Barrel Racing Drill: Russian Nesting Doll
This is my favorite drill to end a training session on. It takes away anticipation, allows you to practice turns without burnout, and enables you to work on perfect technique (for you and your horse).
I typically only do this drill at a trot but if I do lope I won't switch leads and will only perform all right or all left turns.
When working on this drill I try to avoid patterns. This is all about taking out anticipation so you can't create repetition for them to try and predict. I turn each barrel as a right AND and left.
In this video I have these patterns set up pretty tight only to save my horse's energy but you can also space it out more, using the entire arena if you have a more nervous or fragile-minded horse that will get too worked up by this many turns in close succession.
Lastly, this is a really good opportunity for me to practice my posture - sitting centered and deep in the saddle, squeezing with my outside leg, opening up my inside hand, chin over the saddle horn. I believe drills are just as much for the rider as they are for the horse counterpart so I try to take advantage of the opportunity to work on my technique also.
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