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Problem-specific Corrections

Lana from Arkansas, writes:

Dear Sharon,

I have a six year-old mare that I am trying to work with. She trots the pattern fine, but when she gallops the pattern she literally tries to run over the second barrel. What can I do to help her? My knees are getting sore!

Dear Lana,

Thank you for your question.

The problem you describe shows up frequently in varying degrees in young horses. In my program, I stress that when schooling horses on the pattern, riders need to work the horses deep on the backside of the barrel. The easiest way to explain what that means, is for you to imagine a second barrel sitting right behind each barrel. Visualize where the imaginary barrel is and position your horse to turn it, versus allowing your horse to shoulder the actual barrel.

There are several exercises that I describe in detail in The A.R.T. of Barrel Racing and I demonstrate in my DVDs that would be helpful but difficult to detail in this answer to your question. Specifically, the All Right and All Left Exercise and a problem-specific correction identified as a Break Off would be useful for addressing this problem.

Best of success,

Sharon