Isolate The Problem Barrel

Lessons From The Saddle 1
Lessons From The Saddle 1

 If you are having a problem with just one barrel, isolate that barrel and that problem. Don’t go through the rest of the pattern and start again just to work on your second barrel (for example). This image shows how I will approach and turn my second (in black) and if I’ve not happy with it, I will loop back around and approach it again (blue). The picture makes my loops look sharp, but your curves will be more relaxed when you have more room.

I might do that a couple of times, but I always leave and stop when my horse has understood what I’m asking. By leaving and letting them rest and giving them a stroke on the neck, telling them they did good, they will learn. In this case I had to slow things down through the turn for my horse to relax and understand she had to wait for me through the back of the turn.

By zoning in on this second barrel instead of going through the entire pattern you are keeping your horse’s attention. Your are fixing the problem efficiently without burning energy doing the things he already knows how to do well over and over. Once you have made a positive change by isolating the problem, you can go through the entire pattern and check to see if your fix stuck.

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