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Country Bumpkin
Advanced Rider



USA
168 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  12:25:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit Country Bumpkin's Homepage Send Country Bumpkin a Private Message
I have started Squeaker back on barrels so my cousin can show her this summer,locally.
Squeaker knows what she is doing,her old owners ran her at barrels nearly every weekend in the summer.
So far she is doing ok,considering that she hadn't done them in a long time.We have just ran into a few problems.

On the pattern we always start with the right barrel and she does that turn just fine.Then at the second barrel she turns her head to the outside of the turn and looks out,losing speed and that turn is real sloppy. And the third barrel is usually fine.
So I told Kayti to tip her nose inward just a little at the second barrel before the turn but then Squeaker went too close and always bumped it. And she was still slowing down too much for that turn.Kayti tried everything to keep her going at a good speed.
So I thought,maybe she was trying to make the turn too sharp and she had to slow down.So I told Kayti to take her out just a little bit wider and that didn't help.
And another question:What leg protection do I need on her and should I use a tie down on her? I see nearly every barrel racer uses one. Squeaker does get excited for the first few practice runs and after that she occasionally shakes her head in the air.
For now we have been running her with bell boots on front and sport boots on back.

So,any ideas?

giddyupmorgan
Trainer



846 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  03:11:52 AM  Show Profile Send giddyupmorgan a Private Message
CB, maybe you can ask the previous owners what little tricks of the trade they used with Squeaker.
We are pretty new to this barrel knocking over stuff too.
The kids got a lesson on Sat. and one thing I heard the trainer say that was right simple but made sense was to go past the barrel then turn.
I would take a look at your arena where you are practicing. Since she is making the last left turn ok maybe she looking at some big horse eating monster when running for 2nd barrel and forgets what she's really there for. Also I'd look a Kayti's leg cues she could be bending her the wrong way coming off the first one.
We use tie downs on the high headed ones. Won't hurt to try and see if it helps.
Sounds like you got the legs protected ok.

Good luck and post a pic of that big buckle at the end of the show season.
Disclaimer: don't know jack about what I just wrote but thought it sounded good.

Keeping The Kids In a Saddle and Out of Trouble
Giddyup
"Holy Moly I'll Buy What They're Selling" LJD (Get A Little Mud On The Tires)


Morgan's riding log
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giddyupmorgan
Trainer



846 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  03:11:52 AM  Show Profile Send giddyupmorgan a Private Message
CB, maybe you can ask the previous owners what little tricks of the trade they used with Squeaker.
We are pretty new to this barrel knocking over stuff too.
The kids got a lesson on Sat. and one thing I heard the trainer say that was right simple but made sense was to go past the barrel then turn.
I would take a look at your arena where you are practicing. Since she is making the last left turn ok maybe she looking at some big horse eating monster when running for 2nd barrel and forgets what she's really there for. Also I'd look a Kayti's leg cues she could be bending her the wrong way coming off the first one.
We use tie downs on the high headed ones. Won't hurt to try and see if it helps.
Sounds like you got the legs protected ok.

Good luck and post a pic of that big buckle at the end of the show season.
Disclaimer: don't know jack about what I just wrote but thought it sounded good.

Keeping The Kids In a Saddle and Out of Trouble
Giddyup
"Holy Moly I'll Buy What They're Selling" LJD (Get A Little Mud On The Tires)


Morgan's riding log
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  09:20:41 AM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message
The direction depends on the horse and which way they turn the best. If they turn to the right better than to the left, take the left barrel first so you have 2 right turns to finish the pattern.

Squeaker needs to be collected & turning on her rear end rather than on her front. If she's dipping her shoulder into the barrel, she's turning on her front end. You do not need to run her at the barrels to practice though. It's a sure way to sour one if you do.

Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  09:20:41 AM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message
The direction depends on the horse and which way they turn the best. If they turn to the right better than to the left, take the left barrel first so you have 2 right turns to finish the pattern.

Squeaker needs to be collected & turning on her rear end rather than on her front. If she's dipping her shoulder into the barrel, she's turning on her front end. You do not need to run her at the barrels to practice though. It's a sure way to sour one if you do.

Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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Country Bumpkin
Advanced Rider



USA
168 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  12:28:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Country Bumpkin's Homepage Send Country Bumpkin a Private Message
Paintgal,do you mean not to run her full speed around them all the time? And how do we get her to collect more?
giddyup: It just seems that everytime they did the second barrel she looked up and out at something in the distance lol. There is nothing new around,they've seen everything a million times. Each time Kayti pulled her head back in but she had already lost focus and speed anyway.
With the leg cues,I told Kayti to put pressure with her outside leg and inside leg.The way Squeaker was taught was to bend toward inside leg pressure.I told her to put pressure on the inside of the circle just a bit behind the girth and put outside pressure where her leg would normally be.
Maybe I was confusing her lol.
Next time I may set the barrels out farther apart too,they were a little bit close together.
Thanks for your help!!
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Country Bumpkin
Advanced Rider



USA
168 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  12:28:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Country Bumpkin's Homepage Send Country Bumpkin a Private Message
Paintgal,do you mean not to run her full speed around them all the time? And how do we get her to collect more?
giddyup: It just seems that everytime they did the second barrel she looked up and out at something in the distance lol. There is nothing new around,they've seen everything a million times. Each time Kayti pulled her head back in but she had already lost focus and speed anyway.
With the leg cues,I told Kayti to put pressure with her outside leg and inside leg.The way Squeaker was taught was to bend toward inside leg pressure.I told her to put pressure on the inside of the circle just a bit behind the girth and put outside pressure where her leg would normally be.
Maybe I was confusing her lol.
Next time I may set the barrels out farther apart too,they were a little bit close together.
Thanks for your help!!
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  1:08:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
The fastest way to wreak a speed horse is to run the pattern and always use the full pattern. So much of speed event is contral and you have to gain the contral in the slow speeds before you can in the faster speeds. Also if she hasn't done this for awhile she is out of shape and that needs to be address before you start with the barrels. Barrel racing is not just running around barrels, it's way more then that.

I would start out with first getting her in shape. Lots of bending and flexing and lighting her up to the bit. She is probably stiff to the left so she has to drop her shoulder to turn that way. Getting her light and loose should help with that a lot but stop running the barrel until she is or it is going to become a habit that is going to be harder to fix.

Do a lot of transitions, focus on contral of gaits, both staying and changes gaits but also the speeds of gaits. Barrels is all speed when you show but without contral of that speed you are going to get the rider or horse hurt and you will never get the good times.

Collection is improtant also. Without it she is going to have her butt out there doing whatever it feels like it.

The above will help with conditioning but also do a lot of trail riding with a conditioning program. One that slowly builds up the work both in time and speed. Even if she is in ok shape do this anyway because it gives you time to work on the above, get her more broke, and in even better shape.

Once she is getting light and loose again then start with the barrles....well the idea you don't have to use barrels to work on rate, turns and take offs. You can use a cone, a bush, a tire, the more things you use the less chance she gets wore out on them. Start with one 'barrel' at the walk. Teach her to rate by walking towards the barrel and do a half halt when you would need to rate and then push her around the barrel at a walk, fucusing on keeping her straight, up and bending correctly. To bend her around your inside like trying keeping the inside leg in the normal spot, bending her front half with the hands and her back half with the outside leg back just a little. If you put the inside leg back you aren't bending her in the center and using the hands and outside leg to move just the front half leaving the back half out there somewhere in space. Work that one barrel both ways, going one direction a few times and then the other direction.

Once she can do it at the walk you can move it up to the trot. Trot towards it, half halt to a walk to walk around it. Focusing on getting it correct. As that is going good then do a faster trot to it and a slower trot around it. You slowly build up the speed like that but also even once you are loping it go back and walk it too. Don't just get to the running and never go at another speed, you MUST keep contral and if you always run it the horse will only run even when you try to slow down. That is a good way to make one of those high headed, rearing, head tossing animals and the more time the horse spends on that stuff the more seconds you add to your time.

