How to Fix a Wide Turn on the Barrel Pattern
Ever feel like you might as well put a sign on your horse’s rear end that reads “Caution: This Equine Vehicle Makes Wide Turns!?”
A wide turn means covering extra real estate on the pattern, which results in drastically slower times.
Addressing this issue starts with coming to terms with a simple fact…
The Horse is Not Responding Appropriately to What Has Been Asked
The solution comes in determining WHY?
Two common causes of wide turns are:
#1 – Our horse is not taking responsibility for traveling in the direction we point them indefinitely. Keep in mind that the horse is really not at fault. It’s our responsibility as riders, to ensure our horse understands their responsibilities!
Click here to refer to a previous Q&A for a review of an exercise called “Point to Point” which helps accomplish this.
#2 – The horse does not have high level responsiveness to our hands and a solid foundational understanding of leg cues, making correcting their position on the pattern difficult. The truth is that speed changes everything, requiring more from horses in the barrel racing discipline than any other.
In the video below I describe these two points in detail and demonstrate what the level of responsiveness we’re after looks like. Below the video are some helpful how-to’s for developing this kind of responsiveness.
Be forewarned however, you’ll likely need a new sign – one that reads “Caution: Sharp Turns Ahead!” Read more