Starting Barrels

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > Western Riding

Starting Barrels

This is a discussion on Starting Barrels within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How do you stop a horse from pivoting around the barrels
  • My horse is stopping around that barrel and pivoting

LinkBack Thread Tools
    10-05-2009, 04:39 PM
Question Starting Barrels

Im getting ready to start my horse on the pattern. I have walked/trotted him around one barrel before but not the 3 yet. My question is, how can I make his turns tighter? Sometimes he doesnt want to listen to the bit and just keep going. He has had a lot of time on him with everything and is quite broke by now. Anyone have suggestions? Also, any other info on starting will be much appreciated :)
Sponsored Links
    10-05-2009, 09:45 PM
Use your legs to steer him around the barrel, You want your outside leg to be pushing him into the barrel. In the beginning its best to pull rein around the barrels.
    10-06-2009, 07:38 AM
Ok, well everyone is going to tell you something different...because everyone teaches their horse different. This is the way I've learned and it's worked on every horse I've stepped onto.

If your horse doesnt like to "listen" to the bit, He's not ready for the full pattern. A broke horse is a horse who is going to willingly do as you ask. Putting a horse that doesnt do that on a always going to end badly. Even more so once speed is added.

Next... Don't rely on his face. Sounds like your riding his front end when there is so much more to a horse than just that. Get BODY control. Control the horse's body is what is going to get you around those barrels, and tight.

As I've stated in every barrel post before...Counter arcs and pivots are your best friend. Use them. Use every bit of that horse's body. If your horse comes out to far somewhere, all you have to do is either lay your leg against them or shift your body weight.

Simpley yanking harder or jabbing with your outside leg isnt going to work. Especially if your horse doesnt give to leg and seat pressure.
    10-07-2009, 06:34 PM
Can you explain Counter Arcs and Pivots better? How do I do them? I use my leg. I forgot to add that. I have used it since the beginning with him. He gives to leg pressure well now. Maybe I should use more leg instead of hands around the barrel.
    10-08-2009, 09:35 PM
Do you have any experience barrel racing? If you have experience it helps alot.

You need to train slow pattern work, as well as rating. Before even attempting to walk/trot/canter the cloverleaf, you need to work on spirals, figure 8's, serpentines, and rollbacks. Once your horse can really arch when he turns, then move on to walking the pattern.

Don't push your horse, because if you push your horse to just running the pattern he will eventually become sour and you will have problems in the longrun.
    10-08-2009, 10:12 PM
Agreed with above. Soften his mouth and get full body control.
    10-09-2009, 07:14 PM
I hope more people reply to this, I want to train my horse to do barrels too. He is capable. He is only 2 1/2 but he neck reins and responds to leg pressure. I haven't done a barrel pattern, I just make him walk and trot through a row of poles for now. I haven't cantered through them yet.

I want him to be my 'everything' horse. Not just barrels, but trail rides, pole bending, fun stuff =]
    10-10-2009, 07:55 AM
Originally Posted by Chess46    
Can you explain Counter Arcs and Pivots better? How do I do them? I use my leg. I forgot to add that. I have used it since the beginning with him. He gives to leg pressure well now. Maybe I should use more leg instead of hands around the barrel.
hmmm... counter arcs are... well, when you pick up your horse's shoulder, they get a break in the their body. A counter arc is when a horse maintains that bend but in the opposite direction of the bend.
A pivot is just when a horse plants their pivor foot and moves around it...which will be the inside hind leg for a hindquarters pivot and the inside front leg for a pivot on the forehand.
    10-12-2009, 04:05 PM
Yes. I have experience barrel racing. Just not training. I have never trained a horse to barrel race before. He already knows how to Pivot. I was thinking it was called something else. I will start working on the things you guys are talking about. Thanks so much :)
    10-14-2009, 12:23 PM
I would suggest taking it SLOW. My trainer is working with myself and my 4 year old gelding to start the barrels, and her rule of thumb is 1 month walking, 1 month trotting, and 1 month of loping the barrels. As was suggested above, work on getting body control and not just yanking on his mouth, it has to be fun for him too. Stop him at each barrel and push his hip towards it, which will teach him to slow down before taking his turn and keep him tight to the barrel. It was working wonderfully for Kirin and myself (but then I got pregnant, lol)

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
OMG Barrels!!! dreamrideredc Western Riding 4 09-23-2009 08:40 PM
Starting English... well, not 'starting' but... Britt English Riding 8 06-27-2009 02:45 PM
Want critique on barrels! Countrygal892000 Horse Riding Critique 3 04-25-2009 05:01 PM
Me and Clippy doing barrels!!! morganshow11 Horse Videos 127 04-24-2009 07:52 PM
barrels? chika1235 Western Riding 11 01-26-2009 07:15 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:14 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0