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What are some exercies that I can do with my new mare to get her back on the barrel pattern? Also what are some things I can do to build up some muscle. I do not have very many hills so I can not do that. Please help she has been sitting for over a year and right now we are just doing slow work around the barrels. Please Help!
 

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Turn arounds: Walk for a bit, then bend her head slightly in the direction you want to turn, and use the opposite leg to get her to turn and pivot on a back hoof.

Counterarcing: Bend her head in the opposite direction you want to go, and use the opposite leg to move her over, having her in a like crescent moon shape. So to move to the right, bend her head slightly left and use your left leg to move her over but foward (not sidepassing).

Three barrels: Set three barrels in a row about 10 feet or so apart. Walk around them, keeping her at least three feet away. This is where you work on the counterarcing too. Circle a barrel twice, move to the next, next, turn back, and go back through. Then try a trot and canter.

Spiral: Set one barrel up, make a large circle around it and spiral in, once you circle near it, spiral back out.

Fallon Taylor has some videos on her YouTube channel you could check out.

Barrel Racing Drills for Barrel Racing Success

http://www.horseforum.com/barrel-racing/barrel-racing-exercises-drills-116865/
 

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she has been sitting for over a year and right now we are just doing slow work around the barrels.
Honestly, don't even work her on the barrels yet. You've got a lot more to do to get her back into shape before you do any barrel work.

A year is a long time for a horse to sit. How good of shape was she before she was off for that year? If not very good shape, then expect it to take even longer to get her back into running shape. And if she's an older horse, that'll take longer too.

For your situation, you should probably plan on at least 3 months (maybe closer to 4 or 5) to get her into RUNNING shape.

If you have trails to ride on, I'd start with that. Start legging her back up on straight lines first, gradually asking her to carry herself more and more in a collected manner (you won't be able to ask her to do that right off the bat because she won't have the muscle tone to do it). I would do a couple weeks of straight lines before you start to do any circle work in the arena. And when you do start circle work, keep them large without any barrels for another few weeks. I wouldn't do any small turns (barrel turns) for at least a month, if not longer.

When her body starts getting into a bit of shape (after a month or two) then you can start building her lung capacity with breezing her, while also doing drills on the barrels (setting the barrels up in random patterns with random numbers of barrels to keep it interesting).

To set your horse up for success and to limit the potential for injury, you have to bring them back into shape slowly. They didn't get out of shape overnight so you aren't going to get them back into shape overnight.

Patience. :)
 

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You've had some great suggestions already but I have a few to add!

Counter-arching (as mentioned above) is great when your just bringing your horse back into the swing of things. Doing lots of circles will help you horse start to bend again and will build up a lot of muscles in the hind end. I personally wouldn't do any work on the actual barrel pattern in the beginning. Trail riding is great so your horse can get out of the arena. When you start working your horse on the pattern make sure not to over do it. I know it can be very tempting to just get out there and do the barrel pattern all the time but it will seriously mess up your horses head! Make sure to get out of the arena and away from the barrel pattern! Best of luck to you!
 
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