How do you get yourself to be quiet/release quicker with your hands. I have a horse that if I don't release him soon enough we will turn the barrel again lol.
What is helpful to get you to keep your hands low and quiet. I know It is probably more of a trust thing for myself. But anything that would be helpful to accomplish that.
Longer reins and lots of practice. :-) Practice makes perfect at a walk and a trot. Dont burn the horse out but teach youtself muscle memory and longer reins
Drill yourself at home. You can do the pattern at a walk, focus on your hands and the release at the spot you need to. Repetition will make it become automatic. You can even just appoach the barrels or a specific point, like a poop pile and set yourself up correctly as if it was 1st,2nd,or 3rd and do the same. That keeps them off the exact pattern. As far as quiet that is something you'll also jsut have to learn yourself as a rider. practice quiet hands the whole time you're riding. Do flex exercises and focus on a quick release. It will just take time
What I had to do was put large rubber bands in my breast collar d rings and put my hands through the rubber band. I used split reins while doing this and practiced with one barrel in the center of the arena. It taught me to keep my hands in a "box". It was the easiest way for me to adjust. I did this daily for awhile while riding- taught me to trust me horse knows where to place himself and if I use my body I really don't need much hands.
I do a lot of work on my seat to make sure its secure and moving around doesn't make my hands jerky. If your balance is good- you can keep your hands more quiet and isolated- and your not kinda hanging on the reins for balance. Have a friend put you on a lunge line with no reins and work on balance and hand control. Even better if your riding bareback. Doing things like the egg and spoon or packing a glass of water helps focus on what each hand is doing.
Every time I pick up a rein, I'm thinking about the feel I'm offering the horse. You have to be very concious and deliberate about that. The more you think- the slower your hands are. You can do some work on flexing your horse to get a feel for timing and release when they are trying.
FOCUS. It takes a lot of time and usually an extra sensitive horse to show you just what your hands are doing. Really focus on your horse and how light they are. Even try on the ground using just your halter and see how easy it is to make them come around to you. Breaking it down and becoming very aware of what even moving an inch will do will really show you where your horse is at. You will not be able to go fast at first. But practicing loping through the pattern and concentrating on quiet hands with a soft touch will eventually show you howl ittle lots of them actually need. I also find running in split reins sometimes will also slow my hands down.
When you get tense you squeeze the reins more. That makes your body tense. You have a tendency to become ridged. You're stiff in a manner. Relax your body. And you use your fingers not your fist. Breath. When hold your breath you will blank out and you body reacts. Most every one that comes here with a white knuckle grip so to speak. Using their fist not their fingers and bracing up. Lead you horse through the turns not pull them.
Use your seat and legs. And voice. Those are the key. A horse can feel when you tilt your head -- train to that. It's about feel. Use your body and no need to rely on your hands.
Your horse over turning the barrel is a timing problem. You need to release your horse probably a half stride earlier than you are. Long reins, long stirrups are a couple things will make you get behind your horse. Do some slow work and practice turning the barrel (but not over turning it) and create proper muscle memory . Make sure you look where you're going, not at the barrel.
Just to add, since you said "quiet hands". Drives me every lovin' NUTS to see people bouncing the reins up & down as they run!! WTH are they trying to accomplish with that??? Looks like crap, is distracting to the horse (and for some - that are very sensitively trained - it causes them to slow down since the monkey on their back is giving mixed signals), and is just plain poor horsemanship. There is one woman in our area who fancies herself to be such a trainer & rider that is CONSTANTLY bouncing on those reins. I just want to yank her off.
Kassie Mowery has the quietest hands I believe I have ever seen. I think a lot it has to do with how broke her horses are but she just had quiet hands. Look up a YouTube of her. My phone just puts whatever it wants on the internet. That is broke not bike. Most annoying.
Ride english. I grew up showing hunters & jumpers. When I started barrel racing my hands were just natually low.
Thanks everyone for the great advice. I relaxed and told myself to trust and we had a great weekend. I just let my hands stay low and let him work. Staying out of his way is the key.
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