Posts

Quality is No Accident! How to Reveal Your Horse’s Greatest Athleticism

Since achieving my goals with Dot Com at liberty last fall, he’s been enjoying a well-deserved vacation.

Lately, I’ve been back on the little grey powerhouse in preparation for him to be featured in my new book, Barrel Racing Exercises to Develop a Champion.

It’s been a great time to start applying many of the techniques I’d learned last summer, that I hadn’t had the opportunity to put into action yet. In only a handful of rides, his progress has been amazing!

If you’ve been following BarrelRacingTips.com, you’re already familiar with Dot Com – an extremely talented horse who came to us in need of a more solid emotional foundation.

Like many timed event horses, over the years he’d developed a habit of hollowing out his back, raising his head, inverting his neck and carrying tension throughout his body. Despite being built like a bulldog, Dot Com is actually quite flexible. However, his sensitive nature combined with his previous experiences, had resulted in mental blocks that got in the way of his flexibility and contributed to stiffness. Read more

Don’t Get Strung Out! Three Exercises for Hind End Engagement

Don’t Get Strung Out!  Three Exercises for Hind End Engagement

I very strongly believe that the problems that show up in a run are often problems that are showing up everywhere else, but they are just more subtle – so they go unnoticed.

Typically a horse that loses engagement in the hind end, will be a horse that doesn’t exactly have a habit of traveling with great quality in general.

Remember that speed and the pressure of competition emphasizes everything! A problem that is barely noticeable will becoming glaringly obvious in a run. This is why it’s so critical for barrel racers to understand what quality movement really is, and how to develop it.

Doing so would solve so many issues on the pattern, which is why I dedicated an entire chapter to the subject of Quality Movement in “Secrets to Barrel Racing Success.”

Let’s say, however, that you have very skillfully developed the quality of your horse’s movement and were absolutely positive they were using themselves correctly on a regular basis with impulsion, collection, flexion and all the other aspects that make up quality movement – and your horse STILL was not engaging his hindquarters on the barrel pattern. Read more