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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So me and my gelding are working on barrels. I'm wondering if anyone has any practice patterns that can help us with tighter turns, faster times, straighter lines, collecting around the barrel, etc. also, any tips? He's been off the pattern for a while so it'll take some time. Thanks!
 

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I get a lot of help from watching Fallon Taylor Training Tips on youtube. She knows what she's talking about it is very reasonable. A lot of the fixes I've made from watching her were very easy tweaks and really improved my horses performance. Really, it will depend on your horse and the environment you have to work with. Could you give more information? For example, my gelding is hot-headed and gets frustrated easily. For this reason I spend about half the time during his work out doing slow work on the pattern and the other half doing something engaging that keeps him interested in what I'm asking of him and what his job is. My mare however is very weak on her right hand lead. For this reason we do a lot of exercises that incorporate right hand turns and clockwise circles to strengthen that lead. Does your horse have any weaknesses that may need practice? (Example: a weak lead, a hard mouth, etc.) Does your horse get bored easily? Any info of that sort would be helpful to give tips on good exercises for you and your horse:)
 

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Me personally, I am not a big fan of Fallon Taylor. On some of her videos, I don't like how her horses behave. But that's just my opinion.

eleora9001: Do you have any videos you can show us of you running barrels? It would better help us to make suggestions for you.

Check out this thread for general tips for barrels:
http://www.horseforum.com/barrel-racing/barrel-racing-exercises-drills-116865/

Most of what you are asking about is just general basic training on your horse. You should be able to control every piece of your horse's body (head, neck, shoulders, ribcage, hips) at any speed at any time. Having this type of precise control over your horse will help you make split-second adjustments in the horse's position during your barrel run.

Tighter turns - If you've properly done your slow work, and taught your horse to use their body effectively in a turn (good bend), it will aid your horse in making good turns around the barrel. Each horse has a different "style". Some work best staying the same distance from the barrel the entire turn, some work better with a rollback, and some like to come in wide and out tight, etc.

If you horse is properly collected around the barrel, becuase you've done your slow work and body control with them, they will naturally have good turns.

Straight lines - always make sure to completely FINISH your barrel turn before you head for the next barrel. If you leave too soon, you will make an arch. And when you do finish your barrel turn, look up to the next barrel, find a point on the ground at your pocket where you want your horse to go, and then head directly for that point.

Faster time - Keeping your horse in tip-top physical condition will allow him to go through the pattern as fast as he physically can. Making sure you have a SMOOTH barrel run will make it fast. And having a correct pattern (no arch when you leave a barrel) will make it fast because you have less ground to travel. And .... one could argue ... the rider must be in great physical shape as well. It's obviously easier for a horse to carry a 130-pound rider than a 230-pound rider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My horse twister isn't hot headed or anything, he sometimes gets board easily. He is a little hard to collect around the barrel which we can defiantly work on. He is almost fighting to collect. He does it with very little hand ask and seat change, but he doesn't ever WANT to do it. I currently do not have barrel videos now because I got him in November and I live in Minnesota so we live in 4 ft if snow until April lol. Thanks!:)
 
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