I look forward to attending one of your clinics shortly. I have a three year-old mare. She is very sensitive and gets fired up easily. One day she works great, and the next it's all I can do to keep her in control. Obviously there is a step I am missing in her training program. Many of her issues seem to have resulted from bad experiences with an earlier trainer.
I do not have an arena or a round pen. Most of the training I do is in the open pasture. She has never been through the barrel pattern. Any suggestions you could offer to help me prepare for the upcoming clinic would be much appreciated.
Thank you for your sensitive evaluation of your young horse. First of all, I want to remind you that she is ONLY three years-old. Though some horses, depending on a variety of circumstances can appear seasoned and trained by that age, we have to realize that this is actually an age for very elementary schooling. It is not uncommon for a horse to become fractious and insecure at this age, especially in different surroundings.
To answer your question about the clinic and what you can do to prepare, I will remind you that you are in good hands. We will not put you in any circumstance that will intimidate you or your horse. Our goal is to evaluate your progress and give you suggestions to strengthen your training outcomes. We will take you as slow as necessary to create a confidant and comfortable environment.
Most importantly, try to ride your horse each day for a week before the clinic. Three to four hours of saddling each day will help focus your mare’s mind. Remember that reviewing The A.R.T. of Barrel Racing is a prerequisite for attending our clinics. The Cork Screw exercise, the Lengthen and Shorten exercises and the All Rights and Left exercise are all good pre-clinic preparations. If you are more comfortable practicing these skill sets at a walk or trot, begin there.
Also it is imperative you come prepared with your training equipment. The Reinsman Sweet Six Bit # 744, and the reins and martingale listed in the “Student Information,” you received from your sponsor will enable you to be prepared with your own training equipment. We will address your next step for a “big horse” bridle during the program.
See you soon,