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Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:02 pm
by rayelrobinson
Sam wrote:Thanks for being a part of the forum!

How do you get a horse to go "the long haul"? It seems so many horses now are burnt out shortly after they are done their derby years, what has been your experience in keeping horses going year after year?

If I have a horse ready for the ‘long haul’ he must have already shown me he can win by giving me 70 to 80%. If he can do this, getting burned out isn’t an issue. I don’t ever expect my horse to give me 100% every time because it’s too much to ask and he won’t keep working year after year.

Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:03 pm
by rayelrobinson
MPowell wrote:Hey Rayel, Welcome! Just wondering if you could tell us what some of your favorite bits are and why, and what bit do you usually use for a transistion bit from a snaffle to a shank? Thanks, also Congrats. on your 2 big futurity wins in Arizona, sounds like a very nice horse! :Sun:

I have two bits I feel I use consistently and they are what I call the ‘Merrill’ gag which is a bit Neal Merrill designed – this bit was designed for barrel racing by someone who understands our event. What is special about this bit is the slide action: there is just enough slide to soften our hands – especially in competition – but not too much slide so that we never come into contact with the horse’s mouth. The horse can still feel our hands and move with our actions. The other bit I really like is the Reinsman 321. This bit is similar to the Merrill but I feel I don’t quite get as much flexibility. I use both bits with a 2 piece snaffle mouth piece and a 3 piece dog bone centre.

I like to get my horses into a shank bit as soon as they will let me. I go from a snaffle to a 4.5 – 5” broken bit that is very slow. What I mean by slow is a lot of slide action before the curb strap comes into play.

Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:04 pm
by rayelrobinson
hallie wrote:Hello Rayel!
Do you have any exercises to get a young horse to consistantly switch leads heading to the 2nd barrel? I don't want to get her worried about it, but just wondered if there was something other than breaking her down to a trot in between the 1st and 2nd.
Thank you in advance!

Again I like to have my horses to be able to change leads before they see barrels because I don’t want to surprise them with anything when I ask for it on barrels. If the rider asks for too much, she’s going to scare the horse and get him excited; and I don’t ever want that.

There is a drill I do on the barrels to teach the horse where I want him to change leads. I keep my horse round all the way around the first barrel until his hip goes by the barrel, then I will ask for a reverse arc and send him over to the second in the proper lead. It may sound a little confusing but basically I want the horse to change leads when I’m leaving the first barrel.

Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:05 pm
by rayelrobinson
miss_brook wrote:Hey Rayel...

Lont time no chat, I hope you are doing well and having nicer weather then we are here lol. I have a question about selling and marketing horses on a budget. I have spent alot of money on some really nice prospects and did my best in finishing them and taking them to futurities, jackpots, etc. Anyways, in the past few years my life has changed up quite a bit and due to financial reasons and a busy work schedule, my horses have taken the back burner. I have a couple very valuable horses that I feel are worth quite a bit of money that I'd like to sell. Unfortunatley for me, I am only jackpotting now and don't feel the need to keep them and I'm certainly not using them to their potential. Therefore, they aren't getting the spotlight that they deserve.
My question do you recommend I go about getting them sold?? I realize advertising is a great option, but I'm waiting till it warms up a bit cause they aren't in shape at all nor do I have a place to ride right now. Another option I have considered is a consignment sort of deal. Have someone take the horse and haul and expose him and take a percentage of the selling price. Therefore I'm wondering if you have ever done this before or know of anyone who does do this??? If so, what are your experiences with it...good and bad??

PS--are people still paying a good dollar for barrel horses in the States or has recession really affected the market down there???


This is a tough question to answer because I don’t have all the facts. No matter what kind of horse you have to sell, having them ready to show is very important. If you can’t do that yourself, getting someone else to handle it is probably a good idea. Selling on consignment or percentage is fine if everyone involved understands each other.

Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:06 pm
by rayelrobinson
burnin' wrote:Hey Rayel!
I have a question for you regarding joints - what type of maintenance do you use (adequan, legend, map 5, corta RX, others??) Which do you feel are the better bang for your buck?
Thanks so much, really value your opinion.

As far as joints, I feel a maintenance program is very important. This program should be started as soon as these horses start into their training program. Some of the hardest work barrel horses do occurs when they are in training for their event. A training program can consist of 1 to 2 years of very hard work. During this time, I feel I have had the best results as far as continuing soundness, with the use of legend, adequan and glucosomine. With this program, I feel I can help to minimize joint injections as these horses age.

Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:07 pm
by rayelrobinson
docrope wrote:Hi Rayel,
I was just wondering if you could highlight some of the key points on achieving a smooth quick turn - ie positioning coming to the barrel and around. Also hand position etc. How do you approach this when starting your colts? Thanks in advance and admin - what a great learning opportunity this will be for all of us.


In everyone’s training program, having smooth quick turns should be the ultimate goal. I think for this to happen, a horse has to be taught proper form and proper steps in the turn without ever getting them excited. A horse is far smoother in his turns if he is relaxed and soft – not rigid. It is very important to me that my horse allows me to handle him. Because I ride with contact all through my run, I try to never totally turn my horse loose. This is probably because I ride a lot of young horses and they, at some point in the run, need help. If I already have contact with them, it’s usually smoother moving my horse than if I pull on them with a loose rein.

Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:08 pm
by rayelrobinson
livetoride wrote:Rayel,

My daughters horse is in need of a bit more zip, with the cost of things right now what would you suggest to feed him?
Thanks! :Sun:

My suggestions for feeding are very simple – I feel that each horse is an individual so the owner needs to analyze for that individual. First of all, I would update my worming and teeth floating so that I know every horse is utilizing his feed properly. From there I would go to feeding a very good quality hay (high in protein content) alone with a 12% protein sweet feed mixed with oats. The amounts would again depend on the individual. I have also had really good luck with getting a little more run out of a horse by keeping him in a small pen or box stall where his energy gets built up… as opposed to keeping him in a larger pen or pasture where he can run and burn off the excess energy.

Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:09 pm
by rayelrobinson
Kim A. wrote:In regards to barrel horse prospects:
What is the first thing you look at when assessing a prospect?
What do you require in conformation?
What type of front end do you prefer: square or V?
How big would your ideal barrel horse be?
If you had to choose between two horses with equal try, would you prefer to compete on a horse with more brains and less braun, or vice versa?
Thank you in advance.

When I am looking for a prospect, bloodlines are usually what get me to look at the prospect - but eye appeal is the deciding factor.

I like what everyone likes: a big hip, good bone, straight legs etc… But what I require is a horse that is elevated in his headset and withers. This is not always easy to see when you’re looking at yearlings or even two year olds because they grow in stages and knowing if their withers are going to be higher than their hip at 5 years of age can be tough. I like a lot of angle on a horse’s hind legs. I also want my horses slightly narrower in the front than the back. As far as size goes, I’ve had success with horses 14 hands up to 16 hands but I probably prefer horses right around 15 hands.

Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:10 pm
by rayelrobinson
mowgli1 wrote:How do you prepair your horse and yourself for a efficent first barrel in the large regulation pens? thanks in advance.

I know large arenas with patterns set with no fences in sight can be intimidating to riders. I personally feel these arenas actually are a more relaxing setting for your horse. There is so much room to work with and a lot of time for your horse to prepare for a turn. I feel the more time or room I give my horse to prepare for turns, the less pressure I’m putting on my horse. This means starting a long ways back so that I give my horse a chance to run strong then set and prepare for the turn. Whether my horse is a turner or free, I feel starting a long way back at a walk-jog-lope-run takes the pressure away and keep my horse relaxed about his job. As for myself, if my homework is done, I can feel relaxed about my job and stay clear and focused.

Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:13 pm
by rayelrobinson
twistn wrote:I have a 5 year old gelding that i have started on the barrels and would like him to be ready for a few futurties. He does lope the barrels but i was wondering what you do with a really smart horse.
If i do two circles around the barrels to get nice round circles then the next time i go to lope him a little faster he thinks thats what hes supose to do . If i side pass him over because hes cutting in to soon for his first barrel he'll remember that for the next time and then he'll go really far from the barrel. any place i put him around the barrels thats where he goes. ive never really had this sensitive of a horse before.. so when im walking and trotting i have to go the exact spot where i would like him to go when hes going to make a faster run. so just wondering if you have had a colt like that and what would be your suggestions.. he doesnt shoulder or try and cheat. and hes probably the easiest colt ive trained so far.

As a rule, I pattern all my horses in the same manner until they start to show me how they want to work – some horses are freer moving and some show a lot of rate. Once they’ve shown me the type of horse they are (setty or free) I adjust my pattern accordingly. Freer horses I pattern with less room around the barrel and settier horses require more room in the turn. From what you’re telling me about your horse, I would take this horse to the exact spot I would want him to go (just as you’re doing) until I felt he gave me some indication that I would need to change – either getting too tight or free. After each run – whether it be just a gallop – I would evaluate and determine how to keep working this horse.

Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:14 pm
by rayelrobinson
huey wrote:Hey Rayel,
I have a 5yr old race bred mare (Beduino/DFC) that I would like to have ready for some futurities. She isn't as broke as I like, but getting there. I started riding her steady in August and am now loping/cruising the pattern. When I have asked for speed (2 times, not kicking), she gets lost and the next ride she is nervous and jittery on the pattern. When should I ask for more speed or should I still keep her slow? Thanx so much, TJ

I absolutely feel that the most important part of your foundation is that you get this horse broke. The hardest part about training a barrel racing horse is taking enough time to get the horse broke. Patterning comes easy once your horse is broke and has the tools needed for proper positioning. Your horse is telling you she is not ready for more speed or pressure by getting nervous and jittery. I would back off and continue my slow work on the pattern until I felt the horse was confident in what I was asking and showed no signs of nervousness. Not until this horse became relaxed again about her job would I ask for more speed.

Re: Special Guest - Rayel Robinson ends Feb 28

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:24 pm
by admin
rayelrobinson wrote:Bruce and I have both gone through the questions and answered them the best we could with the information given. Not always can you understand each individual horse without actually seeing them work. We hope this information will help all that have asked questions and those of you just reading. We thought all the questions were well thought out and we've done our best to answer them as thoroughly as possible.

Thank you Rayel and Bruce from all of us :-D We really appreciate the time you took to answer the questions.