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Old 06-26-2006, 03:56 PM  
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Training a horse to run barrels question

Hi all,

My 13 year old daughter is wanting to enter her horse in some local barrel races and I'm wondering if there are any online guides or do you have to buy books and videos on how to train the horse to run them?

I carried her to a local horse show and events show this past Saturday and she did the speed race which is a down and back around one barrel and then the actual cloverleaf patterned barrels.

Of course her horse looks at the barrels like "what's the purpose of this thing and will it eat me?" and he didn't like going under the entry into the arena at all. I had to lead him in to the edge of the arena and he stopped about 20 foot from the entrance when he got through. She didn't have a blazing time by any stretch of the imagination.....I could have run them on foot faster myself.

I'm sure there are some barrel racers here aren't there?
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Old 06-26-2006, 04:05 PM  
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training to run barrels

Yes I'm a barrel racer... well ok used to be when I was younger but going to be again soon.. lol Any way.. The key to good barrels is a well broke horse. The horse needs to be able to start, stop, turn and move off the leg for your good "ideal" pattern. You daughter should start by getting some barrels and walk the pattern. Lot's of walking.. Then move to trotting but slow to a walk a stride before the barrel to teach the horse to "rate" the turn. then after turning the barrel, pick up the trot again. Do this several times a day until the horse gets the pattern learned. But a word of caution, don't make that the only thing the horse does. break up the pattern training with trail rides or just some good old fashioned conditioning. Too much arena work can sour the horse and he won't think it's fun any more.
I hope that helps.. If you have any other questions please feel free to send me a message..

Good Luck!
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Old 06-26-2006, 04:07 PM  
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when training a horse that has no barrell racing experiance, you need to start out everything going slow. speed comes much later. i would suggest if your daughter rides in a curb bit, or something of that sort, to switch to a snaffle or tom thumb. that way she can direct rein. start doing the pattern at a walk, get your horse use to the pattern and the barrells. then you can graduate to a trot, just keep in mind to be patient and try not to go too fast too soon!!!! it wouldn't be a bad idea to buy your daughter a book on barrell racing training. that way she could read it and learn that way too.
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Old 06-26-2006, 04:32 PM  
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Western Horseman publishes several really good books that take you from begining to end. I listed them on a thread titled LOOK earlier. I really like Sharon Camarillos way of teaching a horse to properly run barrel patterns.

The most important thing to stress is to take the time to teach both horse and rider the proper way to run a pattern before ever adding speed. Start at a walk and only move on to a trot once it is perfected at the walk and so on. Speed doesn't matter a bit if you knock barrels or go off course.
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Old 06-26-2006, 05:06 PM  
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As everyone said, but if your daughter has never trained a barrel horse, I do suggest finding a trainer to help.

Barrel horses can easily be blowed if not trained right.

It takes more than a few months to train a barrel horse.

It has taken me a good year to get one seasoned and running.

Push one to fast and there can be lots of problems.
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:03 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv2Game
i would suggest if your daughter rides in a curb bit, or something of that sort, to switch to a snaffle or tom thumb.
I would never ride any horse in a tom thumb, they send way to many mixed signals to the horse and put pressure on some many different places in the mouth that the horse is never going to have any idea of what you are asking of it, and it will probably respond by shaking it's head and opening it's mouth to relieve pressure. I would try the regular snaffle but never a tom thumb, JMO
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Old 06-27-2006, 06:21 AM  
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Martha Josey is another great.

Jyates, you can get her DVD's and they are awsome. I have them.
Also check around in your area to go to a few barrel clinics.
I have drove for a weekend over 200 miles. You bring your horse and they work with you from the very begining.
I would do research on who to go to.

Now if you can take her to a Martha Josey week clinic, you will get your moneys worth then some.

Here is the link
http://www.barrelracers.com/

I have to say that once a horse ia a seasoned horse, most of them, you can run in anything. I ran my mare in a snaffle as well as a curb. She turned on her own like clock work. There are some who have ran with nothing, due to losing the bridle all together, and go on to win.
Its all in how you train one.

Mr. J, maybe you could look around for a older seasoned barrel horse for her to take and learn on while hers is in training.
Hauling and running wont be for a while and she may want to try and compete to get the hang of it when her's is ready to go.
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Old 06-27-2006, 09:18 AM  
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Thanks very much for the good advice....Martha Josey's place isn't all that far away from me.....probably in the area of 125 miles or so away.

I had found a good used Circle Y Connie Combs barrel saddle for Jessica last year so I got that part done anyway!

We've got plenty of time for training and you'll laugh at this but her horse is a TWH (trail horse) which probably isn't known to be the barrel horse of choice but it's what she has and he is a good horse and capable of learning the pattern easy enough. She isn't wanting to be a world champion and I don't want to be gone every weekend to events in the region either so it's a good mix. Just something to do as a father/daughter project.
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Old 06-27-2006, 09:21 AM  
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Jyates,

I have seen TW run barrels, with children.
They do an awesome job.

If your daughter likes it and wants to compete on a more higher level,
then maybe you can look into getting her a barrel horse for that.

Lots of pics.
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Old 06-27-2006, 09:30 AM  
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He's a good horse and it will be fun for her to work with and learn something new.

A lady told me that TWH's tend to do well in the poles event since
they carry their heads up naturally....we might try him there also.
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Old 06-27-2006, 09:58 PM  
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please allow me to stand corrected. cascy has a very good point, one of which i was unaware of. i PM'ed her about the tom thumb bit and she sent me a link, i read it and i will be throwing out my ton thumb bit. i had no idea of the type of pressure it puts on the horses mouth. so please disregard my saying to possibly switch to a tom thumb. however, i still think it is easier to train a horse for any kind of speed games in a snaffle, because of all of the turning involved. i think it is easier to be able to direct rein. and i totally agree with whomever suggested finding a trainer in the area to help. anyway, i just wanted to share what i learned!!! thanks and good luck, let us know how it goes as she progresses.
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Old 06-28-2006, 07:58 AM  
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luck

I have nothing to add, but I wanted to say good luck! What a neat thing to have your daughter try something new! Also, in my opinion, every horse ought to be given the chance to try different disciplines. I do all sorts of things with my quarter horse that he wasn't "bred" to do, doesn't mean he can't do them!

Have fun!
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