Barrel Racing in and English Saddle? - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By sheenanaginz
  • 4 Post By beau159
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-21-2013, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Barrel Racing in and English Saddle?

Has anyone tried barrel racing in an english saddle? I've ridden english my whole life but I'm always open to new ideas. Barrel racing looks awesome and is something I would like to try just for fun. I'm not about to invest in a western saddle if its not something I will want to keep doing. I have borrowed a western saddle from a friend before and my horse seemed fine. However, it didn't fit her all that well, so I don't want to use that one. Also, if it is something I end up wanting to compete in, there is a low-key barrel racing class at the country fair. Do you think they would require a western saddle? Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-21-2013, 10:03 AM
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Yes you will need a western saddle. Its not a good idea to do barrels with out a western saddle. You need extra grip and support when doing barrels.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-21-2013, 10:21 AM
Green Broke
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i know people who competed at our local gymkhana in aussie saddles however I would recommend a barrel saddle if you plan on competing at anything more then a trot or slow canter. They are built to hold you in and steady where as an english saddle has nothing to hold you in at the higher speeds.

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-21-2013, 10:44 AM
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My 9 year old daughter has been barrel racing and pole bending in her little English saddle up to this point, but so far she hasn't gone any faster than a lope. She doesn't know it yet, but she has a little Abetta western saddle on lay away for Christmas so she can start getting more serious. You need that horn not just for security when things speed up but it's actually part of your cuing the horse. When you're lined up with the barrel, you sit back and grab that saddle horn. Your horse feels that and is cued to turn. My daughter has a grab strap on her English saddle but it's not the same. So it just depends on how serious you want to get. You can run barrels bareback for all that matters, but in a true run, nothing beats the security of a deep seated barrel saddle with a little rough out to keep you from sliding.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-21-2013, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments! I'm not really planning on doing anything serious, just wanted to try it out. And if it was something I wanted to get serious with I would buy a western saddle. I think I'll give it a go just for fun with some friends and see where it goes from there
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sheenanaginz is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 08-21-2013, 11:12 AM
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For trying it out, an English saddle is perfectly fine.

But if you do want to get more serious about it in the future, then I would invest in a barrel racing saddle (not just "any" western saddle). Just like a dressage English saddle is different than a jumping English saddle, a barrel racing saddle is designed specifically for the sport of barrel racing. The seat is going to have a higher cantle to "hold you in". The horn will be small and tall so that you can grab onto it during a turn to keep yourself out of your horse's way. The stirrups are also going to be slightly forward to keep proper position during a turn. There's going to be less leather on the skirts for less weight. Etc etc.

If you just want to have fun with barrel racing and experiment with it, you can barrel race in any tack you want. There are no tack rules. People might give you a funny look but who cares if you are having fun?

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-23-2013, 10:05 PM
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I've seen barrel racing done in an english saddle many of times but if you're going to actually start barrel racing, get a barrel saddle.
TxMarine is offline  

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