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cowgirl.up121

Need More Speed!

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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.

That's a great way to help her condition in general.

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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: .

Nick, of course you don't use a tie down in working cowhorse-for one thing, it is not legal!

I have done working cowhorse. At one time, the dry work used to be a lot rougher than that of a reiner, but now a winning cowhorse dry pattern has almost as much finess as that of a reiner

The cowhorse has to have very good body control on him, but he also has a reason to work and rate-the cow.

Take them down the fence for awhile, and they soon learn how to turn that cow on the fence, keeping working advantage-same for circling the cow both ways.

Each dicipline has their own tools/methods to get that winning go or run. I'm certainly not a pro barrel rider, but have won games at the breed level. I accept that in games, running a pattern at speed, a horse does learn to use that tiedown to help balance himself coming out of those turns. The other place a tiedown is generally accepted, is in roping.

In roping, a horse is not set up for a stop, like areiner, but has to stop hard and deep, suddenly, while also absorbing that sudden jerk of that calf on the end of the rope, thus a tie down has application there also

I'm not about to try and tell a pro barrel racer that they don't need a tiedown on, when going for fractions of seconds against the clock!

Other than that, tie downs have no place in general riding or performance. I have not used one , since I last ran barrels and poles some 15 or more years

ago

If you wish to compare an English event, where sudden changes of direction are made, at speed, I guess closest would be polo, and I see horses wearing tiedowns there

Edited by Smilie

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If you wish to compare an English event, where sudden changes of direction are made, at speed, I guess closest would be polo, and I see horses wearing tiedowns there

While certain equipment may be common in a specific activity, that does not make it necessary. In "The Faraway Horses", Buck Brannaman tells of his experience at the Royal Palm Polo club at Boca Raton, Florida. It was his first time playing polo.

As he was saddling up for the match, the man who ran the club said to him, "Son, I can't let you play your horses in a plain snaffle bit. You're going to get somebody hurt, or get somebody killed."

[buck explains: "Polo ponies are played in gag snaffles, full bridles with long curbs, and other severe bits that create the kind of stopping power the players want their horses to have, However, that wasn't my way. My horses were all capable of doing the quick turns and hard stops that ranch horses have in common with polo ponies, but mine went in plain snaffles."]

Buck replied, "I know that grounds fees for this club are seventy-five hundred bucks for the three months I'm supposed to be here. Why don't you just let me play a chukker or two, and if you think I'm dangerous to people, then I won't come back anymore. I'll just go back to Montana where I belong, and you can keep the seventy-five hundred bucks, and I'm out of here." The man agreed. After the match, the club manager said to Buck, "I'm sorry to have doubted you, but you have to understand the type of horsemen or would-be horsemen that I'm used to seeing. You can play in a snaffle bit around me anytime."

The type of equipment needed depends more on the horse and the rider than on the activity.

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our neighbor is a polo barn. (polo schule carlito valesquez at the chiemsee). i suppose you could say some of the people can ride, to the extent that they don't fall off. we have five major tournaments in front of our noses during the season. sometimes you feel like you can't watch, but you do because it's like watching a train wreck happening in slow motion.

there's a reason these criollo/tb crosses from argentina are advertized as "tolerant, easy-going, level-headed". they HAVE to be to put up with the nonsense going on on board.

the horses are EXTREMELY atheletic with the level of body control you see in some grand prix level dressage horses. but the main thing is they put up with amazing amounts of crap--yanking, pulling, bracing, hanging and banging from the riders (and i mean the grooms as well).

but then again, they get 6 months off to recover, so who am i to say it's not a decent life for a horse?

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It is natural for both riders and horses to get excited in the heat of competition. The faster the action, the greater the emotions. When a rider gets anxious, the horse generally gets anxious. When a horse gets tense, the rider generally gets tense. Each reacts to the other.

This is were practice under relaxed conditions can help. I emphasize to my students that the better they learn to move with their horses in a walk, the more natural it will be for them to follow their horses' movements in a trot, canter, or gallop. The better a rider follows his horse's movements, the better a horse can move and the more relaxed it will be. The more relaxed a horse is, the more likely he will be able to sense and respond to even a light cue. The better a rider moves with his horse, the more likely the horse will recognize a cue to be a cue.

