Posted 2019-02-11 5:57 PM (#7421932) Subject: Getting a horse to sit and rate
I have a super fast gelding I’m trying to get to rate the barrels a little better. He runs as fast as he can and just runs around the barrels. His first he normally sits and uses his but better on but his second and third he will bow off a little bit. Advice on good drills to teach him some more rate?
Posted 2019-02-11 6:01 PM (#7421933 - in reply to #7421932) Subject: RE: Getting a horse to sit and rate
A Somebody to Everybody
Location: *TEXAS of Course*
rodeochick123 - 2019-02-11 5:57 PM I have a super fast gelding I’m trying to get to rate the barrels a little better. He runs as fast as he can and just runs around the barrels. His first he normally sits and uses his but better on but his second and third he will bow off a little bit. Advice on good drills to teach him some more rate?
Posted 2019-02-12 11:02 AM (#7422042 - in reply to #7421932) Subject: RE: Getting a horse to sit and rate
Drills aside, does YOUR body position say rate and prepare for the turn? Are you sitting down on your pockets?
When a horse is bowing off coming out of a turn, I will in slow work ask them to couterarc a few strides coming out of it. I have a mare that, even though she was rating and using her hind end in the turn, would anticipate coming off the barrels strong and wouldnt really finish them or finish the turn too early, resulting in her having to bow off in order not to knock it. I still when coming out of a barrel during slow work, will pick up her shoulder and move her over before letting her move on. Makes a huge difference in her runs.
Posted 2019-02-12 2:52 PM (#7422089 - in reply to #7421932) Subject: RE: Getting a horse to sit and rate
Slow work, stop & back at the barrel. I only do that when they don't rate though. I teach mine rate before they see barrels. To signal mine to rate, I sit and squeeze my legs at the same time. Start out by using a voice command with it, I say Easy. I call it my easy button. Whatever speed I'm going I sit, squeeze, say easy all consecutively. I personally don't see rate as a slowing, I see it as get your ass under yourself. The sit and squeeze should signal them to do so. Long trot the sides of the arena, at various intervals ask for the rate. If they ignore you and give you the finger, stop & back. Eventually mine get to where I can just sit & squeeze, don't have to say easy.
Posted 2019-02-12 6:32 PM (#7422113 - in reply to #7421932) Subject: RE: Getting a horse to sit and rate
Queen Bean of Ponyland
The key is teaching him to react to your shift in weight (add a verbal whoa if thats your thing). Off pattern starting at a walk you overexaggerate a lean over the horn in a hurry/run position. Sit deep and firm and ask him to stop. Do this at all 3 gaits until when you shift to sit he reacts by slowing and stopping. This accomplishes a cpl things, first it teachs him weight shift as a rate cue (which is good because it mimics body position during a run) and helps keep you from having to handle him much during a run. Everytime you handle their face during a run you loose time.
Next after he is a pro at the above set your barrel pattern about 30 feet apart. A short pattern is great for keeping their mind on turning and not running. During your pattern, lean over the horn like you are asking him to run. At different spots sit and ask him to stop. Stopping at Different spots keeps him listening to you. Do this at different gaits. Never repeat the cue in the same spot over and over, it doesnt keep him really listening to you. You can shift your weight in the middle of the barrels, at your rate point, when you leave a turn... keep him listening. You can do this on a larger pattern, alternate sizes as he learns to listen.
i also do a lot of backing. Not tugging on their face or using your legs (like a pleasure rider might) but backing off my hands only. The goal is to get them moving backward off hands but keep it super light. They should learn to back with very little pressure, without getting bound up or over breaking thru their neck. No chins to the chest, thats counterproductive.
Posted 2019-02-14 5:34 PM (#7422334 - in reply to #7421932) Subject: RE: Getting a horse to sit and rate
Balance Beam and more...
Location: 31 lengths farms
My little mare is a free running wild woman. She would hi lope the prettiest pattern, rate, turn, gorgeous. Speed up an iota of a fraction and her mind decided we were in the stretch run of the Kentucky Derby and rating and turning be darn. I was about to throw my lollipop in the dirt. She knew the signals, she could do the drills, we had spent 3 years and I'm not kidding you , 3 stinking L O N G years seasoning and hauling to time onlys, to races, back to do time onlys only, LOL!!! She even had Ed Wright kind of scratching his head a little. Honestly the best thing I ever did after the millions of drills, and clinics and spending time and money and heartache on thinking we had finally made a breakthru only to go on a trail ride around the barrels due to her losing her brain "on speed", was reading a post that Diane Guinn posted on about Fast Stop, not to be confused with a Stop and Turn....
We had gone back to the snaffle a million times,but the mare is light . UNTIL you add speed. We had to find something that her brain still recognized at speed and that was the fast stop. It was a game changer for her and myself.
I started with a half halt at our rate point, stopped her on the back side to encourage "shortest stride HERE" and then would back up back to our rate point, stop and soak, back around the barrel with a half halt at the backside and maybe even a stop if she pushed thru the half halt. In a week it was like she had had a brain transplant, or maybe it was a combination of the two of us getting a brain at speed.
Posted 2019-02-15 6:26 AM (#7422364 - in reply to #7421932) Subject: RE: Getting a horse to sit and rate
I agree with the extra slow work at the rate points. I also really like the figure 8 drill. I'll do it at all speeds to keep one listening to me. They stop thinking about running off when there are 3 turns at each barrel.
Posted 2019-02-15 8:35 AM (#7422375 - in reply to #7422364) Subject: RE: Getting a horse to sit and rate
Experienced Mouse Trapper
Location: North Dakota
KindaClassey - 2019-02-15 6:26 AM I agree with the extra slow work at the rate points. I also really like the figure 8 drill. I'll do it at all speeds to keep one listening to me. They stop thinking about running off when there are 3 turns at each barrel.
yes! make a point of them finishing one barrel before charging off to the next. Most horses I see bow out off the barrels aren't completing their turns the figure 8 drill works for that!
Posted 2019-02-15 9:05 AM (#7422376 - in reply to #7421932) Subject: RE: Getting a horse to sit and rate
All good advice posted so far but just wanted to add -
Kelsey Lutjen has a good video, where she will lope around a barrel and use ONLY her body and voice to get that horse to eventually break down to a trot around the barrel, and eventually to where it breaks down to a walk. In the video she uses this drill for a hot horse that needs to relax his mind, but may work good for your horse also.
Posted 2019-02-16 8:55 PM (#7422541 - in reply to #7421932) Subject: RE: Getting a horse to sit and rate
Location: Bronson, Iowa
I have a mare that will run blow off the barrel between the half way and 3-quarter spot around the barrel, always the first barrel.
after reading through all of your replies i'm interested to focus on more drills to get her to rate more (at all) at the first barrel