what bit is best for barrel racing, how do i start my horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-30-2008, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
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what bit is best for barrel racing, how do i start my horse

hey so i am teaching my horse how to run barrels right now and i have been barrel racing for a long time but my horse is very new to it all i am using a very mild snaffle in his mouth right now but it doesnt seem to be working what would you use let me know???

also how do i get him to turn the barrels faster and sharper???
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-01-2008, 08:22 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chickamauga, Georgia
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I have 3 bits that I use I started my horse out in a curb and we most recently went up to a stronger bit and we are now useing a sweet iron wonder gag ans he is doing ok right now with it I need to get some bit guard for it cause it was pinching his mouth but he does good with it and my other bit i ahve is a O twisted ring anf i actually ahvent got to use it yet.

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post #3 of 4 Old 08-01-2008, 09:55 PM
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If your horse listens to you well, I would use a wonder bit to get the basics.
If your horse is stubborn, but mature, I would use a twisted dog bone, it worked best for my barrel horse.

"Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness."
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-15-2008, 02:38 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
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No advice on the bit. My mare right now is going in a twisted snaffle, she responds very well to this and I've started her on the pattern. Wonder bits are often very good as others have said.

For getting him to go around tighter and faster, you've got to work at it at the slower speeds. Any problems that you have at a trot or walk is just going to get worst at the canter as I'm sure you know. Do you know how to do spirals? Spirals work really well for applying the same aids that you'll need to get them to turn tighter. It really just comes down to your leg and rein aids though. Make sure that you're lifting up with your inside rein, pushing in with your inside leg until you almost get around the barrel. You then want to push him over using your outside leg up by his shoulder and outside rein, this will help him turn sharper assuming that he works off of leg pressure.

You also want to make sure that he's using his hind end well, this will help him go around sharper and faster as well. One exercise that is really good for barrel horses and getting them to work off their hind end is rollbacks. What you want to do is go to the wall at about a 45 degree angle (diaganoly). Lets say you're tracking to the right, you head diagonly to the wall and once you get near, you sit down in your seat, pull your left rein to your hip and add your outside or right leg to push him off to the left...you're turning him to the left at the wall. I usually say something like, "Hey" (this is what my mentor taught me to say) to let them know what I want them to do.

I hope all of that made sense, I can get a video of the rollbacks if you need one, it's kind of confusing to explain in words.

Annie (myself) - Dixie (my spunky mare) - Snooky (my rock of a dog) - Allister (my very outgoing bunny) - Duncan Idaho (my long lived gerbil).
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