07-22-2009, 12:15 PM
| || | Hello :)
Originally Posted by Current Displeasure
My gelding is an expert in barrel racing. It's in his blood, in fact. I'm not trying to sound cocky or whatever, because in all honesty, I know nothing about it aside from the pattern, and that there is only one speed involved: fast. I'm totally clueless to everything else.
Anyways, Colby has been doing barrels for 3 years and has won enough blue ribbons to nickname him 'Champion' around our barn. I hope to be the one riding him next time he enters another barrel competition.
We won't begin training until next Monday, but does anyone have any advice or tips for me? All is accepted and appreciated!
Glad to hear your interested in the sport! Sounds like a great horse you have to work with! Since he knows it and you just know the pattern, sounds like he'll be able to teach you a lot!! I love horses when their the teachers the first time around, you get to learn a lot, and you learn when its something your doing wrong or the horse is doing wrong.... One thing that would help a lot is stay focused on where you want to go, not looking down at the horses feet, keep your chin up. Make sure that your stable in your seat, make sure you let the horse know that your confident, and that you can sink your tush down in that saddle. When it comes to turning around the barrel, you want to sink your rear end down in the saddle and put a little weight on the outside stirrup steer with your inside arm, and bend the horse around the barrel with your inside leg and bump with your outside and with your free arm you want to hold yourself down into that saddle with it so it really really encourages him to work off that hind end. Another thing its not all about the pattern, you want to do a lot of flexing, lead changes, stopping, roll backs, counter arcing and moving off your leg! You want to practice this in the arena a lot so you get the feeling of it, and so your horse gains confident in knowing what level your at when it comes to your body control on him. You want to practice perfect with every stage you do this...walk trot, loap, and than cruzin' speed
Ps another thing that helps when going over the barrel pattern is when your loaping the pattern, you line up with your third barrel before going and than veer off to the side you always like to take, loap to the first barrel and about 10-12 feet before it slow him down to a trot, arc him the way you want around the barrel, I don't know if you know what pocket means, but focus going around that barrel how your horse is arced, and when your about 3/4 of the way around ask for you lead and speed again and than trot around the second, do the same thing and for the 3rd barrel do the same thing, this helps the horse remember that you have to slow down for those barrels. Otherwise your going to lose time by hitting them or swinging too wide.
Oh one more thing you want to get him use to a lose rein, really use more body cue's, really sit back and down in your saddle and heals down and out when you want him to stop, if he isn't than add whoa, and than if he doesn't again, teach him with your first cue, second cue, and than your final cue will be contact with his mouth with a slow steady pull till he slows down or stops for you! Also, when you go to pet your horse lean back and pet his rump, if you have him use to leaning forward to go and let loose, he might just start to go forward if you lean ahead to pet. These are some little things to be aware of when on the horse, you don't want to confuse him with your signals. Remember really only be in his face if you need to be, not all the time, because if you do, after a while his mouth will become numb to it. One thing I do that a lot of people doesn't suggest me to do is when I feel its the right time to reward my horse, I remove the bit and give him a treat, but only when he's been acting good for a while and I'm off him, but make sure he knows what "good boy" is and "hey straighten up" is, really use your voice as a tool for him to help him understand.
I hope that this helped a bit :) I wish you and "champion" good luck! Take care, and the most important thing, have fun!!!!