One of the main reasons I ended up dividing up my first book (intended to include barrel racing exercises) into two parts, is because the “prerequisites” section was getting too darn long.
I decided that shortening it was simply not an option, and so Secrets to Barrel Racing Success was born. I wouldn’t have been doing anyone a service, if I had left out the lesser-known details that are so critical to the success of any exercise.
This might come as somewhat of a shock, but I’ll be honest with you – barrel racing exercises aren’t really THAT important.
Sure, barrel racing drills and exercises are a tool, but unless we know HOW to use them, they are useless. You see, the WAY we go about implementing exercises MATTERS. For example, if our horse has a tendency to weight himself more on his front end in the turns, as Madison’s horse does in this week’s Q&A below, then a certain exercise is NOT going to be the magic fix.
A horse that doesn’t use his hindquarters properly in a turn, probably doesn’t use his hindquarters properly in general. If we lack the awareness to notice that, AND the skills to influence a horse to use himself properly, we’re stuck. We can do exercises until our horse is blue in the face, but the less than ideal way of moving is likely to continue (and unfortunately become an even more solidified habit).
Think of a barrel racing exercise as a chain saw – no doubt a very valuable tool. But if you don’t know exactly how to use it, it’s pretty much useless. I mean, you can hold the chain saw up to a tree, even pull and push it back and forth, heck you might even make a scratch in the bark! But it’s NOTHING compared to the progress you’ll make if you know how to fire that baby up.
If you develop awareness and skills to influence how your horse moves and learn HOW to implement exercises properly – in no time you’ll be whackin’ and stackin’ the wins – much like an unstoppable tree felling chick, who not only has a chain saw – but knows how to use it.
This week’s Q&A video does cover TWO great exercises that will help your horse move around the barrels in a more balanced, smooth (and fast) way. What you’re really likely to benefit from, however, are the lesser-known points I describe first – that are absolutely critical to the success of any exercise.
You’ll see as I demonstrate the exercises, that the quality of movement from MY horse is not great (did I mention he was turned out for four months while I wrote Secret to Barrel Racing Success?). If I were to continue to allow him to travel the way he is traveling in the video (lethargically and klunky), I’d have a barrel racing disaster on my hands. BUT I won’t, because as I get him legged up this spring, I’ll be aware and particular about HOW my horse moves and will heighten my expectations as he becomes more conditioned.
As promised, also be sure to check out my video on How to Evaluate, Find and Enhance Saddle Fit for Faster Barrel Racing.
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