Speed Control Tips for Barrel Racing

Here is a video with Holly from Expert Villiage

She demonstrates at a slow speed how we train for speed control.  Speed control is important in training young horses and in your finished horses.  Holly just walks and trots in this video but it can be taken to the next level when you would lope and sit down for a trot, or gallop and sit down and ask for a lope.  Essentially we are working towards having our horses in tune with us.  If we lean forward they should do faster, if we sit down they should gather and slow down.   On the pattern this relates to when we get up and ride between the barrels and when we sit down for a turn.  When we sit down, that’s their cue to gather and prepare themselves for a turn (not breakdown to a slower gate).   Its all part of the preparation an keeping your horse sharp and in tune to you.

Here is the video:

Through repetition your horse will anticipate the change of gate just by you sitting (you won’t have to use the next steps your voice and hands).   A more lazy horse will respond to it quicker that a hyper horse because they are always hoping you’ll ask them to slow down!  A more energetic horse will likely take more persistence and require really precise cues from your seat, voice and hands.    I would expect a horse to start to catch on to this after 3 times of repeating the sit, whoa and rein tension.  Eventually you will use less rein as they cue into your weight change as you sit deep in the saddle.

Comments 3

  1. my horse is completely crazy, i bought her like this hoping to fix the problem for me, i have had her for six years, i do everything to calm her in the arena, all these walking and not doing the pattern etc. nothing helps i cannot even go close to an arena without her running, when i am out and about i still cant ride her just completely crazy, i have had trainers out and will not get on her. i am out of ideas. is it to late?

    1. Post

      Good for you for having trainers come out. I would honestly take their lead and not get on. Your health and safety is worth too much. You might try a herbal calmer and see if that helps but otherwise she might be beyond repair.

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