New Barrel Horse?

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New Barrel Horse?

This is a discussion on New Barrel Horse? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Can you run a barrel horse when they aren't in shape

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    10-18-2008, 07:47 PM
New Barrel Horse?

Ok so I don't really barrel race..i do cutting.but I wanted some opinions on barrel racing my 11 year old qh mare. And she's not a cutting horse either..shes being re-trained so I figured maybe barrels would be really fun. I do cutting at another barn....

I walked the pattern like a MILLION times last time I rode her and then today I dod some running.shes picking it up really quick...she almost walked the whole pattern without me directing her. I was soo impressed!!!!!!

So I need help with speed really....she will go from a stop to run to the first barrel and turn nicely...and then she only will jog to the second one.and once she's around it she SHOOTS off to the tird and does a really nice turn and then for some reason she just WON'T GO! She walks or jogs home. And its just soo its between the 1st and 2nd and after the 3rd where I need help.i think im going to switch to barrel reins because my long split reins aren't cutting it.hahaa.should I use a crop? I already use spurs all the time bc she's really do I make her go?!?!
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    10-18-2008, 08:03 PM
Have you tried spurs?

Do just regular arena work. You have to get her in shape to do running. You don't want her burnt out on the pattern, I have seen many, many horses burn out because they have been through the pattern too many times.

Just make her do a consistent speed when you work the pattern. Like start out and walk the whole thing.
Then start jogging or trotting it, but whenever you go around the barrels make her walk around the barrel so she knows to automatically slow down at the barrel which will make it easier whenever she starts running it. Then after she has it comfortably at the jog, take it to a lope. Whenever she gets to the barrel, check her down to a jog around the barrels. And eventually do it at a run, and lope the barrels. She will eventually associate that she has to gather herself up when turning the barrels.

To get her in shape for running I would get her working with some arena work, then after that maybe a little figure eight action so she understands her leads and which one she should be on at all times...It helps!

Then after that, she shouldn't be too sweaty, depending on how hard you make her go throughout all that, and then I would do what I call "breezing them out." What you do is you find a big stretch of land with good footing and you sprint them as far as they'll go, don't push her, just let her do it all on her own. Eventually, if you have a horse that enjoys running, you have yourself a barrel racer.

Hope I helped.
    10-18-2008, 08:18 PM
Haha thanks HRH..yeah I mean she's lazy but once she gets going she can go.and so far I've noticed she has great turns.we jog the pattern a lot and walk it a LOT. But every once in a while we lope it.and I walways make her stop right before we go because I don't want her rushing to that good? Yes I do use spurs that good or bad?

I think I do need to slow it down a bit.we do figure eights at the jog and walk.because she's just learning to neck rein and it helps with directing her and stuff.i think she will have fun with it though. My problem is that the one thing she HATES is arena work..just boring running in circles and patterns and stuff.she loves trails so could I run her out there instead of in an arena?we don't really do arena stuff...because she would rather run up all the hills on the one more thing.i use polos. Should I use them on all fours or just fronts or just backs?
    10-19-2008, 05:06 PM
No, the arena work I'm talking about is like just basically pleasure work. Making them work with a nice frame and listening completely to you and not thinking about running all the time. Trail rides, like you said, are also great because they take their mind off of work and let the horse be, well, a horse.
    10-19-2008, 10:51 PM
Thats truee...i love trails ^^^^
    10-20-2008, 06:10 PM
It's good for the horse too!
They also build up endurance and sure-footedness.
    10-20-2008, 09:49 PM
Yeah..she seems really sure footed.and she's been SOO much more confident since we trail ride so much.
    10-22-2008, 01:25 PM
Back to your question about stopping before you run...
I personally wouldn't do that, what I always did was I would lope a circle and then run.
It's easier on their joints and can give you better run times.
What you do to get them to not rush into running barrels, is to not run them every time. Then they won't associate seeing the barrels as "Oh my god! I have to run."

And with spurs, it isn't good or bad.
I only used spurs on my horse when we were timed. Some horses just need that extra lift that spurs provide to go fast.
    10-22-2008, 06:13 PM
When I was at the Josey ranch we did long trotting and short trotting...maybe that will help

You long trot between barrels and short trot around them....maybe that will help her learn when she comes around the barrel she is supposed to go up a notch and not down
Yet you could do it several times without over working her...remember to always walk the pattern the last time you do it...never finish with running it... and run it no more than you need to

I was always told that prevented them from getting sour to the idea of always running it and helped keep them from being over excited in the entrence way

That's all I know that has been passed down to me...but im no expert..Martha Josey may have some dvds out that will help
    10-25-2008, 11:55 PM

I was always told that prevented them from getting sour to the idea of always running it and helped keep them from being over excited in the entrence way[quote]

Yeah that's why I thought that stopping before you run was good because it teaches then not to take off.and you will let them know when to run.but I guess theres also the fact that it may and will be bad on their legs.

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