This week for my independent learning project, I attended a Ryan Levendall clinic. Ryan Lovendal is a professional barrel horse trainer. If any of you follow the rodeo world he rides Sheri Cervi’s famous barrel horse Stingray. He has many techniques that are amazing for making a barrel horse the best they can be. I did not have to money to bring my horse and attend the clinic with Ryan, so I paid $50 to audit and took notes, along with some videos for me to better myself and better Reno in the future.
Above are the notes that I took during the clinic. This drill is to used when you want to tighten up your turns and make yourself more of an aggressive rider. To begin the drill you have to make sure that you and your horse are both as relaxed as possible. To get your horse relaxed you can trot some slow circles. If you look at the diagram you start out doing larger circles then drive your horse forward into smaller brisk circles around point a and point b. The biggest thing to remember during this drill is to not short yourself. You have to drive your horse all the way up into the turn so it forces the horse to make the fast and snappy turn on their hind end. In the end this will give the horse the skills to turn the barrel at full speed a lot more aggressive, and to leave the turn faster to get to the next barrel.
I practiced this on Reno when I got home from the clinic. I think it made me breath harder than it did him! It really required me to get forward and ride my horse. It made me use my legs to drive him up into the turn. It also made me soften my hands and guide him to where I wanted him to go. If i did not do all of these things correctly we would run over the tire or Reno would try turning before the tire. I was surprised at how hard this drill actually was because the clinic made it look so easy. I will be practicing this drill many more times when I get the chance because we still have a lot of improvement to make on it!