Barrel Racing Myths - Page 3

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Barrel Racing Myths

This is a discussion on Barrel Racing Myths within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    03-16-2009, 02:00 PM
And I just said that I shouldn't have used the word "running"....

Just so everyone knows: I DO NOT RUN MY 3 YEAR OLD ON THE BARRELS.

Hope its all cleared up now.
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    03-16-2009, 02:05 PM
You will notice in my origional post, I said GALLOPING the pattern. There is nothing wrong at all with walking and trotting a pattern and occasionally throwing in a nice controlled lope. The problem I have is GALLOPING the pattern. (Like you would for a time)

Does that make sense?

As far as bits, I can run in a D ring snaffle (Usually single jointed but I am going to be getting one of those mylers with the centre piece)
However at jackpots, I will put in a rather "harsh" bit on Diesel. I'm not having any contact with his mouth, he is a finished barrel horse, I will use it to tidy up spots.

I think all barrel horses need to be started off in a snaffle. The vast majority of barrel horses should be running (competing) in a snaffle or gentler curb, however in responsible hands with a seasoned horse, there is nothing wrong with more bit.

When I say over-bitting, I am referring to people with strong, tense hands and horses that are still learning.
    03-16-2009, 02:18 PM
Just a question...what kind of bit are you using on your 3 year old Randie?

Im with you 100% on this one SpasticDove! Great attitude!
    03-16-2009, 02:27 PM
I ride him in a d ring snaffle. I was riding in a tom thumb for a while at the advice of my trainer. But I posted a thread on here and got a lot of good information about that bit and have since stopped using it. I was using it while working him on the reining basics, but I switched back to my d ring last week. But whenever I was riding the barrel pattern, I used my snaffle. Why do you ask?
    03-16-2009, 02:34 PM
This is very similar to what I use:

    03-16-2009, 02:36 PM
Just curious...
    03-16-2009, 02:43 PM
Oh, ok then.
    03-16-2009, 03:12 PM
I agree with you SD. Although I don't know a ton about Barrel Racing, I know that it's not something I would let a baby (equine or human) do. No way am I going to through my 4 yr old on a barrel horse and no way would I jump on a 3 yr old to run. Both halves of the team need to be trained and conditioned. Same as with any sport.
    03-16-2009, 03:21 PM
Originally Posted by randiekay215    
Bandit has the ok from my vet at Oregon State University. I don't run him COMPETITIVELY. I'm just getting him patterned. I won't be using him competitively until the summer after next probably. I'm just getting him started out. I wouldn't dream of competing with him yet. That level is too harsh on his young body.

I started racing when I was 8 for fun, and have been racing semi-competitively since I was 12. I've ridden some great horses but I've also got on some that I thought for sure were going to kill me. All hyped up, rearing, kicking, throwing their head, etc. I swore to myself if I had a horse, I would never do that to them.

I don't know what you mean by "mentally" however. Could you enlighten me? Are you talking about temperment? Or respect? Or what?

Some of you (especially Spastic Dove) may have seen my post a while back in response to a question about what I do to start out a barrel horse. My reply seemed to shock a couple people as I had said that repetition is key and I had mentioned far more reps than others thought necessary. I'm just going by what I have been exposed to and learned from other ladies who have been in the business way longer than I have. Everyone has their own ideas of how to do things. There are many barrel ladies on here that comment on these kind of posts frequently. But I could almost guarantee that if you asked 10 of them the same question you would get 10 different answers. Its all based on personal preference and experience. I agree that green riders should not ride green horses. But who's going to tell them not to? Its a difficult thing to try to control.....
By mentally I mean every horse is an individual. Not every horse can handle the same pressure no matter how slow you take it. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and wait for them to mature mentally before asking so much from them.
An example:
A horse I started on barrels (the 3 year old that the owner wanted in futurities) wasnt mentally mature enough for the pressure. She would get hot as soon as she came out of the trailer,didnt want to load, and would start popping in the alley. Despite my warnings the owner persisted and ended up being discouraged by the horses performance. (naturally) For a year and a half she was taken off barrels and started in hunter/jumpers and was excelling in western pleasure. I started her back on the pattern at 5 and the difference was amazing. Same training, same rider. The horse had come leaps and bounds mentally. All of her problems were "magically" resolved and she started clocking 2D times her first few exhibitions back.

On the other hand...I started another horse, a late 3 to early 4 year old. The previous trainer basically screwed him up so I not only had to clean up his mess, but I also had to retrain him to enjoy what he hated.
After 2 weeks he was enjoying the pattern again and became a horse who you could just keep working the pattern and he would never sour. He was clocking 1D/2D times. He was a lot older mentally. Ran nearly every weekend without a problem.

He didnt have any issues, while the first horse wouldnt have been able to handle that sort of stress.
    03-16-2009, 03:38 PM
I see what you mean. I've seen many OLDER horses that are psycho as well. But part of that is from the riders scaring the living daylights out of them to make them run. Anyway, Bandit is a very smart horse. Very mature for his age. Super willing to learn and eager to please. He knows when its time to work, and when its time to play. We usually do an hour warm up in the arena and then go into working the pattern. Then we do about a 45 min cool down after. I've seen people come straight from the trailer, tack up, and then RUN the pattern about 5 or 6 times and then LEAVE all in about 30 mins. I hate that.

I understand what you mean now....And I can totally see where you're coming from!!

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