Anonymous asked in PetsHorses · 2 months ago

Barrel racing help?!?

I'm training my gelding for barrels, and when we gently lope them, he goes waaayyyy to wide. We keep bringing him back to the basics of walk and trot barrels, as well as some barrel acing exercises, and loping a lot, but nothings helping... what should I do? And, when we lope or trot hime, he always goes straight for the gate instead of going in a straight line. But it's only when my friend is riding him and not me... could it be a lack of respect? My horses respect me a lot, but not my friend (who is a beginner rider and I'm an intermediate ). Any tips? Also, please only nice, helpful ones. I've been answered about one other question regarding my dogs health, and it was quite rude. Thanks. 

4 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    It's not a lack of respect, it's a lack of flexibility, balance, and strength, probably in both the rider and the horse.

    To do those tight turns, your horse has to be collected, with his hind end well under him and his face drawn in towards his body to keep his center of balance compact.  The rider must also be aware of this, keeping her body over his center of balance, not leaning into the turn like he's a motorcyle, and not flopping all over and affecting his balance.

    Take him back to the basics - but not the basics of barrel racing!  Teach yourselves how to actually ride properly.  Learn how to collect and extend him.  Learn how to cue the turns most effectively.  Learn how to get him balanced, and how to balance your selves.

    There is a lot more to barrel racing than getting on,kicking him to go fast, yanking him around the barrel, and heading for the next one. 

    Doing it at a trot doesn't help with these basics.

    You might try getting an instructor to help you - they can do an amazing job, you'd be surprised.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    I like to do this exercise where there's one barrel in the middle of the arena. You walk your horse up to it (eventually lope and trot, too) and at first, let him sniff it, figure out what it is. Then walk him around the barrel, using the same commands as you would if you were running the pattern. (For example, inside leg and steer 'round the barrel, while looking to the next barrel [where is would be if it was there.]) Do this at a walk, trot and lope. 

    I think he may be in "flight mode" because he feels you tense up in a turn, therefore he senses danger (even though there is none). This is a fairay common problem in training barrel horses, more so if they are green broke. Does he also tend to drift sideways on the home stretch? He may still be panicking, or its a habit, or he wants to go somewhere elose  (which is a lack of rrspect, which must be delt with right away befire you continue the pattern). If you have any other problems, id recommend contacting a local barrel horse trainer (or horse behaviorist or horse trainer), but NOT before you rule out any physical problems. Make sure the horse is conditioned with lots of loling, long distance trotting and lots of walking. Maybe trotting him over ground/trot poles? Make sure you are flexible and are giving the right cues. Now your lead changes, work on stopping, backing, and going left and right with slight changes in your weight. Get him flexible, same with yourself. Make sure he respects you, get him in shape, etc. 

    Hope this helps! 

    Source(s): Barrel horse trainer, Barrel racer, cutting horse trainer, over 20 years horse experience
  • *****
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If these things are only occurring when your friend is riding him, and not when you are, then it's your friend that needs training, not the horse. 

    If he's taking the barrels wide with all riders, it's likely a lack of flexibility and conditioning.  Tight turns require a fit, flexible, and balanced horse.

  • A
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    it takes time and conditioning for a horse to make those tight turns,  you need to do it slow at first,  he may also be a little leary of the barrel.  Go slow,  don't over do training sessions.  You say he goes right for the gate so it sounds like he may be a little ring sour, alternate training sessions with trail riding so doesn't come to hate it

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