Using just one barrel lets you work on turns without having to worry about a full pattern and to stop from drilling the pattern into the horse's skull. They don't need to run the full pattern all of the time to know it. Once you can handle one barrle then use two, then three but don't stop there, go ahead and add a forth. The pattern doesn't matter, the turns, rates and take offs is what matter. Your 3 or 4 barrel pattern doesn't even have to be a perfect pattern. You can put the 3rd barrel off to one side or have one side of a square longer. If you have a horse that gets out of contral and so set on a pattern you need to toss it up.

O' and before I forget again work a LOT on leg yielding and getting her light to leg and seat cues. Use some cones or tires and set up a circle that you can ride around, yeilding the horse out and in towards the circle. Then do that with a smaller and smaller circle until you have just one cone or tire. This will help a lot with getting her flexible again.

Just go slow, take the time to get the turns correct before adding speed. Remember not to drill the patterns too much. Change things around. Also spend atleast part of a ride on 'rail work' to make sure you keep contral. Start the rides with bending and flexing, leg yielding, etc to reinforce the basics of the turns and to get her loosened up.

You may or maynot need a tie down, but her head in the air is not a sign that you do. It is called a tie down but it hasn't nothing to do with tying the head down. It is miss used that way. A barrel horse that tosses it's heads or has a high head is a sign that the horse and maybe the rider needs more training. What a tie down is for is to give the horse an aid to balance with for high speed starts, stops and turns like barrel racing and roping. Never try to tie the head down. And if a horse has a head tossing problem a tie down may safe a person's nose but it doesn't solve the real problem which is a training issue.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  1:08:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
The fastest way to wreak a speed horse is to run the pattern and always use the full pattern. So much of speed event is contral and you have to gain the contral in the slow speeds before you can in the faster speeds. Also if she hasn't done this for awhile she is out of shape and that needs to be address before you start with the barrels. Barrel racing is not just running around barrels, it's way more then that.

I would start out with first getting her in shape. Lots of bending and flexing and lighting her up to the bit. She is probably stiff to the left so she has to drop her shoulder to turn that way. Getting her light and loose should help with that a lot but stop running the barrel until she is or it is going to become a habit that is going to be harder to fix.

Do a lot of transitions, focus on contral of gaits, both staying and changes gaits but also the speeds of gaits. Barrels is all speed when you show but without contral of that speed you are going to get the rider or horse hurt and you will never get the good times.

Collection is improtant also. Without it she is going to have her butt out there doing whatever it feels like it.

The above will help with conditioning but also do a lot of trail riding with a conditioning program. One that slowly builds up the work both in time and speed. Even if she is in ok shape do this anyway because it gives you time to work on the above, get her more broke, and in even better shape.

Once she is getting light and loose again then start with the barrles....well the idea you don't have to use barrels to work on rate, turns and take offs. You can use a cone, a bush, a tire, the more things you use the less chance she gets wore out on them. Start with one 'barrel' at the walk. Teach her to rate by walking towards the barrel and do a half halt when you would need to rate and then push her around the barrel at a walk, fucusing on keeping her straight, up and bending correctly. To bend her around your inside like trying keeping the inside leg in the normal spot, bending her front half with the hands and her back half with the outside leg back just a little. If you put the inside leg back you aren't bending her in the center and using the hands and outside leg to move just the front half leaving the back half out there somewhere in space. Work that one barrel both ways, going one direction a few times and then the other direction.

Once she can do it at the walk you can move it up to the trot. Trot towards it, half halt to a walk to walk around it. Focusing on getting it correct. As that is going good then do a faster trot to it and a slower trot around it. You slowly build up the speed like that but also even once you are loping it go back and walk it too. Don't just get to the running and never go at another speed, you MUST keep contral and if you always run it the horse will only run even when you try to slow down. That is a good way to make one of those high headed, rearing, head tossing animals and the more time the horse spends on that stuff the more seconds you add to your time.

