Rodeo Barrel Racing Tips : Preventing a Rodeo Horse from Getting Gate Sour
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Rodeo Barrel Racing Tips : Preventing a Rodeo Horse from Getting Gate Sour

August 18, 2019

Hi, I’m Holly Heidemann on behalf of Expert
Village, and I’m here to talk to you about some problems that a lot of barrel horses
experience. You can see mine right now is pretty nervous, he’s been working and he’s
thinking he wants to do something, he’s chomping at his bit a little bit but most barrel horses
have some degree of nervousness to them. If they are going to be good barrel horses they
have to have enough nerve to really want to run. Unfortunately along with that comes nervousness,
so what we want to do to manage that the very best way that we can. This is a horse that
in other hands could become an extremely bad gate problem or an alley sour horse a lot
of people like to call them because he is very nervous. I try to keep him just as calm
as I can by the way I ride and by not over reacting to some of the things he does. A
lot of young girls usually that are running barrels and sometimes just inexperienced riders
will get a horse really gate sour. What normally happens with a gate sour horse is they will
be coming into the gate through the alley to make their run and the horse will freeze
up, stop and plant their feet, say, “No, I’m not going another step ahead.” The rider will
get to whipping and kicking them but what they don’t notice is at the same time the
rider usually every time they take a kick, they are pulling on that horse cause they
are using that momentum to kick and so one of the things we are going to address today
is how to keep that from happening and once it does happen some things you can do to stop
it. That’s one of the very most difficult habits to correct. So for the most part we
want to keep it from happening to start with. When you come into an arena, pretend like
the entrance is right here and I’m heading, I’m looking at the funnel barrels right now,
but pretend like I’m heading to those barrels. When you come into an arena be prepared to
go forward. Don’t try to keep your horse going slow, when it’s time for them to run, get
in that run position and let them go. The more you hold a horse back, the more you pull
on them, yank on them, the more they are going to associate the entrance of that arena with
a horrible experience. What you want them to do instead is get excited to run and think
oh yes, we get to do this now and so what you are going to do to help them stay calm
until they get to the point where they are going to run is you are going to keep your
body back. I like to put my hand on the back of my saddle here and right on the little
roll and I like to just hang on to that. What that does is it keeps my body back. If I have
my hand up like this, this says run to this horse. If I come into the arena like this,
this says hey everything is relaxed, we’re almost on a trail ride, we’re just hanging
out. So I’m trying to keep my horse in that frame of mind the whole time while I’m getting
ready to enter the arena and when I’m very first going up the alley to get ready to run,
I like to keep him as relaxed as possible before I get in that run position. You can
do this, you can do this and pet your horse back here, anything to get you sitting back
and down, that says slow down to this horse. The minute you are ready to run, get your
other hand back up on that rein and get in that run position and get dedicated to your
run. Don’t go up there and think oh I’m not ready and sit down and pull back on your horse.
The more you get headed up that alley and then sit down and pull back, your horse is
going to go through some confusion and some anger because they are ready to run and you’re
just stopping them from doing that. That’s usually what gets the whole thing started,
you actually are telling them to go forward and stop all at the same time. So to keep
that from happening just keep them calm coming into the arena and then pet them, or hold
on to the back of your saddle, something, and then when it’s time to run just put your
hand up there and go. Don’t pull your horse back going to that first barrel, if you’ve
done your homework at home, and trained this horse properly you should be able to run just
as hard as you want to that first barrel and he’ll sit down and turn it. So don’t be thinking
slow down at all going in there, you want to be thinking let’s get going so you want
your horse to feel comfortable with that and you’ll never get a gate or an arena sour horse.
You’ll get one that can’t wait to get in there and run their barrels.

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  1. Some horses will be better left turners than right also some horses just dont have it in them not to be a nervice reck. Even with a great trainer or rider, hancok horses are great to do speed evnts with leval heads!

  2. Well mine does not! he also come from playboy poco, and doc bar bloodlines, he also has shut down his compation at 3 yr old! 1st place in 6 events for 5 shows strait!! Speed events and has set some new records as well. He has an even comfermation!! I love his speed and his mind, he will be an out standing barrel horse or what ever you ask of him, his back up mare will be 2 soon and is the grandaughter of jet deck! Every one has things they like or dis like.

  3. That is a mith about hancock horses, it depends on the mix of bloodlines, i have had 2 hancock horse's and my kids ride them at 2 yr old, ive been told that about 2 eyed jack horses to but there all diffrent like people are. i have also been told every where i go that my horse is hansome, his mother is an AQHA halter mare, the dad is an AQHA roping champ and grandparents are Cutting champs, there are three bar bloodlines on there he can fly!

  4. ok thankyou i fell off so munch horses in my life wereing a helment i just dont want to fall. how yong dose a horse have to be barrel racing?

  5. well if you are nervous and tight, and not relaxed the horse feels that and gets more nervous, horses find everything to be afraid of, just relax, and calm down if that doesn't help do a lot of gate make the arena a good place to be. And It may also be he is herd bound where he wants to be with the other horses.

  6. my horse doesn't jump around like an idiot he will walk up till about 30 feet from the arena then just freeze and there is nothing that will move him until I figured out that leaning forward holding the reins and telling him to go makes him say what? I'm aloud to run really! then he takes off like a bat out of hell…. wouldn't trade him for the world

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