If we lean or pull in turns, a horse who can turn quickly and sharply on its own must also adjust for our actions. This will not be the type of turn he will look forward to, and he will probably do whatever he can to make the turn easier such as approaching more slowly if he knows the turn is coming up. If one accepts this premise, working on making the turns easier by moving with the horse and guiding its natural movements should help reduce its defensive actions. The horse might worry less about approaching the turn with speed if it knows it will be able to tuck and turn it a more natural manner.

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Nick, to be very clear, I'm all about body control and softness, as that is the way my horses are trained from day one.

Could I have run games without a tiedown? Sure, as I had that body control on my horse, afterall, I did show him in reining, western riding , cattle events and trail, one handed.

You and TX are preaching to the choir

Ever see a western riding pattern, which consists of a series of lead changes, at percise locations between markers , ridden one handed, on aloose rein-better believe the horse has body control!

Stacy Westfall has proven you can ride a complete reining pattern without any tack, period-once you get that horse truly broke. We are talking fast and slow cirlces, spins, sliding stops, speed control and lead changes

HOwever, as stated, there is equipement used in many disciplines that are accepted as normal, and I'm not about to tell those that compete at upper end in those disciplines how to ride and with what, whether I agree with the equipement that is used or not

A tiedown, used on ahorse that has body control on him, for balance, and not for leverage, is not a bad piece of equipement, any more than a curb used correctly on a well trained horse for finesse

I am certainly not advocating using a tie down in place of good basic trianing and body control, but until you show me those upper level barrel compititions consitently being won in a plain snaffle, where hundred of thousand dollars are at stake, I'll let those in that profession decide what is best for their discipline, and it does not affect how I ride or train in the least in my discipline-it's called tolence for disciplines outside of your own!

Here is one of our horses in reining, shown by his new non pro rider

Laz.jpg

Two year old in a bosal, son riding

Rockinfut-1.jpg

working cowhorse, ridden by her new owner, and a horse that also won the ApHC world in senior working cowhorse with Les Timmons riding

Jerry-1_zps5b361505.jpg

Smilie, and myself

Smiliesupercircuittrail1-1.jpg

I like to think I am into as much body control, softness and relaxation as you are, just a little more tolerant /thinking outside of the box at times and of just my own disciplines! Can't ride a tight trail pattern without a heck of alot body control and relaxation!

Edited by Smilie

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that's why i said "who am i to judge". i think you did an excellent job of putting your finger on the crux of the matter though--all of the money involved. you could even take that thought one step further; "for the love of winning".

nice pics.

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that's why i said "who am i to judge". i think you did an excellent job of putting your finger on the crux of the matter though--all of the money involved. you could even take that thought one step further; "for the love of winning".

nice pics.

Doesn't make it wrong if you're doing it right.

To do it for the sake of winning and money while sacrificing the well being of your horse and partner is wrong. I run with girls who are currently beating me, but they burn out a horse every 2 years through injury or becoming a dangerous lunatic trying to get them into the pen. I'm seasoning a horse who'll hopefully run for many years to come with a solid mind and body.

To come across an equine partner with exceptional talent and drive, to develop and shape that talent into a discipline and to achieve top honors in that discipline, while keeping your horses well being as the most important thing? Absolutely okay.

If we weren't motivated by money and the love of sport Secretariat never would have left the paddock and Michael Jordan would have kept playing pick up ball.

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MarsCandyBar

Just by your posts you come across as someone that runs barrels correctly, getting that body control on a horse first, and I would expect you to be an excellent example of people doing speed events. One learns alot about someone, just by what they post!

Nick, you and I probably have much of the same training phylosophy. I agree very much that at entry level esp, there is a lot of running a horse before he has any body control on him, thus instead of using some basic training and body control, those horses are man handled with a strong bit around those obstacles , , and I'm always in the mind frame that those kids should first learn some equitation before they move on to speed events. Gymkana at open shows really bothers me, to be honest, just like I hate what I see in pleasure horses often at that type of show

I still have a problem with some of the bits used in games, esp where the mouth pieces are chain or gags, and the horse is purely run in a manner that the slang 'jerk and spur' event has merit.

However, I also realize that those serious upper level barrel racers put a lot of body control on their horses, before ever running them hard, and that they are guided around those obstacles/barrels. and not just jerked and spurred around them

As for why I used a tie down in games, well I also showed my horse in judged events, using a curb and riding one handed, mainly off of seat and legs , on a loose rein.

Thus when I put that snaffle and tie down on my horse, he knew he was going to be asked to run.