Using just one barrel lets you work on turns without having to worry about a full pattern and to stop from drilling the pattern into the horse's skull. They don't need to run the full pattern all of the time to know it. Once you can handle one barrle then use two, then three but don't stop there, go ahead and add a forth. The pattern doesn't matter, the turns, rates and take offs is what matter. Your 3 or 4 barrel pattern doesn't even have to be a perfect pattern. You can put the 3rd barrel off to one side or have one side of a square longer. If you have a horse that gets out of contral and so set on a pattern you need to toss it up.

O' and before I forget again work a LOT on leg yielding and getting her light to leg and seat cues. Use some cones or tires and set up a circle that you can ride around, yeilding the horse out and in towards the circle. Then do that with a smaller and smaller circle until you have just one cone or tire. This will help a lot with getting her flexible again.

Just go slow, take the time to get the turns correct before adding speed. Remember not to drill the patterns too much. Change things around. Also spend atleast part of a ride on 'rail work' to make sure you keep contral. Start the rides with bending and flexing, leg yielding, etc to reinforce the basics of the turns and to get her loosened up.

You may or maynot need a tie down, but her head in the air is not a sign that you do. It is called a tie down but it hasn't nothing to do with tying the head down. It is miss used that way. A barrel horse that tosses it's heads or has a high head is a sign that the horse and maybe the rider needs more training. What a tie down is for is to give the horse an aid to balance with for high speed starts, stops and turns like barrel racing and roping. Never try to tie the head down. And if a horse has a head tossing problem a tie down may safe a person's nose but it doesn't solve the real problem which is a training issue.
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  2:24:16 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
I have an excellent barrel racing training tape that was put out by Martha Josey called "Training to Win". I haven't looked at the newer ones that are out by other barrel racers, but this one has a lot in it covering what Stormie has been talking about. I highly recommend it.

I'd like to address approaching and turning the barrel. Stormie is right on that you have to do it at a walk and using only one barrel at first. You must know where you're pocket is when coming into the barrel. This is where you will ask the horse to slow down (half-halt... what barrel racers call "rating your horse"), bring his hind quarters well under his body and then turn (Note: all this should be done after the horse has been conditioned and is in shape to run barrels). At the walk he must stop on his hind end and not on the front end. The front end must stay light to be able to bend, flex, & turn. The pocket is usually to the side and about 6 to 8 feet out from the barrel. Then the horse is brought in close and leaves the barrel with the rider's leg close to the barrel. In other words, go in just a hair wide and come out close when you're ready to head for the next barrel.

Training to run barrels is no different than anything else you'd train your horse to do. You must start out slow, get the pattern down at a walk and a trot, before you can ever expect the horse to do it at speed. If he can't do it at the slower gaits, there's no way you should expect to control him to do it at a faster one.

As Martha Josey says in her video. Before you begin to train for barrels, you must be able to control every part of your horse's body and be able to put him anywhere you want him. This comes first before you ever consider running a barrel pattern. If you don't have this kind of control, then your horse cannot run an effective pattern and shave those fractions of a second off your time for that winning run.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  2:24:16 PM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
I have an excellent barrel racing training tape that was put out by Martha Josey called "Training to Win". I haven't looked at the newer ones that are out by other barrel racers, but this one has a lot in it covering what Stormie has been talking about. I highly recommend it.

I'd like to address approaching and turning the barrel. Stormie is right on that you have to do it at a walk and using only one barrel at first. You must know where you're pocket is when coming into the barrel. This is where you will ask the horse to slow down (half-halt... what barrel racers call "rating your horse"), bring his hind quarters well under his body and then turn (Note: all this should be done after the horse has been conditioned and is in shape to run barrels). At the walk he must stop on his hind end and not on the front end. The front end must stay light to be able to bend, flex, & turn. The pocket is usually to the side and about 6 to 8 feet out from the barrel. Then the horse is brought in close and leaves the barrel with the rider's leg close to the barrel. In other words, go in just a hair wide and come out close when you're ready to head for the next barrel.

Training to run barrels is no different than anything else you'd train your horse to do. You must start out slow, get the pattern down at a walk and a trot, before you can ever expect the horse to do it at speed. If he can't do it at the slower gaits, there's no way you should expect to control him to do it at a faster one.

