Tag Archives: games

My Barrel horse won’t enter the arena quietly! Help!

barrel horseQuestion: Hi, I have this dun 11 year old quarter horse gelding who won’t enter an arena. My sister barrel races him, and when we try to get him in the arena for a run in a show, he will refuse to go in. But once he is in, he takes off running, so I don’t think he hates barrel racing. It is getting frustrating because it takes us about 10 minutes to get him in. Last time it took 6 people to push him in. Do you know why he is doing this? Dusty is ridden sometimes in trail riding, cattle herding, and he used to do a lot of riding around for fun. Mostly though he is now just used for barrel racing. He wears most of the time a hackamore.

Answer from April Reeves: Your problem with your gelding is quite typical and fairly easy to fix. Let’s take a look at what causes your horse‚Äôs arena fright.

Many non-pro horses used in games and especially barrels are trained to achieve this level of skill set by focusing on this alone. While many owners believe the only way to get a really great barrel horse is to do nothing but barrels, this is not necessary nor the case, and can actually lead to escalating control problems and a dangerous horse that will require a great deal of re-training. It sounds like your horse needs a break from the barrels.

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