Solutions for a Barrel Horse that Ducks at the Barrel or Runs Up the Wall

Solutions for a Barrel Horse that Ducks at the Barrel or Runs Up the Wall

Is this issue driving YOU up the wall!? 

The anxiety you feel when wondering whether your horse will duck out or run up the wall can be extremely damaging to your confidence as a rider. 

After all, if you’re worried about this in a run, you can’t ride to your fullest potential and chances are even greater that your horse WILL duck or go up the wall the more you allow it to consume your mind. 

But it should consume your mind, right!? When something like this happens, the discouragement you feel after first investing time and effort to prepare for competition, only to have it all go down the tubes (in such a BIG way) can be overwelming. 

As time goes by and the cycle continues, the frustration only grows between horse and rider, until now… 

In this video we’ve demystified ‘running up the wall’ and given you some insight into the THREE most common causes of this problem, which are… 

1. Physical
2. Mental (Educational)
3. Emotional


I also made suggestions on HOW you can reform a horse that runs up the wall.

If you’ve never experienced this problem then be sure to consider how you can apply these concepts and prevent issues like this from occurring.

For more posts like this, click here to browse the Overcoming Challenges category here at

2 replies
  1. ashley
    ashley says:

    I have a mare that has been on the pattern a littel over a year. She was consistently clocking 1d/2d. now she has started ducking either the second or third barrel. She does perfect in slow work & exhibition. I thought it was me so I put another rider on her and she did the same thing. I have taken her to the vet and they cannot find anything. I am ready to give up what can I do?

    • Heather Smith
      Heather Smith says:

      Hi Ashley, if it were me I would get a second opinion from a good vet. and then take a closer look at any mental (educational) or emotional holes the horse might have in their foundations. My new book might give you some great insight into solving this problem as well!


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