As Martha Josey says in her video. Before you begin to train for barrels, you must be able to control every part of your horse's body and be able to put him anywhere you want him. This comes first before you ever consider running a barrel pattern. If you don't have this kind of control, then your horse cannot run an effective pattern and shave those fractions of a second off your time for that winning run.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  4:39:10 PM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message
quote:
Paintgal,do you mean not to run her full speed around them all the time?


That's exactly what I mean. As Stormie & RH have mentioned, she's more than likely out of shape and needs conditioning. You do not do that by running the barrel pattern. Extended trotting is one way to help condition a horse.

quote:
And how do we get her to collect more?


Stormie & RH gave some great advice. You do need control her speed but you have to start at a walk. Get her to extend her walk, then bring her down to a slow walk, then speed her up again. Focus on getting her to drop her head by keeping light pressure on her mouth then an IMMEDIATE release when she drops her head even an inch. Once she's responding to your cues at a walk then let her trot. Ask for an extended trot then slow her down...basically the same techniques as you used at the walk. Bending, flexing, turning exercises are important too. I have posted links to Clinton Anderson's articles flexing & collecting a couple of times on DE but can't remember where they are. You might Google. I found them VERY helpful.

Squeaker knows the pattern so she doesn't need to practice it but she does need to be in shape. We focus on the horse being in shape but the rider needs to be conditioned too. The centrifical force of a horse turning a barrel can send the rider off the side! The rider must not use the reins to balance with either so must either grab the horn or have one heck of seat.

I don't think Squeaker should see a barrel pattern for a couple of months or until she's in shape.

When I was showing, I seldom ever ran a pattern at home. We did a lot of extended trotting & pulled a log!

Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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PaintGal
Trail Boss (Moderator)



USA
5300 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  4:39:10 PM  Show Profile Send PaintGal a Private Message
quote:
Paintgal,do you mean not to run her full speed around them all the time?


That's exactly what I mean. As Stormie & RH have mentioned, she's more than likely out of shape and needs conditioning. You do not do that by running the barrel pattern. Extended trotting is one way to help condition a horse.

quote:
And how do we get her to collect more?


Stormie & RH gave some great advice. You do need control her speed but you have to start at a walk. Get her to extend her walk, then bring her down to a slow walk, then speed her up again. Focus on getting her to drop her head by keeping light pressure on her mouth then an IMMEDIATE release when she drops her head even an inch. Once she's responding to your cues at a walk then let her trot. Ask for an extended trot then slow her down...basically the same techniques as you used at the walk. Bending, flexing, turning exercises are important too. I have posted links to Clinton Anderson's articles flexing & collecting a couple of times on DE but can't remember where they are. You might Google. I found them VERY helpful.

Squeaker knows the pattern so she doesn't need to practice it but she does need to be in shape. We focus on the horse being in shape but the rider needs to be conditioned too. The centrifical force of a horse turning a barrel can send the rider off the side! The rider must not use the reins to balance with either so must either grab the horn or have one heck of seat.

I don't think Squeaker should see a barrel pattern for a couple of months or until she's in shape.

When I was showing, I seldom ever ran a pattern at home. We did a lot of extended trotting & pulled a log!

