Cerise is my Fire horse temperament TB mare that I am teaching to barrel race. Since I am learning this sport as well it has been a slow process. Cerise is not the horse temperament I would normally pick for barrel racing but she is game to learn as long as I am reasonable in my expectations. She has learned the pattern and loves to go fast but the last time we went to practice it was obvious we were not going to be able to advance until she mastered gathering herself from full run to make the tight turn.
So for the last 2 months I have been focusing my training on helping Cerise stay focused on me so I can help prepare her the transition from run to turn. We have both gotten very frustrated because Cerise does not naturally want to shift to her hindquarters quickly but prefers to slow down and then rebalance. In the process of training for the quick transition we have gained in many areas. I have done many stops backs then roll backs to help Cerise get her hind push off leg in place and she can now do this exercise from a pretty good gallop. She can also do a collected walk, trot and canter as well as canter departs from the standstill.
Still going from run to tight circles just did not seem to be happening. I took her to Rockdale yesterday to work with my trainer, Renda Graham, but I was not too hopeful that we would be much improved on the barrels. Renda got on Cerise and schooled her for me very briefly and she thought she though Cerise did much better. She suggested I try a S shank hackamore on her to help me lift her front end. She had one and we gave it a try when I took her through the barrels. Cerise seemed to like the hackamore and she worked very well. I still have a lot to learn but looks like we are back on track to competing.
Cerise has been a great learning case for how a horse temperament that is not perfect for a job can still do it and have fun. Madalyn