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“Experiencing true unity when racing through the pattern, without delays or hesitation, is the stuff winning runs are made of.” – pg. 34 of Secrets to Barrel Racing Success.
It’s not uncommon for riders to get a taste of true connection with horses, and then turn their desire for developing it further into a lifelong pursuit.
Many riders, even trainers and competitors are not physically and mentally connected with their horses. Even worse, is that they lack the awareness of their disconnection. Often times this sense of “being on the same page” comes and goes – it’s there sometimes, but not others. One thing for certain, “getting connected” more consistently will always improve your barrel racing!
I don’t want you to make the mistake of thinking that if you aren’t “one” with your horse, that you won’t achieve some level of success with horses, because miraculously, you can.
It’s possible through using repetition, patterns, etc. to train your horse to develop habits and respond to cues. Like a perfect robotic “trick horse” your equine partner might make assumptions and obediently respond with enough consistency that it leaves you feeling like quite an accomplished team.
However this mechanical, trained responsiveness, although an important part of the equation for successful barrel racing, will only get you so far. Without being truly connected, the communication with your horse is, well – artificial.