Karen ~ Trails
&
Joe Paint Gelding
Paoli, IN


"My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sun and neigh in the night."



~~~~~~
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Country Bumpkin
Advanced Rider



USA
168 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  11:55:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Country Bumpkin's Homepage Send Country Bumpkin a Private Message
OK, every time I have rode her this week I have worked on flexing her,bending her,etc. And I have started an exercise program for her.
Tell me if you think this is ok: I am trotting her out for about half a mile, I vary between slow trot and extended. And then I have her do a quarter of a mile in a canter. And then I walk her out one quarter of a mile. I plan on doing that 2 times a week to start plus I plan on doing hill work with her 2 times a week to start. I have her go up and down ditches and also have her back up them and back down them to build her muscles a bit more. I do that about 15 minutes,twice a week. And I ride her about an hour or two every other day,doing light work.
Is the trotting and cantering ok? When I did it the first time she was only breathing a little hard but after just a moment it was back down to normal.
I am going to write down all the things you said so I can use my notes when I ride lol.
I don't want Squeaker to get sour at doing them and every time she acts like she's having a ball out there.She really loves to run and if someone is riding her and they try to do the pattern wrong,she gets upset with them lol.
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Country Bumpkin
Advanced Rider



USA
168 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2006 :  11:55:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Country Bumpkin's Homepage Send Country Bumpkin a Private Message
OK, every time I have rode her this week I have worked on flexing her,bending her,etc. And I have started an exercise program for her.
Tell me if you think this is ok: I am trotting her out for about half a mile, I vary between slow trot and extended. And then I have her do a quarter of a mile in a canter. And then I walk her out one quarter of a mile. I plan on doing that 2 times a week to start plus I plan on doing hill work with her 2 times a week to start. I have her go up and down ditches and also have her back up them and back down them to build her muscles a bit more. I do that about 15 minutes,twice a week. And I ride her about an hour or two every other day,doing light work.
Is the trotting and cantering ok? When I did it the first time she was only breathing a little hard but after just a moment it was back down to normal.
I am going to write down all the things you said so I can use my notes when I ride lol.
I don't want Squeaker to get sour at doing them and every time she acts like she's having a ball out there.She really loves to run and if someone is riding her and they try to do the pattern wrong,she gets upset with them lol.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  12:57:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
If what you are doing is working for her then fine. I don't know the horse's shape now but normally when you start out it's real slow, you warm them up slowly for about 15-20 minutes and then do some troting(1 min), walking(5 min), trotting(1 min), walking(5min), back and forther, more walking then trotting when you start. You have to watch their breathing and heart rate. Time things out so that you push them just a little but not so much it takes them too long to recover. That would be your first week. Second week might add in a faster trot for one of the trots, or lengthen the time of the trots(like trot 2 mins, walk 5 min, trot 2 mins OR Trot 1min, walk 5, trot 2 mins, walk 5) The times don't have to be the same, just enough of a push for the troting to get the horse's heart rate up and enough of the slower for them to recover some what. The better they get the longer you can keep the heart rate up and the shorted the time it takes for it to come down. Week 3 would be a little more and build it up like that. One week you add the canter once the horse can handling troting for a ways. You slowly build up the times and speed. Backing up and down hills is great but it's one of those things you need to watch. The horse has to already have some what of a condition to handle it and be stretched out and warmed up or they will pull something. Another good one with backing is backing in circles. It doesn't really help with muscles so much as it is is a great tool for getting them flexible and light. When you work on bending remember that it isn't just the head and neck but you have to work the whole body too.

Everyone has their own way of conditioning a horse, you just need to find what is working for her and use that.

Onething I forget is that you can use a cone to mark your rate. You are teaching someone to ride barrel's right? That cone might be helpful for the rider to know when and where to rate the horse. You can also place other cones as markers, far enough away of the barrel that the horse isn't bothered by them. It's one thing to say when to do something but another to have to do it when going around a barrel and there is 800 things you need to do in a short amount of time.
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  12:57:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
