Need Tips For My Horse!?
Hi! I've been barrel racing for the past 3 years or so. The horse im using is a horse I have had for 6 years and was a roping horse before and im the only one who has trained him for barrel racing. Hes doing great and all but goes wide on them when we go full out hes amazing trotting and cantering. when we get to the real thing he goes wide (sometimes). and he wont stop at the end very well. ive tried every thing. Im using the martha josey million dollar bit right now and its giving him a little more stopping power but still is terrible at it. Any new tips would be greatly appreciated! thank you!!:lol: oh and our best time is 18 seconds on a strand pattern.
Without video just guessing here. First off check your body position in your turns, make sure your not leaning forward, leaning in or falling over his shoulder, you should be sitting centered with your weight to his outside hip. Check your hands make sure your lifting not pulling. Use your outside leg to hold his hind end in the turn and help finish your turn. As far as stopping if he was a roping horse he should have a good whoa on him.
There are tons of exercises to help with getting him to turn better I like spiraling around the barrel, practice turning every barrel to the right, then every barrel to the left, practice circling trees and other non barrel things, shoulder in shoulder out is good, roll backs on the fence or in the open. Any exercise that you can practice that gets him lifting his shoulder will help. You have to make sure that your practicing correctly or your still going to have problems. To stop let him run straight to the fence, then sit down and let the fence stop him. Unless stopping in general is a problem in which case practice one rein stops, until he stops off your seat at a walk, trot and canter. Like I said if he was used for roping he should have a good whoa you need to make sure your asking for it.
That sort of attitude is going to get you nowhere.
gssw5's advice is exactly right. 99% of what the horse "does wrong" is actually the rider cueing the horse wrong. You are probably cueing him wrong somewhere along the line and confusing your horse.
If your horse blows the backside of the turn 1) you need to go back to slow work and fix the training issue you created or 2) you are asking him to turn too soon or 3) you are allowing him to shoulder in, or countless other possibilities. It's really just a guess in a dark until we see a video and actually see what is going on.
Go onto Youtube and click on the "share" button below the video you want to post. Then copy that URL address and paste it into a reply here.
I also agree that if this is a rope horse, that horse outta have an excellent stop on him. The fact that he's running through the bit makes me question how the rider has been handling him. You could string his mouth with barbed wire if you wanted to force him to stop; but ultimately it depends on what the hands (and body) are doing on the other side of the reins. Bits don't stop horses; training does. Bits are just the tool.
Go back to the very basics and find a creditable trainer to help you. He's not looking for the barrels, he's not setting up to turn, your cheating him on every barrel by pulling his head out, and there's no reason to be kicking like that. A barrel horse should know his job, be looking for the barrels, not need pulled around the barrel they should be able to turn on their own, be taught to set up for a turn before cantering and be making perfect turns before being asked to run.
Work on collection, you want complete control over his body. Walk the pattern and concentrate on having a pocket, lifting his shoulder up, tipping his nose towards the barrels and pushing his hip out, then coming off the barrel close headed straight for the next barrel until you move into your pocket. Do the same at a trot, and stop right where your pocket starts and back up then walk correctly around the barrel. Get him trotting the whole pattern correctly then lope, start by making a right circle to be on the correct lead and lope to your pocket and stop back up then trot correctly around each barrel. Do that until he's doing it correct, before trying to lope through the whole pattern again. While riding work on side passing, figure 8s, trot perfect circles keeping him collected and using his body correctly. There's plenty of good trainers who put videos up on YouTube for visual aid. You just need to slow down and not rush. Even a correct loping the pattern will be faster than wide running.
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Your horse isn't running the barrels correctly because you have not trained him to run them. You horse has no bend, he doesn't understand what is being asked of him, he is confused, and what do you do? You JERK on his mouth, and you KICK him in the sides. I don't blame him for running off with you and not stopping, one bit. You are ruining this horse.
I'm sorry to be so harsh and so mean. You look young and you sound young and I want my point to come across good and strong. You need help with this horse. You are in way over your head, and it's only going to get worse if you try to do it yourself. You're dangerously close to having a nutty, out-of-control, crazy horse simply because you are frustrating the heck out of him and he doesn't know how else to respond.
And if any of these so-called "trainers" haven't pointed that out to you, then they aren't really trainers. Find a reputable trainer; one who has actually trained successful horses and isn't just a backyard whatever trainer. Yes, we can explain things over the internet. Yes, you can watch videos and read books. But would you want an airline pilot to fly a plane you are on, when they learned it all via the internet and videos? Absolutely not! You'd want them to have hands-on training. So why should training a horse to barrel race be any different? Hands-on training cannot be replaced.
Don't even think about barrels right now for the rest of the year. I am 100% serious when I say this. You need to learn how to use your BODY to cue your horse, and your horse needs to be trained to listen to body aids. He needs to be soft in the mouth (and you need to learn to have soft hands, and not jerk him around) and give willingly to pressure. You need to get your horse BROKE. He's not broke if you can't stop him...... and he's not broke if you cannot control his body.
Read this thread from start to finish and back again.
Your horse is not ready to barrel race. You've skipped a lot of steps in training him (not just for barrels; but regular riding) and the holes are showing through. Learn how to properly ride him first the rest of this year, get some help from a trainer, and then start teaching him the barrels again in the spring at a WALK and a TROT.
I doubt this is what you want to hear. If I were you, I wouldn't want to hear it either. But you've got some serious issues with this horse that are only going to get worse if you don't heed our advice and take the time to actually train him.
Ditto all the other comments! Stop and go back to baby basics including ground work. If you're honest with yourself, you'll find the holes. Getting a solid "whoa" on any horse is so much more important than the "go". Check out those barrel drills and remember that there is no quick fix- only hours, days, weeks and months of fundamentals.
^Yikes, that came across as a bit harsh...
I'm no barrel racing expert, so I'm not going to try to critique the video.
What I can say is to see a trainer. Even the best rider can benefit from regularly seeing a professional. Good luck with your horse!
Agree with the others. You horse needs more under saddle time working on basics. Stopping, body control, keeping the shoulder up, roll backs, etc. Barrels should come like second nature to a horse who has solidly mastered basics under saddle work.
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