Trotting The Pattern
After you and your horse are comfortable walking the pattern it is time to trot. Use the same approach for as the first barrel for the second barrel. If you feel your having a hard time with your horse them move him back to a walk for a couple weeks and them try trotting again. Do not rush your horse or you may fail at teaching him the pattern. All horses are different therefore they take different periods of time to master the barrel pattern.
When you approach your barrel
-Trot to the barrel
- Stop you horse leaving about 4 feet between your horse and the barrel
- back your horse up a few steps
- Have him set his head
- Then ask him to walk around the barrel leaving about 4 feet around the whole thing
- Go around it at least 2 times (the number of times you circle the barrel depends on how long it takes to get a nearly perfect circle. Your horse should have good enough circles to go around only 2 times by the time you start trotting.) Make sure he stays relatively the same distance around.
- Then push him into a trot and head towards your second barrel repeating these steps
- Do the same for the third barrel
- Trot your horse to the fence when exiting the third barrel
The only difference in the steps when you are trotting is that you are going to trot towards each barrel. When you reach each barrel you are still going to walk around them because this will let your horse know that he needs to slow down a bit to be able to turn the barrels at a faster speed. After you walk around the barrel at least 2 times then you are going to push your horse to the next barrel at a trot. Stay on a trot for at least a month, practicing about 4 times a week. It is critical to do other things with you horse when you start adding more and more speed! You will sour your horse and he will learn to hate riding in general if all your do is barrels. Go trail riding or enter some trail classes. Compete in team penning or just go out and have fun with friends, the more your do with your horse the better he will get all around at listening to you. The more socialized your horse is the calmer he will become at shows.
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