Starting A Nervous Horse

Jolene Montgomery explains how to start a nervous horse on the barrel pattern.

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  1. My gelding responds really well to leg pressure off the pattern but, despite a VERY slow start since he is more fragile minded and nervous, if I use any leg on him with a barrel in sight, he thinks it means speed up rather than move his hip or shoulder. I’ve done all types of flexing and bending drills off the pattern and he responds well. It’s only when a barrel is around that he locks up his ribcage and is preoccupied with the forward motion. Are there any exercises to relax him and help him see how the same motions needs to apply on the pattern as well as off?

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