You are very right it is about the money , once you get beyond entry level showing That includes disciplines where no purse is up front, but there are big money returns, either in the horse itself, when sold, or in breeding fees/foal value

While horses are just recreational for many, horses are a business for many others, and you can't run a business in the red and absorb horse loosing expenses , as when that horse is just a recreational pursuit, and the 'real' money is earned elsewhere

There is a medium ground that I like to tread, and probably why I don't show at World shows myself (besides the cost! )

I always like to think I have been competitive at the regional level, without ever pushing a young horse when one should back off. I don't believe in alcohol blocked tails, injecting healthy joints, etc I like to win, same as the next person, and those that say they show 'just for fun', are deluding themselves as well as others, unless it is at a very elimentary level. I do like to think that I don't place winning above all else.

Edited by Smilie

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Thanks Smilie - I've always liked your posts and opinions and it means a lot coming from you.

I'm certainly trying to do it right. The horse I'm running now is my first barrel horse, but I started out as a kid riding with a hunter/jumper trainer who emphasized lateral work and dressage principals, and then with a western pleasure and horsemanship trainer for a summer who emphasized it in his horses, so transitioning to speed hasn't been hard, as MY foundation has been laid well.

Funny that you bring up chains and gags... Previous to this horse of mine and previous to the speed world I was turned off by them. I'd ridden a few hot jumpers in some little gags, but nothing like you see on a lot of barrel racers. And I do believe there is a lot of misuse out there, there is a lot of bitting up instead of training down to "fix" a hot horse or make a horse manageable for an inexperienced rider.

But - I'm getting an education about these bits and their purposes. If you watch NFR level horses run, or look at most of the pictures in Barrel Horse News, there's not a lot of tension on those reins, most of those riders are very light - they've laid the foundation and put the responsibility on the horse to handle the pattern.

this is a great example of it - I was looking for the video of her NFR run that her bridle broke during - but I like the camera angles on this video. That's what we all ought to be aiming for on a pattern, the horse knows his job.

I've been experimenting a lot lately with different bits on my horse, different size gags, and my trainer did talk me into trying a chain mouth (not a bicycle chain, just a linked chain). My horse is a puller, he's got a semi-hard mouth and will set and brace. That being said, he's oddly light (I know, it sounds like an oxymoron, my boyfriend thought I was nuts until I put him up there on him). I need a bit that I can stay very light with so he doesn't set up and brace. The chain mouth gave him nothing to brace on, it just collapses every time he tries to lean. right now it's a medium twist lift bit that has a purchase on it that would have scared the pee out of me 6 months ago. Eventually I hope he takes on the pattern well that I can back him back down to a simple snaffle or a hack. His history is unknown, but I suspect his face was ripped on pretty good at some point. He's been an adventure to retrain.

No one rides this horse in one of our "big bits" but me, and I like to think I have very independent soft hands.

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Thanks for that video, Mars!'

I also use apretty advanced bit on my' finished ' (if any horse is ever truly finished! )western pl horses, but by then the horse is ridden off of legs and seat mainly, on aloose rein. I show HUS in a plain D ring snaffle

Great example of horsemanship, and i'm impressed as to how her horse runs off of body control, with slack in those reins!

Nick, Smilie's feet are coming along great. I hope to show her barefoot this year, and use hoofboots for mountain riding

I'm glad i 'bit the bullet', and kept shoes off of her this year, although I was tempted at times!

Right now I'm riding Smilie across the snowy fields, and hauling my other horse, Charlie, who is my currect project, to the arena.

Since my trailer turn around is not snowed in at the moment, weather is nice, I plan on hauling to the arena this afternoon

Edited by Smilie

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Here's the run where her bridle came apart..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARYlauTj2lE

Scamper was a tremendous horse, but most upper level runs ought to look like that, the horse taking responsibility for his body and navigation of the pattern. I just liked the camera angles on that particular video because it really showed her position around the barrel and lack of interference with the horse.

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Nice run, but really surprised she was using a headstall with a Chicago screw!

I learned long ago to get rid of them in my headstalls!

Once, when waiting to go into the arena for my pattern (a horse Improvement evaluation pattern), with the horse ahead of me already riding the pattern, I noticed my bit dangling, because one of those useless screws had come un done.

Luckily a friend who is an electrician, was standing beside me and happened to have a piece of electrical wire in his pocket

Yes, i know you can try to seal them with finger nail polish, or use a sealer, but then you better like that bit or reins on that headstall forever!

