This week for my independent learning project I chose to explore a new drill that I can practice with my horse. I wanted to do this because I my horse has been getting very anxious before our runs. When he gets anxious he likes to get tight in is muscle and become pretty unresponsive to the commands I am telling him. This in the end is a recipe for disaster.
When I am coming in to my run Reno, (my gray horse) is running very tight. He is not very free when he comes into his turns which result in us either hitting the barrel, or blowing by it and not turning it well. Below I have attached a photo of the notes that I took while learning this drill from a friend that went to a Ryan Lovendal clinic. Even though I was not at the clinic she explained this drill that she learned to the best of her ability.
This drill is to be used to free up a horses shoulder and to help them come into their turns freely and smoothly, which is exactly what my horse needs.
I this drill you need 3 barrels and they need to be set about 30 feet apart.
When doing this drill you approach the first barrel to the right after turning the first barrel smoothly you go to the next barrel and also turn it to the right. You turn each barrel as many times as it takes for your horse to relax and freely follow his nose around the barrel. After repeating the turns around each barrel successfully to the right then go to the left. During this drill you need to make sure that when you are approaching the next barrel you keep the horse’s front end up and moving forward and not ever letting them drop their shoulder on the back side. When I say “not letting them drop their shoulder on the backside” I mean keep the same distance around the entire barrel. Do not let the horse cut off or anticipate the turn.
When I first learned of this drill I really thought it sounded pretty simply. It really was not as easy for me to perform as I thought it was. It took me several times turning each barrel each way before my horse got smooth turns. In the future I hope to get videos of myself practicing these drills to upload to my blog if possible. Thanks for reading!
This was Reno after the drill getting his feet done!