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Problem-specific Corrections

Tiffany from Washington, writes:

Dear Sharon,

My barrel horse does fine going to the right. However once I make the first turn he takes off and will not allow me to regain control. I was wondering what suggestions you may have to get him back under control.

Dear Tiffany,

You may have several problems going on here. First and most important, when a good horse stops working you better check to see if he could be sore. Injuries like torn or injured suspensory tendons could cause the best horses to quit working. Also have your dentist check out your horse’s teeth. Once you have ruled out any physical issues you can begin to start working on their mind for confidence, and their body for a more consistent and responsive control.

I would suggest starting with basic training equipment. Refer to Reinsman’s Sweet Six bit # 744 and the German Martingale that I describe in my book, The A.R.T. of Barrel Racing. Your horse’s groundwork should be reproached to assure you have done your homework in his elementary education before you ever get on his back. Practice the skill exercises described in the book. They are designed to create a balanced, responsive horse and an intuitive rider. I would also suggest you pull up our Books and DVDs section of the web and look at the Leading Edge book. This is a systematic riding program designed to strengthen the skills a barrel horse will need to be successful.

You owe it to your horse to make him the best he can be by providing him with a good educational foundation. Good horses deserve good lives and putting a good training foundation on them can assure you will create skills and confidence that will carry him through many disciplines.

Ride safe and slow down for awhile. Success in anything requires two steps forward and one back for evaluation and review.

Sharon