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Understanding your teammate (your horse) - Counterbalance exercises using barrels


Understanding how your teammate (your horse) works with you by compensation (counter-balance of weight and strength) is important. Above, I show a simple exercise you can do to understand your own weight and strength. Most riders have a much stronger leg on one side and carry weight on this one side, unbalancing the horse; it can create bad accidents. Exercise: Take a barrel and just sit on it, making sure your feet don’t touch the ground. Raise yourself; you’ll find it impossible at first, but after a while you will be surprised at how both legs will become even. It will help for your sideways balance, then you can add a lift, stick, etc. and work on both axis — side to side, and front to rear. My grandfather, the Marshal, taught me this trick (riding using a wooden barrel). The way a barrel is built provides the side balance and the rocking, too. Wooden barrels provide more grip for your legs (making them easier to practice with in the beginning, compared to plastic barrels). In the picture above is Piper B.; she grew up in the horse world, as her great grandfather was a many-times Rodeo World Champion, and he is the one that first brought rodeo events to Canada.