From English to Barrel Racing. Training tips needed, please.
All right. I am about to take the plunge.
Am I totally crazy? Because I feel like it. :lol:
I have a young, green five year old Morgan.
Now, I bought him and I have every intention of him being my next Eventing horse. We have been doing mostly flat work, Dressage work. I want to take it slow with him and make him confident in everything he does.
Well, where I live now there are TONS of Rodeos and its mostly western out here. I have always wanted to do Barrel Racing or Reining. It looks like such a thrill. However, as much as I'd like to have my 'Western' horse and my 'English' horse, it's not going to happen anytime soon.
I'd like to start working with my Morgan on Barrels. But, since I've never had 'formal' training in Western (Although I've ridden it quite a lot, just never had lessons. I've had formal Dressage/Jumper/Event training for my whole riding career.) I'd like to ask everyone here how I should approach this.
My goal is to go to at least just one Rodeo this year and complete the Barrels pattern confidently. Just once. Not even to get any rewards or placings. I just want to do it, just to do it for fun.
I know I need to start at the walk, and work our way up the gaits as we get confident/smooth. But what other things do I need to know?
Am I crazy for trying to get my Morgan to do this? Haha. :-P
He's quite a hyper boy, and he likes the speed and jumps, so I'm thinking he may like this too. He likes speed and a good challenge it seems.
Just to add... I don't want anybody thinking I'm wanting to rush into it. I'm not putting a time limit on it. It is just something I'd like to do eventually, sometime in the next year or so. I completely understand going slow and teaching things the right way to horses. I've worked with many young horses in English, and I know Western is just the same. :)
I just want to make sure I start him right, from the very first baby steps.
Barrel racing is ALL about slow work and control. If you dont have a solid foundation on your barrel horse, you have nothing.
I suggest just going to youtube and hitting up some training vids on there. I suggest Sherri Cervi's...also, Maybe go to a clinic or take a lesson in your area. Just to get a taste of what barrel racing is all about. In reality, it is just as intricate as any cross country course. Now, from the sound of it, you seem to have a good riding foundation. (having been formally trained in hunter/jumper/dressage...which I know all too well how difficult those diciplines are to master)
Another thought, because you said your horse is on the hyper side, it can easily take on bad characteristics if pushed too quickly on the pattern. (ie- alley sour, arena sour, hot, dangerous...yout get the idea) These are VERY easy to cause a horse to do if not careful and constantly monitoring your horse's mind.
I would just suggest moving slowly and, just as you mentioned with his x-country training, get his confidence up at each gate. Its ok to test, but not to push to the point of causing a mental melt down.
Good luck to you!
Thank you very much. I was contemplating taking a lesson or two in the sport, just to make sure I am doing everything right.
I will go look up those videos. Thank you for all the great advice. I figured I'd have to take it slow with him, like with any new sport or encounter. :)
Good luck to you. Lessons never hurt. It's an inexpensive investment.
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