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Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon
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enunley1000
Reg. Sep 2018
Posted 2019-03-13 9:22 AM (#7424843)
Subject: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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My horse has this problem on barrels too, but on the last pole he tends to shut down too soon. He anticipates the last turn. I included a video.

https://youtu.be/1sgwSRjw__4

We're not super fast yet, but that hesitation at the end is killing us. Half the time we knock it down. We really just started poles last year...I am planning on working a lot of counter turns on the pattern when the weather breaks. I have a tendency to cross my hand over his neck which I know is only moving his head and not his shoulder.

Wondering if anyone else has any drills/suggestions for getting him to stop anticipating that turn? Thanks in advance!

 

P.S. - Please ignore my screaming husband if you watch the video. Ha!



Edited by enunley1000 2019-03-13 9:24 AM
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rpreast
Reg. Nov 2015
Posted 2019-03-13 9:40 AM (#7424847 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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Just by watching your video on the poles, I think I might be able to guess what's going on in the barrels as well. On your run down your horse is pretty rate-y at that pole anyways. And you're riding one handed the entire way. In order to stand that horse up and get him to keep his momentum around the turn, you'll need to be 2 handed. You go to your horn almost immediately after you get past the 2nd to last pole as well. The first thing I would try would be to stay two handed, open up that outside rein, keep contact with your inside foot/leg, and keep driving that horse up into himself with your legs/seat. IMO, it looks like a simple case of essentially asking him to sit and turn just a little bit too soon. 
HOWEVER, I am not an avid pole bender. So you might get some way better advice from someone else!! Good luck! 

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Kay-DRacing.
Reg. Jun 2009
Posted 2019-03-13 9:53 AM (#7424851 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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Agree with the 2 hands. I also noticed your reins are really long. Your horse is really nice and seems to know what hes doing! I would shorten up the reins and really focus on using more of your body thru the pattern. Poles are like dancing, the more hips you use, the smoother and faster your run should be! That was beaten into my head as a kid lol. But like the above poster said, really focus on driving with your legs/seat! That one last kick and smooch should do the trick!

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Southtxponygirl
Reg. Nov 2006
Posted 2019-03-13 10:43 AM (#7424858 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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When you get to that pole you are just kinda sitting there, you are not pushing her on past that pole, you got to push her.. Smooch and smooch and smooch



Edited by Southtxponygirl 2019-03-13 10:45 AM
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enunley1000
Reg. Sep 2018
Posted 2019-03-13 10:45 AM (#7424859 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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Thanks guys! Confidence has always been an issue for me and I have come a looooong way with staying off the horn and riding harder. Obviously still room to grow. But I am going to work on the two hands for sure! And try the shorter reins.

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Nateracer
Reg. Feb 2008
Posted 2019-03-13 10:52 AM (#7424860 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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How do you practice?  

I agree with the two hands until the last possible second.  I think some reverse arcs might be ok.

That being said.... I think you need to focus on going past the end pole in practice, even at a walk.  Counter-arcs usually stop before the end, which isn't always productive when you want them to really push past. It stops them from anticipating the turn though. I don't push them way by and make them turn off. My preference. Also, sometimes, stopping them is also counter-productive. Bump them to a walk or trot, but keep forward motion. 

Make sure you look way past the end pole to the fence.  The minute your head/body turns towards the pole, the horse feels it.  If you're focused forwards, it will help drive past. 

Your body does the talking on poles, not your hands. I have to keep my reins longer so I stay out of my horses face, so I didn't think the reins were too long. Use your feet more. I also have to ride more forward for poles to keep up. 

Otherwise, it looked pretty dang good, your horse likes them. 

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FlyingJT
Reg. Jan 2014
Posted 2019-03-13 11:29 AM (#7424863 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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Two hands like everyone else stated but next time you are practicing take your horse all the way to the back fence, counter arc the opposite direction you would be turning the pole, make a circle and come back to the end pole on opposite side you came in and finish the pattern. The first few times you do this, he/she will probably fight you a little, just keep doing it until you don't feel them anticipate the end pole, then you can ask him/her to sit and turn the end pole. Everytime you practice i would take them past the end pole and counter arc away just to remind them to listen to you. I would do the exercise at a walk, trot, and lope.  

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enunley1000
Reg. Sep 2018
Posted 2019-03-13 11:29 AM (#7424864 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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Thanks! He should make a great pole horse if his rider can get it together! Ha! I've gone back and forth on the reins because I do have a tendency to get in his mouth too, so I may just have to experiment. Loving the advice! 

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BarrelRacing4Christ
Reg. Sep 2010
Posted 2019-03-13 12:47 PM (#7424869 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon


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Personal preference here.. but I would first start with shortening your reins. When I'm sitting in the saddle, and my horse is relaxed I can barely touch the reins because they are SHORT.  You're doing a wonderful job with your horse, you just need to work on your seat and really push him to that last pole. 

