Today, We set up the pop-up barrels and went for it. I was quite surprised at how well the BigRedHorse owned that barrel pattern. He only trotted it a few times and was already understanding what his job was. And the awesome part, he LOVES it. "Mom, can I just runnnnnn?" I find myself holding him back in between barrels.
Part of me inside is hoping that this isn't going to make him rush, even more, when doing dressage patterns. Olly rushes all the time, but he is getting pretty rushy. I decided to ride him in his boucher because I didn't think I needed much "whoa." For some reason he just doesn't respond well to that bit. He does much better with a D-ring. I don't want to use the D-ring because that is what I use for jumping and I want to keep the bits seperate. Both are french link. I knotted my reins to remind me where to grab the reins (like a 12 year old hehehe) and started out at a trot. He did AMAZING!!!! Now, I may be retarded, but I see it as...if your horse is properly "trained," meaning legs, seat, voice, collection and is trusting, he should be able to get the point. I trot in, say WHOA and bend him. Outside leg on the girth for for a bit of speed and inside leg just behind the girth to push him around. I grab my knot and keep his head and neck bent to curl him around the barrel. My BigRedHorse owned that first barrel. Lather, rinse, repeat on barrels two and three. At a trot we did awesome.
Time to try it at a canter. Again, he owned the first barrel, but the second and third were way toooooo wide. I think my left handed horse may be right handed. I don't have a video of the reverse because Husband decided to put the camera on "sports" setting and took like 300 pictures in addition to 10 videos. But! I can say that my boy did much better to the left first. We switched first barrels. To the left first. On our way to the third, he got a bit confused on which side he was suppose to approach. He ducked as if he were going to bend it left. I had to give him some guidance, but by the time we got to it the barrel was right on his shoulder. A normal barrel horse would have knocked that shit down or plowed it over, the BigRedHorse on the other hand jumped that MoFo! A barrel is roughly three feet tall. Olly had it in the bag. He jumped that barrel with his front end and swung around with his hind and continued on. That's my jumping barrel horse!! I wish I had THAT on video. By the time out show is here on the 20th, I think Olly will be coordinated enough to run the barrels. I don't anticipate us winning anything, because we are going to be up against some horses that have been doing this all their life (Kelsey and Ben) but I do anticipate a whole bucket full of fun!