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PintoBean 07-12-2010 04:08 PM

Loves it at home, but not at a show
At home I have been practicing barrel racing for a couple of months. My horse does great at home, ( can only go at the canter my field is so small, except we can run home). When we went to a show he would not gallop and bucked a ton. At first, I took off my spurs, and used a whip instead, and he still bucked. Yet, with no other aids he will not gallop. What can I do to get him to gallop/speed up?

BarrelRacer86 07-13-2010 01:46 PM

If it's his first show, don't. you can't expect him to gallope at a show if he's never even galloped at home yet. I seen alot of people push horses to go faster when there not ready, truth is you'll have a much better horse if you wait until the horse is ready to go fast. So what, your losing and going slow for awhile? It pays off in the end.

kassierae 07-17-2010 01:56 AM

Stop practicing the pattern or he'll get bored. Don't even bother with the pattern. None of my horses see the pattern except at shows.

Jillyann 07-25-2010 08:50 PM

If he is still learning, I would not push him at all. I would wait until you can gallop at home before even thinking to gallop at a show. Especially if this is his first season. That is a good way to make your horse hate getting on a trailer to go to shows.

JRL 08-09-2010 03:53 PM

I agree, stay slow and take your time. Make him do the pattern at the show but walk trot if you have to. Its a lot for a horse to get used to their first season or even their first show. And I wouldnt use a whip or even spurs on him if he is still learning. Especially at a show! dont make him hate it. Your horse should enjoy barrel racing as much as you do!!

Alwaysbehind 08-09-2010 04:13 PM

Great advice above.

Also, have looked at stuff like, do you use the same saddle pad at shows as you do at home? Does it make your saddle fit differently? What about your other tack?

Are you nervous at shows where you are not at home? That can make your horse nervous too.

PaintedFury 08-22-2010 05:55 PM

Take it easy until the horse tells you that he is ready to go faster. Practice at home, at the lope. If your field is big enough to set up a barrel pattern in, it's probably big enough for him to gallop, once he's comfortable enough and balanced enough at a lope. He'll let you know when that is. Just be consistent with his queues, and he will get it. Also, don't practice so much that he becomes bored, break up barrel training with trail riding or working on something else, that way he is not doing the same thing day after day.

Also, spurs shouldn't be used for speed, but for an extension of your leg for queues, to pick up his shoulder or bend his rib cage. His speed will come when he is ready, and trying to get him to run before that point will sour him to barrels, and it's easier to train a horse, then to re-train a soured horse.

JRL 08-22-2010 09:40 PM


Originally Posted by PaintedFury (Post 726945)
... and it's easier to train a horse, then to re-train a soured horse.

I very much agree! I have a beautiful arab that a quarter horse trainer got ahold of (no offense intended to quarter horse trainers but you cant train an arab the way you do a quater horse) and its VERY slow going retraining her!

barrelracer7335 08-22-2010 11:23 PM

I agree with everyone above start out slow. I bought a thoroughbred off the track last season and even though he was running on the track didn't mean he was den close to ready to start barrels at a run. It took me months to get him to even do the pattern right at a trot so we are just now getting into a lope. It can be frustrating but if it's really what you want to do then you need patients
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PaintedFury 09-05-2010 12:16 PM


Originally Posted by PintoBean (Post 688809)
At home I have been practicing barrel racing for a couple of months.

Most horses are not ready to gallop after a couple of months of training. I've seen some that are, but they are the exception instead of the rule. Don't get in a hurry with his training, take it slow and easy. Do lots of bending and flexing, and work on his transitions, and collection. Also, depending on the size of your lot(actual size, not just the pasture), you can set up the barrels outside of the pen, if you think it is too small now. Once he is collected and balanced at the lope he will be ready to start working on the gallop, at home. But asking him to gallop before he has the lope down is unfair to him. Think of it as asking a kid that is just learning about grammer to write a grammatically correct essay the first time. It's not going to happen, and it's unfair to ask of the child to begin with. I have an exercise that I have posted the directions to on here, that I use to work on a horses flexibility and collection. Give it a try. You can do it in the center of a barrel pattern, or in a round pen, where ever you have an open space. As the horse becomes more flexible and collected, the pattern will actually get smaller. Start at the walk, and when he's comfortable with that, start trotting it, then eventually lope it. It will help him with his pockets around the barrel too.

Enjoy your horse, and try to make his training enjoyable for him.

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