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Liana D
Reg. Sep 2008
Posted 2019-03-13 1:13 PM (#7424876 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon


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This is the same problem as starting the turn too early at a barrel. Use 2 hands, don’t look at the pole, look forward to a point past the pole. Don’t go to one hand until your horse's neck is passed the pole. Same thing on the other two turns. Aim and look about 5’ to the side of the pole.

Ive attached a diagram of some a pattern to do for slow work. It’s just an exaggerated form of what how I’d ride him in a run.

youll need to exhibition him a little doing the exaggerated square turns to get the hang of it.

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Bear
Reg. Dec 2007
Posted 2019-03-13 1:39 PM (#7424880 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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I agree with most of the suggestions.  It’s only been a year and you ride him well.  I like him and he seems to like it.  He does begin to rate early, and he does get a bit peggy on the ends. All that stuff is probably because he’s only been at it for a year.  I think a real solid, consistent foundation and confidence just takes a ton of very consistent repetition at a trot. There are a few small subtle details you need to be a stickler about in your slow work that will translate into consistency when you add speed.  There’s nothing wrong with eventually running one handed during a run, but not at this early stage.  Riding 2 handed and keeping him “squared up” when you ask for rate at the end will help.  Think of it like a boat with two outboard motors.  If you let one motor out of the water in the turn, you lose half your power.  Part of your slow work should be stressing the rate point by asking for a good, squared up stop with ass dropping collection at each of the 3 end poles.  With each turn, you really want to turn your body and look.  You don’t need to do much with your inside hand, because just a little guide, along with proper leg work will get you those snappy end turns.....all of this at a trot.  If he even slightly cheats or anticipates and doesn’t stay honest, a reverse arc away will correct that habit nicely.  You will only need to do this a time or two, and he’ll figure it out.  Also, during your weave, be a stickler about shaping his face, and don’t let him swap directions until his shoulder is even with the pole.  If he anticipates even slightly at a trot then that will be magnified at a run, and you wind up snatching to much, which throws off everything.  The nice thing about the slow work for you, as the rider, is it enables you to pay close attention to your hands, body position, leg pressure.....that translates to muscle memory for both of you.  One habit I try to remember, at speed, is to keep my eyes focused TWO poles ahead, not the next pole, if that makes any sense.  The dancing analogy is a good one, but I prefer the slalom skier analogy. 

Anyway, I apologize for rambling.  I just really like the topic!

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enunley1000
Reg. Sep 2018
Posted 2019-03-13 2:24 PM (#7424885 - in reply to #7424880)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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Love the slalom analogy. We actually put on a Ken Smith pole bending clinic last spring (not sure if you are familiar with him) and that's how he describes it as well. He is the most sensitive horse I think I've ever ridden. Like you even think slow down and he's on it. He's been a good one for me though because prior to him I rode several crazy horses and he's super safe. Thanks so much for the advice! 

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mtcanchazer
Reg. Apr 2012
Posted 2019-03-13 2:45 PM (#7424887 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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I've not done poles (yet) but have had a horse that shuts down too quick at the barrels. Like the others have said, stay two handed and shorten your reins. Keep at it, make those two easy changes, and you two will be a solid 21s pretty soon. 

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Bear
Reg. Dec 2007
Posted 2019-03-13 2:46 PM (#7424888 - in reply to #7424885)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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enunley1000 - 2019-03-13 2:24 PM


Love the slalom analogy. We actually put on a Ken Smith pole bending clinic last spring (not sure if you are familiar with him) and that's how he describes it as well. He is the most sensitive horse I think I've ever ridden. Like you even think slow down and he's on it. He's been a good one for me though because prior to him I rode several crazy horses and he's super safe. Thanks so much for the advice! 


It’s really a treat to ride a well broke horse who is so “feely” that you swear it’s reading your mind.  You learn so much from them....even to the point that you have to pay attention to your eyeballs, I swear, and you sure as heck learn to never look down at them.  They feel that.

I agree about Ken Smith.  He’s a great instructor.

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Gator Bug
Reg. Oct 2003
Posted 2019-03-13 5:32 PM (#7424902 - in reply to #7424888)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon


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Bear - 2019-03-13 2:46 PM

enunley1000 - 2019-03-13 2:24 PM

Love the slalom analogy. We actually put on a Ken Smith pole bending clinic last spring (not sure if you are familiar with him) and that's how he describes it as well. He is the most sensitive horse I think I've ever ridden. Like you even think slow down and he's on it. He's been a good one for me though because prior to him I rode several crazy horses and he's super safe. Thanks so much for the advice! 

It’s really a treat to ride a well broke horse who is so “feely” that you swear it’s reading your mind.  You learn so much from them....even to the point that you have to pay attention to your eyeballs, I swear, and you sure as heck learn to never look down at them.  They feel that.

I agree about Ken Smith.  He’s a great instructor.

