Abbie Garber Western | 6 Questions | 22 Answers

My horse absolutely hates being close to the barrels for barrel racing. Does anyone know of anything I can do to make my horse feel more comfortable with the barrels?

My horse absolutely hates being close to the barrels for barrel racing. Does anyone know of anything I can do to make my horse feel more comfortable with the barrels?
9
I would start on the ground rewarding her if she will go up to the barrel. Then make her stand beside it, walk close to it in a circle and reward. Work up to moving the barrel around on the ground (maybe have a friend hold her) and just pick it up and move it, roll it on the ground, knock it down beside her ( not too close at first but so if she hits it when racing it is not traumatic) then start the same things while you are mounted
She’s not bored from the barrels I hardly practice barrel work with her we have been mainly focusing on poles, flag, down and back, and ball race with anything that deals with barrels she won’t go close to them she has been in the field with them tons of times
ps. do not let her think she is going to get a treat from the barrel. or she will probably stop at each barrel looking for one.
Personally I would change discipline. but a tip would be to leave her in a field with them. Also when you take her up to one to give her a treat. Possible put the treat on the barrel sometimes. Also next time you take her around, walk her from a distance and spiral in and out and praise her every time you get closer. When going back out just let her move out as that's probably what she will want to do. When you have finished the ride hop off next or near the barrel and give her a treat for the good work. But as I stated at the top. I would change. Good luck
Don’t just barrel race with her. Change up your discipline and don’t let her get bored. Or if you think she’s just scared of the barrels, start at a walk, then go to a trot, etc. Make sure she’s comfortable before
not all want to race. she's probably gotten burnt out & sour from too much barrel racing. a change will be good for her
change discipline if the horse doesnt enjoy it
MAYbe put one in her field for a bit to let her know it won’t hurt her
My horse absolutely hates being close to the barrels for barrel racing. She will either be far away from it, or will stop and not move at all. She trust me a lot so I will walk on the ground around the barrels with her, but she will still spook. Sometimes won’t fall me and will try and bolt. Idk of any past history with her being abused with barrels or something. We have had her for her whole life. One other person did barrels with her besides me and there could be a possibility that something happened there. Idrk tho and I don’t want to acuse her of hurting my horse. Does anyone know of anything I can do to make my horse feel more comfortable with the barrels??
Signup now to connect with over 100,000 riders!
Signup
X