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Pole Bending Problem

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My 5 yr old, which I've posted videos of, has an issue with poles. The 2nd turn he does not wish to turn. Sigh. This is not a problem at home. Only away from home. I have tried slowing him to a jog for the turn... no dice, picks up his head, bows his shoulder and drags toward the gate.

I have tried stopping him and then walking/joggin. Nope... same thing. Lope. Same. Speed. Same. Lots of outside leg. Steady outside rein. Cussing. Beating. Digging his grave. Ok, maybe not quite that extreme, but you get the picture.

HELP?! What do I do?

My next thought is to carry a bat and beat the snot out of his shoulder.

I ride him in a sweet 6, which is enough bit. Should I step up to a bit with more bite?

I realize he is young and something he is going through, but this is turning into a bad habbit that needs to be fixed. Ideas? Input?

Vids from Saturday:





Poles from last month:


Barrels last month:


Edited by SpottedTApps

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I think she is doing very well for a 5 year old. I could not see two of the videos but the two during the day this is what I see.

Like I said she is doing well switching her leads and it looks like your taking your time with her but I have a feeling that down the road you may run into some problems of her shouldering. She is very ratey in her turns and its almost like you are sneaking into the turn then letting her dump her shoulder on the backside.

Right now it probably feels good and even looks okay but once you start to add more speed she may start diving at the barrel or pole and then getting bogged down on the back side because she is not turning it properly.

Try loping her into the barrel with her shoulder up and sides soft, then on the back side of the barrel do not let her drop and snap back (like I said it may feel okay now) keep her shoulder up through the whole turn making her circle the barrel several times if you have to

you can even practice without barrels just pick a spot in the arena lope to it pick her up make her give then let her turn meanwhile keeping that shoulder up and movement through the whole turn. Sometimes they will really want to loose momentum because its can be hard for them because they have instinct to drop that shoulder, once you teach them (this is why I like tires or just a spot I have picked so they dont get bored just doing it on the barrels) they will find it easier to turn this way

I think with your pole turn she is stalling because shes fighting for that lead, its tough for them to learn to switch so fast so just keep practicing and she will soon get that lead before the turn and she wont be fighting for it in the turn, in practice if they dont get the lead I dont make a big deal about it i will just circle them until they get it, even if I have to open up my circle and get momentum I just make them switch circle one or two more times then off I go like they got it the first time.

Hope this helps, it looks like you have a very nice catty little horse. I would be excited! Dont sweat it or make it an issue, just correct it by loping it a few times making her keep her movement, maybe take a bat get her attention then go on

edited to say, when I say shes fighting for that lead I mean her back lead, she switches in the front shes just crossfiring wich makes it hard for them to turn.

Just watched the video again, I love her!! I think shes nice!

Oh and sorry I called him and she my whole post oops

Edited by ranchhorses

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Well... I'd get after him. Not too much because you don't want him to be scared of that pole.. But maybe wear spurs on him. Or when he does that work the crap out of him..

I watched the videos. If it were me, I think I'd slow him down for awhile. He doesn't seem to know that he needs to finish his turns. Maybe do more exhibitions on him than anything and go around that middle pole an extra time or two. Maybe do that as well with the third barrel.

You could lope him down, and either stop or ask for him to slow down so he can just focus on his turns for awhile in the 'scary new places'.

Good luck though and keep us updated on him!

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Have you tried switching directions running poles? My daughter used to have the same problem with her horse, he's naturally right hoofed and we always made two right turns and one left turn. We switched to two left turns and one right turn and she has been doing great and running faster times than she's ever had on poles and the horse is 26 years old. It seems like horses don't seem to have as much of a problem turning the first/last pole, but hang up on the middle off side turn. Just a suggestion to see if it makes any difference. :grin:

Edited by Running for fun

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