Edited by Smilie

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Thanks for that video, Mars!'

Nick, Smilie's feet are coming along great. I hope to show her barefoot this year, and use hoofboots for mountain riding

I'm glad i 'bit the bullet', and kept shoes off of her this year, although I was tempted at times!

tell me about it. my barefoot trimmer told me that 70% of successfully transitioning a horse to barefoot is the *intestinal fortitude* of the owner. personal experience tells me that the other 30% is patience.

glad to hear it. she is a fabulous horse.

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Thanks, Nick!

I will have to take a winter pic of her enjoying the snowy fields. (well, have someone ride with me, to take an actual picture! )

When I rode her with hoofboots last summer in the mountains, and a boot turned or came off, I was so tempted to call my farrier and have him shoe her again.

Then, thr progress we made , which made, is evident this winter, so I am very happy that I hung in there.

My other horse Charlie is ten and has never worn shoes. I showed her barefoot last year

I ride at a barn where a western trainer works out of in the summer (he is in the States during the winter, having a place there ) Thus, there is a regular farrier that come there, that is pretty good, and also is a chiro.

He was bound and bent that Charlie 'needed' shoes, and I was asked as to how I intended showing at this one venue, since the grounds are noted for being very rocky, and even shod horses at times have problems walking over those grounds to the arena.

I told him Charlie would be fine, as she has sole depth and concavity. She never missed abeat walking from the barns to the arena

My goal is to get Smilie to that point. Might not be possible with her past history of laminits, but I am hopeful!

Sorry, Op that this has drifted off topic, and probably belongs on the hoof board!

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Mars, that was amazing to watch, gave me goosebumps!!!

PS to all of you, thanks for the interesting read, such a good education.

Agreed. Good discussion.

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To add, a horse needs a cue for speeding up. For my animals it's a cluck. A kiss is to ask for a lope, a cluck is to go faster at whatever gait I ask for.

Working off pattern, I will train my horse to speed up at the walk/jog/lope and to slow down on cue. Each time I cue the horse should pick up speed at that gait and maintain. When I cue again, even faster. You should see my mares trot! If I had a 10& under who could keep them at a trot, they'd tear up the youth world gamers!

Establish a speed up cue with your horse first, then start using it on the pattern.

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My rodeo was about 3 days ago... I got a 16.810, but I guess I will just give it a little time and she will start to get quicker. I think she just needs time but thank you all for your advice.

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No problem girly, glad to see you pop back in.

Confidence is huge in a barrel horse. Remember in a lot of pens from their perspective they're running full out at a fence as they come into a barrel - naturally most horses would start breaking or turning before we ask them to turn. We have to instill confidence in the horse through seasoning and hauling and logging miles and runs that they CAN run hard to the barrel and make the turn, because we've prepared them to have the proper body control to do it.

Time is the greatest maker of a good barrel horse and the only thing we can't control.

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My answer is short and sweet............just like me.

It's YOU not the horse.

Not BLAMING. Just saying that if you really are competitive and want to win - you will do what you have to..........and I'm suggesting you look at the other end of the reins.

Just because the slower speed (or whatever) is easy to identify..........the cause.........may not be.

Keep an open mind.

Kay?

Been there done that. Not barrel racing. But lots of horse blaming.

Edited by Cactus Rose

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And not every horse is a 1d running horse.....you can't get blood from a turnip right? What were the winning times in the pen you got your 16.8 in?

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Found this picture on Facebook of Christy Loflin and Streakstovegas running at Fort Worth. I thought some folks here might enjoy it as well given some of the topics we've touched on here.

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My answer is short and sweet............just like me.

It's YOU not the horse.

Not BLAMING. Just saying that if you really are competitive and want to win - you will do what you have to..........and I'm suggesting you look at the other end of the reins.

Just because the slower speed (or whatever) is easy to identify..........the cause.........may not be.

Keep an open mind.

Kay?

Been there done that. Not barrel racing. But lots of horse blaming.

I never blame my horse. When did I blame my horse directly? And my saying is: "It's never the horse, it's always the rider."

So, please show me where I blamed my horse.

Kay?

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And not every horse is a 1d running horse.....you can't get blood from a turnip right? What were the winning times in the pen you got your 16.8 in?

The winning time was 15 something... They did fantastic!

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A 15 something winner would put your 16.8 in the 3d, very respectable! Sounds like your mare needs hauled and seasoned. Good job!

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