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cowgirl.up121

Need More Speed!

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Okay, well my horse is very fast, but she doesn't show that while barrel racing. I worked on the basics for maybe 2-3 months, and then we were ready to start galloping the course. I just would like to know a couple tips on how to make her go faster. And no I will not use spurs or crops, she was neglected and slightly abused when I first bought her and so she is very scared of those to things! Thank you so much :)

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Your horse may be very smart and think, "Why should I run fast to that barrel if I'm just going to have to slow down again to go around it?"

If you have room, try varying the routine and running right past the barrel at times -- maybe even most of the time.

Do a lot of work elsewhere on transitions and turns to develop the horse's responses and flexibility.

Also, consider that you just might not have a barrel horse. Horses, like people, have different interests and abilities. Speed on a racetrack does not necessarilly relate to speeding, slowing, turning, and speeding.

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Try kissing/ clicking your tongue while going. Around the barrels even. Just remember most horses speed up on their own, and not all of them are going to be the fastest out there.

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What is her breeding, and what are you feeding her?

What basics do you have on her, and how did you decide that she is 'very fast"?

What bit are you riding her in and how much are you hanging on her mouth? Have you taught her to rate and use her rear?

There are times to feed some hot calories, depending on work/goals and why race horses are fed quite abit of grain.

Also, you might ask yourself why you wish to run barrels with her, yet have ahorse that you don't want t6o use either a corp or spurs on, to ask for speed. While body and rein position can encourage a horse to run, I have yet to see a barrel racer that used neither a crop or spurs!

Even race horses have the jockey carrying a crop

A horse will fear neither spurs or a crop if they are always used in a just manner. You always give them a chance to respond to the least amount of pressure, before you demand.

Thus, you can use just your legs , bumping them against her isdes, asking for speed, or a verbal kiss, and if no effort is put forth , then you can touch the horse lightly with either spurs or the crop. You have to give ahorse areason to listen to the lightest cue, versus ignoring it-sorry but that is the reality of it

Edited by Smilie

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Your horse may be very smart and think, "Why should I run fast to that barrel if I'm just going to have to slow down again to go around it?"

If you have room, try varying the routine and running right past the barrel at times -- maybe even most of the time.

Do a lot of work elsewhere on transitions and turns to develop the horse's responses and flexibility.

Also, consider that you just might not have a barrel horse. Horses, like people, have different interests and abilities. Speed on a racetrack does not necessarilly relate to speeding, slowing, turning, and speeding.

Well, thats the problem... I know she loves the barrels because she always gets prancy and wants to go before I even get close to where I would start the course. She has a million dollar turn as well, and I wouldn't want to waste that. But yes i will try what you said, thank you : )

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Try kissing/ clicking your tongue while going. Around the barrels even. Just remember most horses speed up on their own, and not all of them are going to be the fastest out there.

I always kiss to her to ask her to go faster, but thanks for your advice : )

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What is her breeding, and what are you feeding her?

What basics do you have on her, and how did you decide that she is 'very fast"?

What bit are you riding her in and how much are you hanging on her mouth? Have you taught her to rate and use her rear?

There are times to feed some hot calories, depending on work/goals and why race horses are fed quite abit of grain.

Also, you might ask yourself why you wish to run barrels with her, yet have ahorse that you don't want t6o use either a corp or spurs on, to ask for speed. While body and rein position can encourage a horse to run, I have yet to see a barrel racer that used neither a crop or spurs!

Even race horses have the jockey carrying a crop

A horse will fear neither spurs or a crop if they are always used in a just manner. You always give them a chance to respond to the least amount of pressure, before you demand.

Thus, you can use just your legs , bumping them against her isdes, asking for speed, or a verbal kiss, and if no effort is put forth , then you can touch the horse lightly with either spurs or the crop. You have to give ahorse areason to listen to the lightest cue, versus ignoring it-sorry but that is the reality of it

