tips on training my barel horse?

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tips on training my barel horse?

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  • Barrel horses diving into the barrels
  • How to turn a push style horse into free runner

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    01-04-2010, 02:54 PM
Question tips on training my barel horse?

For a while now,ive been working on her suppleness and getting her to collect herself,when I bought her she was SO stiff! But anyways,ive just started her on barrels,shes a lefty =),but her second barrel she drops her shoulder and gets really stiff coming around it. How would I help to get her using her butt and get her to stop diving into the barrel? And I can also tell she's going to be a barrel hitter because even at a walk she'll just turn into the barrel too soon and knock it over. Whenever I warm her upshes soft and collected but once I do barrels she's stiff again?

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    01-04-2010, 03:06 PM
Teach her to sidepass, work off leg cues, and move her hind end. When you come around the barrel she should have her nose to it. I will try to find a picture of one of ours doing some training. This horses nose is towards where it should be during training, but he needs to move his butt off a little more. Do a little more lift with your inside rein as you come around. Once they speed up their muscles will have been trained.

Work at a walk first. Walk to the barrel, stop, bend around it, and then walk on...repeat.

Then at a trot. Trot to the barrel, walk, bend around it, trot on...repeat.

Then at a lope. Lope to barrel, trot, bend around, lope on, repeat.

That way when you go full out the horse knows to rate itself right before the barrel, bend, and then go on.

(sorry if you already know this, just thought I would add it.) It's how we pattern ours. :) Good luck.

Pictures might help get some better advice. I am not a really good barrel rider yet. I am learning, but my step-dad trains them and that is how he trains them (and me)
    01-04-2010, 03:07 PM
Crap forgot to attach pic. Here it is.

The rein in pic needs picked up, and horse needs more work bending. It was only one I had though. (not me riding so please no critique)
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File Type: jpg barrel.jpg (34.7 KB, 321 views)
    01-04-2010, 03:18 PM
Thank you!
As soon as it stops snowing and dries up i'll start working her more.
    01-04-2010, 03:20 PM
Just glad to help a little. It is very interesting for me learning now how to do the barrels. I get to ride a very sweet mare now, but I have to learn to get it where she won't out run me on the I hope it does help.
    01-04-2010, 03:31 PM
You can also take the barrel, lay it flat and put a cone where the end of the barrel is. Pick the barrel back up, and that is your pocket. Never point the horse directly at the barrel, that's just asking for a knock. Direct your horse to a point approximately 3-4 feet away from the barrel, and always push your horse past the barrel before you start the turn. I would also teach your horse to disengage her hind end using your legs and seat, so that when you apply your inside leg she moves slightly away from the barrel and around it.
    01-04-2010, 03:41 PM
Thank you guys! =)
My mare is a really laid back calm horse,you wouldnt think she would be "barrel horse material" but she can get up and go when ya ask.
=) im also going to try to ride her more and do more cirlcles and firgue 8s and what not when it dries up.
I hope she turns out to be a good one!
    01-04-2010, 03:45 PM
Originally Posted by BojoBanjo    
thank you guys! =)
My mare is a really laid back calm horse,you wouldnt think she would be "barrel horse material" but she can get up and go when ya ask.
=) im also going to try to ride her more and do more cirlcles and firgue 8s and what not when it dries up.
I hope she turns out to be a good one!
My step-dad says the lazy ones make winners. Our fastest in training right now looks like a WP horse until you ask him to go.
    01-04-2010, 05:39 PM
My favorite tool is the counter arc.
If my horse started dropping into the barrel... I will counter arc away until she's off the rein and soft, then turn the barrel and really drive the rear end up under. (Mantaining the same amount of lift, arc, and suppleness as in the counter arc) Sit deep in your pockets, press against the outside stirrup, tip your inside heel in, and drive.

I have to disagree a little with smooth trails...Just a little tho. ;)
I don't want a lazy horse. I've never seen one make a winner. Lazy horses cut corners and often sour just as quickly, if not quicker, than hot heads. I want willing. As long as a horse will move off my leg when I ask them and as long as that horse is always willing to put effort into every run... it has the makings of a winner. Having a free-runner versus a push style horse is a personal preferance. Push styles tend to be easier to teach to turn but are prone to dropping shoulders and anticipating. I like more of a free runner because I know I can teach any horse rate. It's easier for me to teach a horse to rate and turn than it is to teach one to run. I'm not a pushing rider. I want my horse to WANT to run the pattern.
...but like I said, it's personal preferance.
    01-05-2010, 04:58 PM
Like BuckOff said; counter arc! It really works. Also, remember to go in WIDE and come out tight. Instead of walking, trotting, cantering the pattern why not set up a few barrels in a line and just practice going around the barrel in general? My friend's aunt Jerri Mann (barrel racer, trainer, and vice president of the board of directors for the Womens Professional Rodeo Association) just put on a clinic here the day after Christmas and 85% of the time was spent on the bending/flexing around the barrel. Not necessarily running/walking the pattern, just going around a barrel. Using the counter arc is great. Jerri actually demonstrated this method at her clinic. If you feel your horse ducking into the barrel, rein out to the opposite side of the turn to get your horse straightened back out, THEN turn when you're ready for the turn.
Its just going to take time, but its well worth it! Good luck!! :)

barrel racing

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