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Hello there! I just got an 18 year old ex barrel racing horse and it’s like she was never trained at all. She will not and refuses to stand tied and on the trail when I try getting her into a little trot she goes full speed and I can’t get her to go slower or calm down, I honestly don’t know what to do because I’m not a trainer or anything so any tips would be helpful!
 

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You are attempting to take the desire to run out of a running bred mare. Same as trying to take the retriever out of a retriever.
She has spent her life going full speed, thats all she knows. And at 18, it's probably all she will ever know.
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but you are bucking a stacked deck with this mare.
Send her down the road, and get something that has not raced for a living.
 
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Hello there! I just got an 18 year old ex barrel racing horse and it’s like she was never trained at all. She will not and refuses to stand tied and on the trail when I try getting her into a little trot she goes full speed and I can’t get her to go slower or calm down, I honestly don’t know what to do because I’m not a trainer or anything so any tips would be helpful!
I have barrel racing horses. But I also expect my horses to be well-trained and well-mannered.

So without seeing you, or the horse, we could have a couple scenerios here.

Most likely, horse was run, run, run by previous owner and doesn't know how to just ride nicely, and isn't trained to do so. If that is the case, it is very difficult to re-train a horse that has had nearly 15+ years of going in that fashion.

But maybe .... at one point in the horse's life, they were trained well. Might have been when they were 6 years old, but it might be in there. Horses can and are able to be reminded of training they already have. You just have to know how to ask for it, and how to show it to them.

Or ... is it possible you are confusing the horse and she DOES know how to go slower? But you just don't know how to ask her? Maybe she is sensitive and you are tensing and squeezing her without realizing it?

So again, really hard to say exactly what is going on for sure with the information provided.

What are your goals with this horse?
Do you plan to barrel race with her?
Do something else?

What exactly does she do to refuse to stand tied?
Does she pull back?
Dig a hole?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have barrel racing horses. But I also expect my horses to be well-trained and well-mannered.

So without seeing you, or the horse, we could have a couple scenerios here.

Most likely, horse was run, run, run by previous owner and doesn't know how to just ride nicely, and isn't trained to do so. If that is the case, it is very difficult to re-train a horse that has had nearly 15+ years of going in that fashion.

But maybe .... at one point in the horse's life, they were trained well. Might have been when they were 6 years old, but it might be in there. Horses can and are able to be reminded of training they already have. You just have to know how to ask for it, and how to show it to them.

Or ... is it possible you are confusing the horse and she DOES know how to go slower? But you just don't know how to ask her? Maybe she is sensitive and you are tensing and squeezing her without realizing it?

So again, really hard to say exactly what is going on for sure with the information provided.

What are your goals with this horse?
Do you plan to barrel race with her?
Do something else?

What exactly does she do to refuse to stand tied?
Does she pull back?
Dig a hole?
Thank you! I don’t really know how long she did barrels for but my goal is to get her to be nice and calm and a good trail horse. And when I tie her and try to get her to stand she wraps herself around the pole and goes side ways and just won’t stand still, I’ve tried to add pressure but nothing works
 

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Thank you! I don’t really know how long she did barrels for but my goal is to get her to be nice and calm and a good trail horse. And when I tie her and try to get her to stand she wraps herself around the pole and goes side ways and just won’t stand still, I’ve tried to add pressure but nothing works
What did her previous owners do?
Has she been ridden a lot out on the trails? Or has she mostly been ridden in an arena? You will have to consider this if she is NOT used to riding out on the trails. It will take lots of time and lots of miles to make her into a calm trail horse .... perhaps several YEARS.

Why are you adding pressure when she is tied?
Tie her up, give her a hay bag, and leave her alone to stand there for a few hours. (so long as she is not the type that pulls back)
And do that every day.
Honestly, some horses never actually LEARN how to stand tied quietly. And again, this could take YEARS to achieve one that stands quietly.
 

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It sounds like you are a beginning rider with an unmanageable horse who is set in her ways. If so, there are really three possibilities before you.

one: send her to a professional trainer to be retrained for ordinary riding. This will most likely take a few months, and you will have to learn how to handle her so as to not get her back into her habits -- aka lessons. This scenario will take time, money, and commitment, and there is no guarantee she will ever be a safe gentle horse for a beginner.

two: sell her, and buy a more suitable horse.

three: a fairy will come down in a cloud of glitter and transform you and your horse into a wonderful team.

Okay, there's just two possibilities.
 

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Retraining an ex barrel horse is very difficult because all they know is GO FAST. It's something a begginer rider shouldn't attempt. It takes time, and most of all patience, patience, patience. Often times riders have very little or no control of a professional barrel horse. (not all the time) I barrel race myself a little bit, (for fun- not professionally.) And I've seen how these horses are. Most of the time they are very hot headed & reckless. Think about it. All they are taught is GO GO GO GO. It's very hard to teach them to slow down.
My mare is an ex reining horse (19 yrs old) and it took a very long time to retrain her to slow down. I put her in a regular old O ring snaffle, and worked with her twice a week in an arena. I ride western, so I sat deep and just relaxed. Every time she tried to speed up, I'd tell her easy, and I'd pull, release, pull release on the reins. The first month or so I was doing that CONSTANTLY. After that, she was a bit more responsive. A year later, I only have to do it occasionally to remind her. I've also found that if I lope her awhile, she gets tired and is more responsive to me. Not like dead beat, but just got the ya-yas out. She just has a lot of energy.
Don't try and use a harsh bit to try and get a bit more control, as often times that just leads to her speeding up because it pinches/hurts her. The best thing you can do is take deep breaths, sit deep, and be vocal about your cues. Easy, Easy, Easy. Pull, release. Pull, release. Be confident and don't let her take advantage of you. It will take a long time, and you'll have good days and bad days, but just be patient with her.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do. 😊

P.S. For her not standing, try to rig up a cross tie for each side of her halter so that she can't wrap herself around the pole.

Also, not sure if it would help in your case, but try giveing her a couple scoops of mare magic before each ride. All it is is raspberry leaf, but it does work to relax.
 
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