"There is no bag of Carrots at the end of the race." Clinton Anderson
Consider, what’s in a barrel race for your barrel horse? There really is no bag of carrots at the end of the race…
You can not treat train your horse the barrel pattern. 🥕
Barrel horses do not get paid and are not trained with food rewards like you see with dogs on an agility course. Barrel horses also lack the intelligence to instantly realize any sort of achievement or accomplishment.
Teach your horse to love the job of barrel racing. 😍
Build your Barrel Horse's Confidence 🦄
Building up your barrel horse’s confidence is a way to make the barrel pattern easy for your horse. This concept is achieved by practicing slowly, adding speed gradually and as perfectly as possible to instill confidence building in the horse and its own abilities.
You can use cones in your slow barrel work to ensure consistency with you and your barrel horse during your confidence building practice. In return, confidence makes everyone including horses move more easily and the confidence will definitely show up on race day. Confidence will out shine the fact that there is no bag of carrots at the end of the race.
No Corrections on the Barrel Pattern ☝️
Make your best effort to never discipline or correct your barrel horse on the barrel pattern for a mistake. If mistakes are made, training/corrective work must be performed with the horse off the barrel pattern. You can set up a series of cones without the barrel for the off pattern correction work instead of barrels or use some old tires. Remember the barrel pattern is fun and easy.
Reward with rest breaks or finishing early. 🙌
Last but not least you must be positive during practice and have a positive attitude. Reward your barrel horse with rest or break when he or she does good. Cutting practice short or on a good note when reasonable objectives are achieved is also positive reinforcement and makes the barrel pattern a happy place.