She has Colonel Freckles, Gay Bar King, Drift to The Bar showing on her reg. papers (She's not barrel bred). I feed her Safe Choice grain supplements include: Vita-Flex Accel, Glucosamine 5000, Biotin 100 Powder, Electrolytes, and ground up flax seed. I have done everything possible with this mare (I started her when I was 9) and I trained her to do everything possible except for with cows. (We are professionally trained in jumping by Wendy Pohl, who has the highest jumping record in the whole state of Utah on a horse called Mingo) and I do natural horsemanship with her including doing Freestyle riding. And I know she is fast because I race with my friends (One who has a 9 year old ex-race horse SI 89). She has gone un-beaten :) And I have a slightly harsh bit, but I don't tug on her at all. I'm a firm believer in the slightest pressure possible. And yes Ive taught her to do that. And trust me, If I even have a cop in my hands doing the barrels she with start to jump sideways before I even move it. I have tried for 3 years (with the help of a trainer) to get her to not mind whips but so far it has been useless. She is a good horse, and she has improved her speed in the last couple of months, so I think it may just take time. : )

Edited by cowgirl.up121

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Then run her in a snaffle for now, to give her confidence. She can very well be 'backing off' of that harsh bit

I used to run ganes on the horse I showed in western riding, reining, cattle and trail, in a snaffle with a tiedown He knew that was the equipement he wore when he was running apattern at speed

I showed him in a curb with just a medium port and shanks

Since he was very broke, including excellent body control and flying changes, he guided mainly off of my leg and seats and rated very well with a plain snaffle

The tiedown helped him balance in the turns, as many games horses do with a tiedown. That is also the only time I ever use a tiedown- when running gymkana events

There is a reason race horses run in a snaffle

Classiegames.jpg

Edited by Smilie

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Can you post a video of you on the pattern?

How long have you been running her? Does she know the pattern and what's expected of her or do you still have to do a lot of guiding?

I'm working on finding the right bit and seasoning my horse right now. I'm starting to push him out to the 1st, and then sit and let him find his way through the rest of the pattern, making adjustments where needed. If you've done the proper slow work at some point you have to make the horse take some responsibility upon themselves to get through the pattern. This will build their confidence in themselves and over time also build their speed. Make sure you're working her on a good conditioning program as well - when the weather allows I spend a ride or two a week in the arena and the other 4 or 5 rides in our pasture doing conditioning work where I also have a large flat area to do some lateral work as well.

Prancing and excitement doesn't always mean they love their job, could just as easily be nerves over what's to come. I would say though that as long as she's willingly going into the pen and working the pattern honestly that she at least is a willing participant.

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"And no I will not use spurs or crops, she was neglected and slightly abused when I first bought her and so she is very scared of those to things! Thank you so much :)"

I think that's wise. I read about a study in thehorse.com newsletter recently where that issue was studied. Horses who had a bat or spurs used on them during barrel racing actually had slower times than without them. I tried to copy a link for it but my technical savvy was deficient, LOL.

Young racehorses improve their speed with training and time.

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"And no I will not use spurs or crops, she was neglected and slightly abused when I first bought her and so she is very scared of those to things! Thank you so much :)"

I think that's wise. I read about a study in thehorse.com newsletter recently where that issue was studied. Horses who had a bat or spurs used on them during barrel racing actually had slower times than without them. I tried to copy a link for it but my technical savvy was deficient, LOL.

Young racehorses improve their speed with training and time.

Well, we then will be seeing those NBRA champions riding without bats or spurs, as fractions of seconds count (tongue in cheek comment ! )

As a performance rider, i don't ride with a bat, and only use spurs to achieve very light complience to leg aids, as a secondary cue., but I think it will be some time before we see race horses run without crops or top open barrel horses without either a crop or spurs!

Curious that you have A problem riding with spurs, yet none with using a bit that in youe own words is quire harsh.

I also thought you started this horse, so how was she ever 'abused' with spurs?

Also, a horse that gets excited at the start, like many gymkana horses, but then won't run hard is a contradiction.

Those horses either have the adrenaline surging through them, or have started to associate runing at speed in those patterns with pain-often inflicted because they don't hav ethe basics on them that allows them to be guided around those patterns, versus manipulated around them with a strong bit

A touch with a spur , when needed, to back up legs, is way more kinder than getting into the mouth with a strong bit

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I would also add, that 2 to 3 months is not long to spend working on the basics before going into galloping the pattern.

I've had my horse on the pattern over 12 months and we still don't run the pattern full tilt, we're just now starting to add more and more speed.

Does she slow work the pattern on her own at the walk, trot, and lope with little guidance from you? Does she ride a proper perfect circle? Do you have full control of her shoulders and hips, side passes, leg yields, shoulder in's, haunches in, and proper roll backs? Is she set back properly working off her hind end? With high speed comes the requirement for great body control, and putting responsibility on the horse for keeping that body control. Once body control is achieved the horse is ready to be hauled and seasoned, to gain confidence and with confidence comes speed. Some horses pick it up faster than others.

