Mare turning on her front end

I own a 13 year old paint mare that I started barrels on a couple of years ago. She's coming along really well, and she'd be doing better if I could teach her how to set and turn. I've been doing roll-backs, and that has helped, but not much. She likes to turn on her front end, which is not very comfortable, please reply!I own a 13 year old paint mare that I started barrels on a couple of years ago. She's coming along really well, and she'd be doing better if I could teach her how to set and turn. I've been doing roll-backs, and that has helped, but not much. She likes to turn on her front end, which is not very comfortable, please reply!

Story originally posted by: Maggie FlowersHorseCity.com Training Director

Hello,

I own a 13 year old paint mare that I started barrels on a couple of years ago. She’s coming along really well, and she’d be doing better if I could teach her how to set and turn. I’ve been doing roll-backs, and that has helped, but not much. She likes to turn on her front end, which is not very comfortable, please reply!

Thanks!
Katie F.
Taylorsville, KY

Hi Katie,

I have only used roll backs for a horse that needs work stopping, and not for the set or turn (rate). I do believe that you have been teaching a maneuver that, although has not hindered her performance, has not helped you with the rate problem you seem to be having.

Try working your her in a ‘corkscrew pattern’ in an effort to get her into and keep her supple and limber. It also helps her with her leads, reinforces her body suppleness, and helps her work off her hocks – all the movements she will need when she runs barrels and it will also help condition her.

Work her in this corkscrew pattern until the movement is reinforcing the idea that she has to give her nose to you and it frees up her body from her hind quarters through her back to her shoulders. When she relaxes and gives you what you want then you are ready to proceed to working the barrels pattern.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!
Maggie Flowers