Starting a barrel horse... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-12-2009, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Starting a barrel horse...

I want to hear your way of starting a barrel horse just see what some do differntly.

quarter horses.....simply the best
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-12-2009, 05:16 PM
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Okay. Well when I start a horse intended for barrels, I start them almost the same way I would if I was just going to trail ride them. However, I stress things like flexing, shoulder control, rollbacks, flexibility/bending in general, and correct leads. Then I pretty much just pattern them after I feel like they've mastered all that. I start with practicing turns and bending correctly around barrels. I find that I hardly have problems with them losing their foot placement if I start them like that :)

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post #3 of 7 Old 05-12-2009, 05:50 PM
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The way I start them is completely dependant on the horse. Conformationally and mentally. I like a horse to go like a when I'm preparing a horse for the pattern, I like them to go around like a reiner. They don't need a slide stop or fast spins but they need the same type of control.

Some horses need less flexing than others, some need more rear end control, some conformationally are high headed/low headed...all of it is taken into consideration when starting a horse for the pattern.

When it comes to the pattern itself, I walk/trot/lope them where I want to run them. Consistancy is key but mixing it up keeps them interested and attentive. Most everything beyond this point depends on the horse's natural ability on the pattern. Where their strengths and weaknesses lie.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-12-2009, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Very true buckoff. I agree amy, they need to know all of that stuff before you introduce them to a barrel pattern.

quarter horses.....simply the best
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-04-2009, 02:31 PM
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I have a barrel horse, and I did tain 2 horses in barrel racing befor they were sold. One was a qh colt who really took to it, and the other was a 5 yr. gelding who did okay with it. When i trained the colt, i walked him around the barrels first. soon he got the pattern in his head. When I coulf ride him and feel comfortable with reining him, i started walking him around the barrels, then trotting, and then cantering to where he had the pattern in his mind. It woulf also be good if you could work with poles, that helps the horse turn tighter. Hope it helps.

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post #6 of 7 Old 06-08-2009, 12:03 PM
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well, when i started out i walked. WALK WALK WALK!!! u cnt jst start out at any pace. they have to learn the pattern. and it also depends on how well they can flex before hand. it she can bend, flex, turn on a dime, ect. its probly not going to take as long. and it also depends on the type of bit ur useing. it needs to let them curl their nose in when going around the barrel so that they lift their shoulder and helps them bend. Hope this is at least a lil helpful.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-14-2009, 10:33 PM
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Back when I used to barrel race in 4-H, I made sure not to let my horse get too used to the barrel pattern. Instead of constantly running the clover pattern, I would use a single barrel and work on getting my horse around it both ways at all different speeds. After I had a trainer for a little bit, I realized barrel racing was a lot more involved than I had originally thought! I was able to get my horse to flex and instead of running around the barrel, I was able to direct her towards it and then swing her butt around so she would be lined up for the next barrel.

The best advice I can give is to use a single barrel for training most of the time. Also, as others have mentioned, start slow! I've made the mistake of running too fast too quick and those days never ended well!
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