I’m using myself as an example of what NOT to do. It turns out (as usual) that the video doesn’t lie. I had a pretty good run, our first outdoor run of the year and we placed second in the 1D against a group of horses who were also just getting rolling this spring. Not a big jackpot, but big enough I was still surprised to place this well. I was really tickled with my run and even told a friend the only thing I would have changed was that I would have been a bit braver on the way to first.
After watching the video, I realized I had actually lost my time on the way into second barrel. I did that thing that I get after my riding students for doing all the time. UGH. I started my turn into second barrel too soon. I also looked right at the barrel.
Fortunately for me, my horse saved my butt and finished second nicely with only a stutter step to get back in position. If I were to continue down this road without recognizing this problem I will have a horse that starts shouldering and/or pulling off the backside to make up for the room I’ve taken away.
What did I do about it?
I went back to my slow work where I could feel I had created a habit. Even at a trot I could feel she was starting the turn before I asked. I really needed to look up over her ears and send her hip up past that barrel before allowing her to turn. I also did a couple stops, with hip in exercises to emphasize the positioning I wanted. For those of you that subscribe to my Barrel Racing Drills.com website, I did the “Pick Up and Turn Back” Drill at second barrel as well.
This is definitely something I recognize I caused through my riding. I am a bit of a cautious rider so I have a tendency to think those barrels are coming up awfully fast. Being that this was our first outdoor run of the year, we were going across there quicker than I was used too as well. You’ll see in the video the mare just does what’s she’d told. I’ll do better next time! I promise. I’m putting on my big girl panties and I’m going to ride her up into the hole 🙂
This is a really easy thing to get into a bad habit of if you don’t nip it in the bud. I hope my oopsie helps you from making the same mistake.