I love the slalom analogy. That’s what I equated it to when I first started pole bending 28 years ago. I also just love the horses that have have a ton of feel. Poles are so much different in technique than barrels. I love the barrels when the horse does 70-80 percent of the work. However, Poles are all about finesse, they are quiet and really super smooth to go that fast. 

You have to relax and let the horse take you through. I see so many people swinging their hands and that just kills time. You HAVE to use your subtle legs/feet and hips more in poles and be very quiet. 

I have ridden 19 and low 20 second pole horses. If you get a really good one, they will feel like they are straight lining the poles. And you do have think ahead by 2 turns/poles.

Again, poles are all about finesse and being relaxed/quiet to pull a really good time. 

ETA... I don’t know of Ken Smith...can’t speak to that. I had the pleasure to work with Ross Carnahan twice decades ago. I learned so much from that man in a short period of time. I was like a sponge and hung on everything he said. Phenomenal horseman. Also met his son and grandson later. Great instructors, horsemen, and people in general.

There are also other great multiple world championship pole benders that I have had the pleasure to be around during the years and learn from.



Edited by Gator Bug 2019-03-13 5:47 PM
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Southtxponygirl
Reg. Nov 2006
Posted 2019-03-13 6:11 PM (#7424904 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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Poles is a art, its all about the timing and rhythm between horse and rider, I love poles..

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Gator Bug
Reg. Oct 2003
Posted 2019-03-13 6:23 PM (#7424905 - in reply to #7424904)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon


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Southtxponygirl - 2019-03-13 6:11 PM

Poles is a art, its all about the timing and rhythm between horse and rider, I love poles..

I just love them too.

However...there are a lot more things to hit and you do have to have a ton of rhythm/timing and a really great horse.

LOL



Edited by Gator Bug 2019-03-13 6:25 PM
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Southtxponygirl
Reg. Nov 2006
Posted 2019-03-13 6:32 PM (#7424907 - in reply to #7424905)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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Gator Bug - 2019-03-13 6:23 PM



Southtxponygirl - 2019-03-13 6:11 PM


Poles is a art, its all about the timing and rhythm between horse and rider, I love poles..



I just love them too.


However...there are a lot more things to hit and you do have to have a ton of rhythm/timing and a really great horse.


LOL


LOL, exactly... I think when you master the poles it makes you a great horsemen.. I love poles but never really got into them but still had a blast doing them when I did..  

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little_bug
Reg. Oct 2008
Posted 2019-03-13 10:03 PM (#7424920 - in reply to #7424843)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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I set the poles up regular but breeze the horse through them in a straight line. So from the starting point, through the poles then all the way to the other end of the arena. Never let them turn just make them move their feet through the poles. 

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enunley1000
Reg. Sep 2018
Posted 2019-03-14 9:08 AM (#7424930 - in reply to #7424902)
Subject: RE: Pole Bending - Shutting Down Too Soon



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Posts: 11
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Gator Bug - 2019-03-13 5:32 PM



Bear - 2019-03-13 2:46 PM


enunley1000 - 2019-03-13 2:24 PM


Love the slalom analogy. We actually put on a Ken Smith pole bending clinic last spring (not sure if you are familiar with him) and that's how he describes it as well. He is the most sensitive horse I think I've ever ridden. Like you even think slow down and he's on it. He's been a good one for me though because prior to him I rode several crazy horses and he's super safe. Thanks so much for the advice! 



It’s really a treat to ride a well broke horse who is so “feely” that you swear it’s reading your mind.  You learn so much from them....even to the point that you have to pay attention to your eyeballs, I swear, and you sure as heck learn to never look down at them.  They feel that.


I agree about Ken Smith.  He’s a great instructor.



I love the slalom analogy. That’s what I equated it to when I first started pole bending 28 years ago. I also just love the horses that have have a ton of feel. Poles are so much different in technique than barrels. I love the barrels when the horse does 70-80 percent of the work. However, Poles are all about finesse, they are quiet and really super smooth to go that fast. 


You have to relax and let the horse take you through. I see so many people swinging their hands and that just kills time. You HAVE to use your subtle legs/feet and hips more in poles and be very quiet. 


I have ridden 19 and low 20 second pole horses. If you get a really good one, they will feel like they are straight lining the poles. And you do have think ahead by 2 turns/poles.


Again, poles are all about finesse and being relaxed/quiet to pull a really good time. 


ETA... I don’t know of Ken Smith...can’t speak to that. I had the pleasure to work with Ross Carnahan twice decades ago. I learned so much from that man in a short period of time. I was like a sponge and hung on everything he said. Phenomenal horseman. Also met his son and grandson later. Great instructors, horsemen, and people in general.


There are also other great multiple world championship pole benders that I have had the pleasure to be around during the years and learn from.


I know of Ross. We have his DVD and see him at some of the big NPBA shows around here. One of the best for sure! Ken has a slightly different approach to teaching, but I can't say enough good things about him. 

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