“Hi, I’m Holly Heidemann on behalf of Expert Village and I’m going to show you some things you can do to keep a horse from doing what we call running up the fence. What happens with some barrel racers is their horse will start not wanting to turn the first barrel. Sometimes you need to check first and see if there is an unsoundness in your horse that needs to be checked. Maybe their hocks need to be injected, there is all kinds of things that can be going wrong.
If there is pain happening in your horse that is one of the reasons that they will start doing that. They just don’t want to commit to that turn because it hurts. So check that first. If that’s not the reason then this is something that you can definitely try to see if it will help. A lot of times a reason a horse starts doing those kinds of things is the rider starts expecting after the first time that they are going to do it. So as they are coming into that first barrel, I will kind of show you with my eyes, they’ll get looking up that fence and they’ll look at it and they don’t realize it but they are actually committing to going up the fence, it is a whole mental thing. Then your body follows suit and you keep that horse going straight and you never get him in the turn position soon enough. So to combat that what you are going to do is you are going to mentally, this is going to sound crazy for some people, but it works really well.
You are going to mentally get committed to that turn. So as you approach that first barrel you are going to think of nothing else but turning around it. You are going to turn around that barrel with your mind and your body next. So you are going to be looking in the direction your going, your eyes are focused on that turn the next place you are going to be in it. Your shoulders are facing that barrel as you turn around it. You just want to make sure everything is saying turn that barrel. The minute you straighten up and wait for your horse to do it they are going to run up the fence.
So we want to make sure that everything tells this horse to turn this barrel. So we are going to go ahead and complete that. We are going to come up to this first barrel as if we were running the barrels. Now notice if I were to look this direction, where would my horse go. Notice how he goes off in that same direction. So instead I’m going to get focused now on the turn.
My head, my shoulders, everything about me is saying turn this barrel. So I’m going to show you, I’m going to keep my body in the same position but then I’m going to look to the outside of this turn. You watch where this horse goes. I’m going to leave my focus, I’ve got everything else the same but notice where my horse is. Turn back, look back at the barrel, get committed to it. He comes back to it. I’m going to stay focused on it this time.
My eyes are right where I’m going to turn. They are not on the barrel but they are where I’m going to be turning near the barrel. Now my horse is focused, there is no real difference in my hands and feet, it’s all about where I’m looking. The power of where you look is very very strong. It gets you committed to what you are about to do.. “}
As found on Youtube