Are all Barrel Horses "Hot" or is it the training they receive? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 44 Old 12-03-2010, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Question Are all Barrel Horses "Hot" or is it the training they receive?

I am looking into getting a barrel prospect. I have ridden barrels and everything before but mainly in non-competitive fun events my best time on Sherman was something like 20sec on a horse that had never galloped in his life and my best time out of all the horses was like 14 something on a crazy horse that I had no hope of stopping until we were pass the starting line.

Are all good barrel horses Hot, excitable, and hard to stop? Or is it that the riders run their horses all the time and whenever they are at a pattern they are running full-out and it makes them Hot? I understand that a barrel horse isn't going to be like a western pleasure horse in temperament as barrel horses are trained to go fast and a western pleasure horses are normally trained to go at a slow pace. Any Barrel horse I have ridden has been insane and you had no hope of stopping it once you started the pattern. I didn't train these horses. They are just ones my friends let me ride at fun shows and in the non-competitive events.
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post #2 of 44 Old 12-03-2010, 08:52 PM
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A well trained barrel horse should not be hot or uncontrollable. A good stop is essential on a well trained barrel horse.

All these hot barrel horses you see that are balking at the gate, run around in huge bits with floppy riders and have to get hauled on to stop are a result of bad training.
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post #3 of 44 Old 12-03-2010, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome so If I train right I shouldn't end up with the crazy uncontrollable horse.
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post #4 of 44 Old 12-03-2010, 09:10 PM
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Exactly. So long as you keep the training calm and well balanced (for each minute you spend on the pattern, spend 10 on calm work), then there is no reason why your horse should end up acting like so many of those. IMHO, another one of the biggest causes of those hot and hyped up horses is that they are so bombarded by pain every time they run the pattern, they get antsy and sour of it. Stabbing a horse with spurs whenever they aren't turning and then yanking them to turn or stop fries their mind and makes them hateful and sometimes dangerous.

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post #5 of 44 Old 12-04-2010, 10:05 AM
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No, the good barrel horses shouldn't be hot. With my old barrel horse, we would walk the pattern a lot. I think it helped with keeping her calm in the arena.

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post #6 of 44 Old 12-04-2010, 08:18 PM
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They shouldn't be, a well trained barrel horse should be calm and under control. As long as you don't run the pattern everyday, 10 times a day. Burns them out. You can practice alot, but don't spend your whole time on it, and quit as soon as your horse runs a good pattern, then turn around and walk back through calmy. To teach the horse they don't always have to run through. But it's a excitable nerve racking sport, sometimes even a horse whose had all the right training will act silly at shows just because their a "hot" easily excitable horse.
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post #7 of 44 Old 12-04-2010, 11:28 PM
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My horses are not "hot," but they do get excited before a run. I don't really know how to explain it. When we get to the gait I can feel them get excited about the run, especially my main guy Tango, and he starts prancing. He's never bucked or reared or anything, though.

Tango - 6 yr Sorrel Quarter Horse Gelding
Corn - 8 yr Gray Quarter Horse Gelding
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post #8 of 44 Old 12-04-2010, 11:57 PM
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My dads horse was my friends champion barrel racer for years, and I know that she rode him in a gag hackamore (don't ask me why), she always had light hands, and more often than not, he was sleeping at the gate before his run. Unlike a lot of other horse's I'd see where the rider had to force them to stare at the wall so they didn't start towards the barrels before the rider was ready, he would walk in, stand calmly and quietly until told to go, but when he went, he burned rubber. He loved to run barrels, but he wasn't stupid about it. He also spend a lot of hours just out on the trails behind my friends house when she had him, and as she got older, and started giving lesson, he and her old mare were her two main lesson horses. She got a few "hot" horses, but she would spend a lot of time working on the trails to get them to calm down and relax. I think it helped that they had another outlet, and they weren't always seeing barrels, and running barrels, and nothing else. I think some of it is training, some of it is genetics, some are just bred to be "hotter" than others, and that "hotness" is cultivated by some riders, and some of it I think is that younger people think its "cool" that they've got the "crazy" horse, that gets all hyped up, and hard to control before a run, and they intentionally ask the horse for that, so that they look cooler than the people who's horses are asleep at the gate.
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post #9 of 44 Old 12-05-2010, 06:41 PM
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Not one horse I've owned has been hot and stupid about running gaming events...but I also never even spent time 'practicing' the events either, especially at a dead run...if I practiced them at all at home it was at a trot, or canter. My horses were also trail, and pleasure trained, so it was important to keep them in a "good sound mindframe", not just wired and thinking about running. Horses that are so hyped up and crazy at the gate are a result of poor training and poor handling. They may not have been that way before, but it just starts out subtle and the rider just thinks it's because they are excited for the run, and then the behavior starts to escalate until they are no long controllable in or around the gate.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #10 of 44 Old 12-05-2010, 10:16 PM
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SOme are, my old horse Aladdin had people who would constantly run him oveer and over in the barrels and he gotsoooooo bad at throwing his shoulder in. It was so bad, he was in a blind panic, and would run straight on at the thing and he almost broke my leg doing it! It took me months to get him to go around 1 barrel without me hitting it.

But my other horse Skylar, no he gets excited but he's not hot.... and we get like 18

It all depends on how you treat the horse
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