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DustyDiamond 07-13-2011 04:17 AM

Question about his speed??
Okay so I have had my horse since the very beginning of April and I started riding him in gymkhana right away. I jumped from Open Division straight to 4th Division right away but I was wondering how do I get him to, I don't know how to put it, like his full potential because I know at one point he was a 1st and 2nd division horse, he still has that in him and I know he can do that I was just wondering what I can do to reach that goal. I'll give you a little bit of information on him.

He is Arabian and Saddle bred.
Been barrel racing since he was 3 (he is now 12)
Once he gets in the show ring he is ready to go so he knows what he's doing!!
He is very good at pole bending.
He turns on a dime.

I dont use a crop, over-n-under, etc. on him and I don't kick him on the way "home" because I heard that shortens their stride.

Right now I am trying to just focus on beating my old times instead of competition.

Any tips or anything would be awesome! :D

Saddlebag 07-13-2011 09:15 AM

I used to find that by merely raising the end of the crop about 6" inspired more speed. I didn't even tap the horse, as she'd see it move. If you are gaming a lot have you considered that your horse may be sore?

Spastic_Dove 07-13-2011 09:18 AM

Is he properly conditioned or are you starting him back on speed events after some time off?

Horsesdontlie 07-13-2011 12:58 PM

Honestly for a lot of it, the time is almost always made up in the turns. I have a horse that can be pretty quick and runs harder and faster than a lot of my competition, but he has a slow barrel turn. Hence I get 4-5th division times because I don't have the turns down as well as the people running the 1-2 division.

So instead of thinking to make your horse run harder, I would look on how to improve your turn.

Another issue may be that your horse is becoming sour. Another thing I figured out is that my horse stopped running hard when I practiced full speed too much. He also stopped running hard if I slammed him to a stop after running home. I focused on slow and precise runs at home only a few times a month. Then after a run, I always make sure to slow down gradually maybe doing a full circle at a canter, then asking for the walk. I also taught him to rate himself well with a verbal cue, so I didn't have to pull on his mouth at all between barrels.

All of those helped me to avoid punishing him for running hard when I ask. I also would do a gallop out on a soft trails and let him stretch out and run for the fun of it. So that galloping is not always forced and can be fun.

Now its hard to tell how you run without a video. So its hard to give advice on this. But if you barrel turns are good and he is just starting to slow down, carry a crop or over under and give him a wake up. Don't over use it, I only use it if needed. So typically on Jake's lazy day, he gets smacked once coming out of the 2nd barrel. Then once coming out of the 3rd barrel. Then thats it, I always put PRESSURE with my heels (sometimes roll the spur a little for more get up and go) to signal the running. I stopped kicking a little while ago, because he stopped running hard and was becoming sour.

All of my info is trial and error with my boy since I taught myself.

DustyDiamond 07-13-2011 01:29 PM

I know he was sore for a few times when i was doing it so I didn't run him hard. He was getting to much protein which was messing up his hoofs and not too long ago we had a chiropractor out to adjust him and I think that helped a little bit. I try to ride every day if not every other day but not only on barrels I go on trail with him quite a lot so he probably isn't properly conditioned for barrels.

He has good turns he just slows down around the barrels. I think i just need to use leg cues more when he's coming out of the barrels though to keep him going.

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