It sounds as if there are probably some holes in her training that are affecting her ability to be confidence on the pattern.

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I would also add, that 2 to 3 months is not long to spend working on the basics before going into galloping the pattern.

I've had my horse on the pattern over 12 months and we still don't run the pattern full tilt, we're just now starting to add more and more speed.

Does she slow work the pattern on her own at the walk, trot, and lope with little guidance from you? Does she ride a proper perfect circle? Do you have full control of her shoulders and hips, side passes, leg yields, shoulder in's, haunches in, and proper roll backs? Is she set back properly working off her hind end? With high speed comes the requirement for great body control, and putting responsibility on the horse for keeping that body control. Once body control is achieved the horse is ready to be hauled and seasoned, to gain confidence and with confidence comes speed. Some horses pick it up faster than others.

It sounds as if there are probably some holes in her training that are affecting her ability to be confidence on the pattern.

I meant when I first started, I have worked on the basics more than that now :) And I started to galop so early when I first started because she passed everything with flying colors, haha. And yes, she does all that and more. And Smilie please get off my topic. You have been very rude to me and I don't want you on my topic, thank you very much.

And this whole week she has been improving on her speed, she has gotten alot faster. And I can't send you a vid, sorry. I have no video camera, lol.

Edited by cowgirl.up121

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Smilie has not been rude to you, she's just asking honest questions, frankly questions that are on my mind as well. Sorry we're not all butterfly farts and "kiss to make her go!" But rather calling into question the equipment choices and training process behind the results you're seeing. Both of which have been met with no real in depth answers, or no answers at all.

I can't help those who don't really want to be helped. Best of luck to you.

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. And Smilie please get off my topic. You have been very rude to me and I don't want you on my topic, thank you very much.

Public domain. There is no kicking people off your thread, there is only employing the block feature or, in the case of actual rule-breaking, reporting a post to admin.

How old are you, exactly?

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"Well, we then will be seeing those NBRA champions riding without bats or spurs, as fractions of seconds count (tongue in cheek comment ! )"

Yes, well, some people are diametrically opposed to change and some don't even believe in science. But that doesn't keep the rest of us from learning and improving our methods. There are plenty of horses on the track that will flat out quit when hit with a whip. Their trainers have no problem telling their jocks not to use the whip.

I also use spurs to back up leg aids. I use a whip when I ride too, but I don't use it for speed. (I've kinda gotten used to Jubal's turtle speed.) I mostly use it to chase flies off his neck.

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And I'm sure that those NBHA riders who have horses who flat out quit when they are hit don't hit them. They didn't get where they are being stupid.

I know my horse, he has several gears without going to the whip, go to the whip and he has overdrive. If i'm laying down $100+ per race or rodeo I want overdrive.

Can you cite this study you're quoting?

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I can't get the link to copy. Go to www.thehorse.com and search at the top for article 31330.

Just for the record, I don't have a dog in this fight. I quit barrel racing at 15. I just thought the article was interesting. And if the OP doesn't care to hit her horse to make him go faster, she has the right.

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I read the article and would agree at the local amateur youth level, which appears to be what they studied that it makes no difference.

I am about 20 minutes from MSU, just ran a jackpot there last week, probably watched a number of the horses they studied actually. I can tell you the majority of our youth 4-H kids around here need to go back to the basics, teach their horses flex and proper turning of the barrel, work on getting them set back on their hind end better. They are largely making runs on saints of horses by relying on kicking, jerking, spurring, and whipping rather than bringing the horse along to take responsibility and do it right themselves - and they're getting beat by the youths who do these things, who are making faster runs by turning better barrels and have no need to go to the whip against the competition they see at the local level. I've also seen those same riders run against open competition at state and higher levels and they most certainly do go to the whip coming home.

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What reasonable, effective alternatives to spurs/whips can she try for getting that extra push?

This? vv

I can tell you the majority of our youth 4-H kids around here need to go back to the basics, teach their horses flex and proper turning of the barrel, work on getting them set back on their hind end better.

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I can't get the link to copy. Go to www.thehorse.com and search at the top for article 31330.