If what you are doing is working for her then fine. I don't know the horse's shape now but normally when you start out it's real slow, you warm them up slowly for about 15-20 minutes and then do some troting(1 min), walking(5 min), trotting(1 min), walking(5min), back and forther, more walking then trotting when you start. You have to watch their breathing and heart rate. Time things out so that you push them just a little but not so much it takes them too long to recover. That would be your first week. Second week might add in a faster trot for one of the trots, or lengthen the time of the trots(like trot 2 mins, walk 5 min, trot 2 mins OR Trot 1min, walk 5, trot 2 mins, walk 5) The times don't have to be the same, just enough of a push for the troting to get the horse's heart rate up and enough of the slower for them to recover some what. The better they get the longer you can keep the heart rate up and the shorted the time it takes for it to come down. Week 3 would be a little more and build it up like that. One week you add the canter once the horse can handling troting for a ways. You slowly build up the times and speed. Backing up and down hills is great but it's one of those things you need to watch. The horse has to already have some what of a condition to handle it and be stretched out and warmed up or they will pull something. Another good one with backing is backing in circles. It doesn't really help with muscles so much as it is is a great tool for getting them flexible and light. When you work on bending remember that it isn't just the head and neck but you have to work the whole body too.

Everyone has their own way of conditioning a horse, you just need to find what is working for her and use that.

Onething I forget is that you can use a cone to mark your rate. You are teaching someone to ride barrel's right? That cone might be helpful for the rider to know when and where to rate the horse. You can also place other cones as markers, far enough away of the barrel that the horse isn't bothered by them. It's one thing to say when to do something but another to have to do it when going around a barrel and there is 800 things you need to do in a short amount of time.
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  05:29:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
One tip that works well for me when starting or for practice on barrels is to walk the pattern. At each barrel stop where you would normally rate the horse, somewhere about 5 to 10 feet from the barrel at a point about 4 feet off the barrel to the outside( you can mark this with a cone) . Your inside leg should be holding the horse off the barrel. Then enourage a quick walk off on around the barrel ( still holding the inside leg and leading / bending the horse firmly around your leg and hence the barrel)and on to the next barrel. Line up directly to the next rate spot keeping your line sraight and your head up. Repeat on the second and third barrel with an increase to trot onn the way home.

When you have a good solid pattern here, may take several days of consistent practice until the horse begins looking for the place to stop ( at the rate spot) and learns to keep off your leg while bending and accelerating around the barrel, move on to doing the same thing at a trot except break the horse to a walk at the rate point and accelerate around your leg and barrel back to the trot. You can go through a transition here from jogs to fast trots but the key point is teaching the horse to rate at the correct spot and to refine your slow down / rate cue which will develop into a slight touch on the reins and a sitting down and back in the saddle at the rate spot.

When you and your horse are comfortable at the trot move up to a slow canter, slowing to a trot at the rate point. You will probably have to adjust the rate point as your speed increases.

The next step will be a fast gallop slowing to a canter around the barrel, but please make sure you are very solid at the slower speeds first.

The main point here is to teach the horse and your self the clues to rating and develop them before you go to faster speeds. Make sure that you do not let the horse pick the speed or the point to rate. Make doubly sure that the horse respects the rate cue you develop. The rate or transition cue can be practised without a barrel when moving from fast to slow trots , trots to walks, canters to trots etc. without resistance and on demand.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  05:29:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
One tip that works well for me when starting or for practice on barrels is to walk the pattern. At each barrel stop where you would normally rate the horse, somewhere about 5 to 10 feet from the barrel at a point about 4 feet off the barrel to the outside( you can mark this with a cone) . Your inside leg should be holding the horse off the barrel. Then enourage a quick walk off on around the barrel ( still holding the inside leg and leading / bending the horse firmly around your leg and hence the barrel)and on to the next barrel. Line up directly to the next rate spot keeping your line sraight and your head up. Repeat on the second and third barrel with an increase to trot onn the way home.

When you have a good solid pattern here, may take several days of consistent practice until the horse begins looking for the place to stop ( at the rate spot) and learns to keep off your leg while bending and accelerating around the barrel, move on to doing the same thing at a trot except break the horse to a walk at the rate point and accelerate around your leg and barrel back to the trot. You can go through a transition here from jogs to fast trots but the key point is teaching the horse to rate at the correct spot and to refine your slow down / rate cue which will develop into a slight touch on the reins and a sitting down and back in the saddle at the rate spot.

When you and your horse are comfortable at the trot move up to a slow canter, slowing to a trot at the rate point. You will probably have to adjust the rate point as your speed increases.

The next step will be a fast gallop slowing to a canter around the barrel, but please make sure you are very solid at the slower speeds first.

