Barrel Horse Workouts

23 Nov

If you are starting a horse on barrels, or are just looking for some new work outs for your horse I have put together a few that I find are the most essential to finishing a barrel horse.

Reversible Ark”

The first is the “Reversible Ark”. This particular work out is useful when you have a horse that is dropping their shoulder into a barrel, but you don’t have to wait until they get to that point to use this move.  By picking up the inside shoulder and pressure with your foot, your horse will learn to move away from the pressure. Start out by walking and going half way over, and eventually lopping into the pocket and make a full circle. Keep in mind that your horse is going to be confused and may fight their head, so remember keep them under control and to maneuver the moves the right way, as the figure out what you are asking they will calm down.  Having control of your horse’s shoulders and ark will give you the control you need to keep the barrels standing.

“First Barrel Second Barrel”

The second work out is “first barrel third barrel” this is a great way to teach a horse their leads. Starting out walking and trotting and then moving into a lope. By teaching them leads and turning circles off the pattern will help keep your horse calm and from getting overly nervous. The method of picking up your horses shoulders used in the reverse ark will be useful when turning your circles.  This exercise is shown in the video along with the others, but I don’t want to confuse you, it really is simple but sound confusing.

“The Spiral”

This exercise teaches leads, flexing, and body control all in one. By starting your horse out in a large circle, and gradually moving to a smaller circle by using your legs, and picking up the horses shoulder.  When your are turning a circle about the size of an imaginary barrel then work your way out into a large circle. By having this much control will transferee over to your pattern and will be able to control your horses moves as the arena conditions require.


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