horse in and out from the barrel, the less you use your reins the better. You just want to use enough rein to bend the nose and tell the horse to lift the shoulder. The rest is done with your body. Sit to the outside to move out, shift your weight to the inside to move in and feel what your legs do, then just emphasize what is already happening. I hope all this makes sense, and helps. Your cadence is good now just do some tweaking and you will get your 2D runs.

PrissyJewelThief 08-27-2013 10:07 AM

Thank You Guys for all your help! Here's what's been going on...

I agree about the stiffness and about her dropping her shoulder - at least while I was in the run it really felt like she was dropping it and she felt tense. My hands are too heavy, I know this - so I started working on some exercises to force me to lighten up and use my legs/seat more - I have her stopping and leaving nice little 11s in the dirt, with my reins unattached I found out by accident, our lateral work needs some work though still. :???:

Then the following weekend after that video was taken, she started ringing her tail, cross firing, tripping in hind limbs while we work tight circles to warm-up. She does have some pretty significant hock arthritis and starts getting sore every 4-5 months after injections, and it's been five months... I've been noticing she hasn't had as much go as normal in practice.

So, I got her sound, got her working again, and we've been running close to that 1/2 second mark ever since... This week we ran 1st in the 2D at a little Tuesday night jackpot, Saturday morning we ran a mid-2D time at one race, then in the evening at a Central 4D we ran 1st in the adult 2D and 2nd in the Open 2D. We actually paid for fuel and entries this week!

Not a perfect run by any means, definitely things to work on, but still an improvement.

I think I'm going to keep working on getting my hands lighter, *quieter*, and getting her lighter on my leg cues - I think that will go a long way in getting her to relax - then I'll come back and start working with it on the barrels - lots of walk-trot work in our future! Thank you guys for the pointers, I hope to put them to good use in the upcoming months!

beau159 08-27-2013 12:40 PM

I actually think your hands were better in your first video, because you at least kept them UP the whole time. In your second video, watch your first barrel and look at where your hand is. It is down toward your knee, and actually almost past it. I think your reins are much too long.

I also feel like you looked for your 2nd barrel too soon. Now, everyone horse is going to ride a little bit different, but you hadn't hardly even started turning the first barrel before you were twirking your body around to look for your 2nd. Work on your 1st turn for a tad bit longer, before looking up to the 2nd.

2nd barrel turn, again reins are too long. Your hand was all the way past your hip (although at least you had your hand higher this time :wink: ). And you didn't finish your 2nd barrel turn. Your horse came off wide. Make sure to finish it.

I don't think you are really all that heavy-handed, we just have to make your reins shorter and work on your hand position a bit.

Both the 1st and 2nd barrel you are leaning inward. Don't lean inward. Stay straight in your saddle. You do rate your horse very well going into your turns though (by sitting back with your weight) so keep that up; just don't lean in or forward. Keep your weight in your outside stirrup during the turn.

Third barrel I think you turned a tad too soon, and thus had to leave it wide.

Overall, again, not a bad run.

Watch Dena's hands in her video. See how short her reins are. See how she "lifts upward" with her hands, and not going to her hip or her knee. Use legs, legs, legs!! ANd watch her body position: She doesn't lean. She stays straight in her saddle, and keeps the weight in the outside stirrup.

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