The main point here is to teach the horse and your self the clues to rating and develop them before you go to faster speeds. Make sure that you do not let the horse pick the speed or the point to rate. Make doubly sure that the horse respects the rate cue you develop. The rate or transition cue can be practised without a barrel when moving from fast to slow trots , trots to walks, canters to trots etc. without resistance and on demand.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  09:46:32 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Martha Josey has been asked hundreds of times what is the biggest mistake she sees with barrel horses, and her #1 answer is "No rate." Too many people want to skip the slow training and go straight to racing around those barrels. Barrel racing isn't all speed. It's getting your slow works down pat first, and getting your horse consistent on your cues and turning the barrel. If he can't do it at a walk or a trot, he definitely won't be able to do it at a full run. Rate is one of the most important things any horse needs to know to become a winning barrel horse.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  09:46:32 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Martha Josey has been asked hundreds of times what is the biggest mistake she sees with barrel horses, and her #1 answer is "No rate." Too many people want to skip the slow training and go straight to racing around those barrels. Barrel racing isn't all speed. It's getting your slow works down pat first, and getting your horse consistent on your cues and turning the barrel. If he can't do it at a walk or a trot, he definitely won't be able to do it at a full run. Rate is one of the most important things any horse needs to know to become a winning barrel horse.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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Country Bumpkin
Advanced Rider



USA
168 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  11:31:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Country Bumpkin's Homepage Send Country Bumpkin a Private Message
Ok,thanks everyone for the great tips so far! Keep em coming if you can think of anything else to add. And I will probably have more questions later lol.
Squeaker is in fairly decent shape.She's not overweight at all and has good muscle tone.It was just that she hadn't really been rode in about 3 months or longer and her stamina had deteriated some.
I noticed on a few times Squeaker would go in close to the barrel and leave the turn going wide. So I will tell Kayti to take her in a bit wider and leave closer to the barrel,like you said before.
I don't think she's too happy about not being able to run the pattern each time though lol
But I told her if she was going to show her at barrels,she was going to have to work hard and do it right.
Tomorrow I am going to do some work with her,trying the things I read on here.
Thanks!
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Country Bumpkin
Advanced Rider



USA
168 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2006 :  11:31:49 PM  Show Profile  Visit Country Bumpkin's Homepage Send Country Bumpkin a Private Message
Ok,thanks everyone for the great tips so far! Keep em coming if you can think of anything else to add. And I will probably have more questions later lol.
Squeaker is in fairly decent shape.She's not overweight at all and has good muscle tone.It was just that she hadn't really been rode in about 3 months or longer and her stamina had deteriated some.
I noticed on a few times Squeaker would go in close to the barrel and leave the turn going wide. So I will tell Kayti to take her in a bit wider and leave closer to the barrel,like you said before.
I don't think she's too happy about not being able to run the pattern each time though lol
But I told her if she was going to show her at barrels,she was going to have to work hard and do it right.
Tomorrow I am going to do some work with her,trying the things I read on here.
Thanks!
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Country Bumpkin
Advanced Rider



USA
168 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2006 :  12:40:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Country Bumpkin's Homepage Send Country Bumpkin a Private Message
Ok, Kayti came yesterday afternoon after school and we worked on the barrels for about an hour. I explained to her how I wanted her to do them and she thought the whole thing sounded backwards from what she was supposed to do lol,but after she did it several times doing walk and trot I let her move up to the faster stuff. At the slower speeds though I made her work on rate and how wide she went around the barrel and she didn't do the same pattern over and over again. She also did a LOT of transitions and when they were ready to do the faster runs Squeaker was running better than she had ever ran. She rated good and was listening more to kayti and she was actually really using her butt more and the only time she got too close is when Kayti forgot to come in wide at the first barrel.
After each faster run I had Kayti do a pattern at a walk/trot and during the rest breaks Kayti rode her around the barrel area just walking and working on bending and flexing.
After Kayti saw that their runs were much better she didn't think the new training plan was so crazy lol.

So THANK YOU to everyone who offered tips and advice. I can't believe what a difference they made.We'll keep at it and hopefully she'll get an award at the end of the season :)
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Hook
Trail Boss (Moderator)



Canada
6115 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2006 :  1:17:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hook's Homepage Send Hook a Private Message
Great news. Glad to see it helped. Plan works great for all who took the advice.

Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 01/06/2006 :  1:31:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Keep us updated. It isn't neat to see everything just fall into place.
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