Just for the record, I don't have a dog in this fight. I quit barrel racing at 15. I just thought the article was interesting. And if the OP doesn't care to hit her horse to make him go faster, she has the right.

go here http://www.thehorse.com/articles/31330/aggressive-aids-effects-on-barrel-racing-horses-studied

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This? vv

The OP claims she's done all that and her horse is solid in all the basics and running a proper pattern. Without seeing a video there's not much else we can suggest if she doesn't want to go to a mechanic aid.

About the only thing I can suggest, and ill probably get flamed, is a tie down. Some horses, mine included, roll back around a barrel quicker with a tie down to balance on.

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I don't know that I would start encouraging the horse to run past the barrel. That sounds like a recipe for disaster and will lead to the horse ducking out or passing the barrel in competition...

I would make sure your slow work is really solid and as someone else said, switch to a snaffle. If your horse has a solid pattern like you say, then you shouldn't need such a harsh bit. If you've only been working the pattern for 2-3 months then I would say that the speed will come with time/experience. How fit is your horse? It's not easy for a horse to get up to top speed in such a short amount of time in between barrels.

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i'm completely convinced that whatever discipline you're having fun with, the horse has to be on his haunches.

tie-downs? i know barrel racers love to believe that it gives the horse balance. okay. i don't do that. but i DO chase cows, and there you get the inconvenient truth. too much rein? horse doesn't respect your seat and leg? can't CARRY HIMSELF?

cow is GONE :grin: .

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What kind of bit is it exactly?

A snaffle is not a fix all, not every horse can run in a snaffle. A well trained barrel horse you shouldn't need to be in their face at all. I beileve in using the bit that works with using the least amount of pressure. A tie down should only be needed for the turns, not speed. If she has perfect turns I would leave it at that. You don't want to push her to soon and blow your turns. I would keep letting her increase herself speed wise. You will feel her getting faster.

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Okay, well my horse is very fast, but she doesn't show that while barrel racing. I worked on the basics for maybe 2-3 months, and then we were ready to start galloping the course. I just would like to know a couple tips on how to make her go faster. And no I will not use spurs or crops, she was neglected and slightly abused when I first bought her and so she is very scared of those to things! Thank you so much :)

2-3 months of the basics and then straight to galloping the pattern? I know top barrel racers don't only gallop the pattern, in fact, the *only* time they ask for full speed on the pattern is during a show, otherwise its lots of slow work, circles, rating, bending and flexing, yielding haunches/shoulders in/out, perfecting the body control at a slower speed, and doing other exercises not involving barrels/poles to stimulate the mind and get them thinking. If could be your horse is not confident enough to run the pattern at full speed because one or more if these basic skills were missed, therefore holes in training, and the only way to fix the holes is to go back to the basics (which does usually mean going back to a snaffle) and make sure you are covering them. When your horse is consistent performing all of these at walk/trot/canter you can start adding the speed. If you don't know how to teach proper basics find the guidance of a trainer. Asking for too much speed too soon or all the time can cause resentment in your horse, they will get arena sour or even refuse to run, as well as setting him up for injury because he is not properly conditioned.

Edited by Smokum

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I wasn't suggesting that I think this horse needs a tie down, heck I haven't seen a picture of her let alone a video to even start to make a determination. I was more along the lines of the OP claims that the horse has solid basics, does everything I've asked if she does perfectly, and couldn't possibly be running the pattern any more perfectly...if this were all to be true, and I don't personally believe it to be, then I think a tie down would be something to fiddle with. I know 1D horses who turn into 4D horses without one. I highly doubt Sheri Cervi would run Stingray in a tie-down (a few NFR's ago, now a bonnet) if she didn't need it...among other top level competitors.

At the end of the day, better turns are going to make a bigger difference in the pattern. I think this mare has a lot of work on her turns to be done. But since no video exists, I can't say for sure.

And at the end of the day, some horses just aren't fast. She could be running just as fast off the 3rd as she is racing the OP's friends horse - the friends horse might run a far slower barrel pattern too. Or they will go out and run a handy pattern, do it well, but not have the same competitive edge as when they are side by side with another horse - for the same reason some racehorses run better when they are held back and close late whereas if they were lead from the beginning they'd not have the drive to get ahead.

Edited by MarsCandyBar

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How about doing some breezing away from the pattern? Find a nice, flat, safe stretch to really let her get out and run and figure out what cues get her to go. She might just need to know what exactly you're asking for.

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