Barrel racing, how?

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Barrel racing, how?

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  • The ins and outs of barrel racing
  • How to get your daughter started on barrel racing

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    11-10-2011, 01:59 PM
Barrel racing, how?

I have this QH who is retired from being a school horse so he is evenly tempered when riding. But I want to get into barrel racing. But he doesn't know anything either. And i'm freaking out because this was my dream for a while and I don't want to turn myself down by quiting, I NEVER QUIT! So if i'm going to do this, how can I get me and my horse into this? Where do I start?

Thanks :)
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    11-10-2011, 02:34 PM
1st: Find a local rider or barn that offers lessons. Although now it seems many are being taught is worth a try. If you do not know where to begin try a local show or something and ask around.

2nd: It is always best as a starter/beginner to start or running/showing a horse that has been there done that ON BARRELS.....I started off on whatever horse was around that a friend wanted shown and neither I nor the horses would do all that well and it was because I did not know the ins and outs and could not jockey any horse weather they half way knew it or not. I finally purchased a finish automatic barrel horse who really taught me how to run barrels, of course I was not a beginner when I ran him I knew a lot of the basics and he kinda finished me out.

I would say it would not be best to put your guy on barrels, I am not saying never or that he would not be any good, but have either a trainer pattern him and you start on something else or wait until you are to the point where you know what your doing. Its so easy for us to think we know enough when really we don't have a clue, I learned this the hard way.

Good luck! Keep me posted...if you would like :) also if you can share your location I can try and help point you in the right direction. Just telling me the state you live in would be enough to start.
SorrelHorse and beau159 like this.
    11-10-2011, 02:52 PM
Be sure you are ready for this commitment. Training a barrel horse takes a lot of time, patience, and skill to do it correctly. Finding a trainer is a must. If you have never done this before, it is not feasable to think you can do it for the first time on an unpatterned horse all by yourself. It takes time to build up the knowledge and feel for training.

Next, I agree with Sierra. I would find the trainer and then see if you can find a nice, finished horse to learn on so you KNOW what it is supposed to feel like. Then have her help you with your horse along the way.

Also, when you say "Retired".....Do you mean he is older, or did you buy him from a school? Why was he "Retired" ?
beau159 and sierrams1123 like this.
    11-10-2011, 02:54 PM
Going to disagree with the other poster. Start by walking the pattern and getting the horse to learn it. Than you start trotting and than loping. It will take time season barrels horses didn't get their overnight.

One of my daughter's best friends started a horse they took in on back board. Neither her or the horse were ever trained on barrels. Kassidy just turned 15 and has won $$$ buckles and even a saddle. Four years ago she was scared to even lope!
    11-10-2011, 02:59 PM
Wicked, it is nice when things like that turn out, but most of the time it turns into a disaster. If everyone thought "Oh I can train my own horses!" and did it well like that, we wouldn't have so many ruined, psychotic barrel horses out there.
smrobs, beau159 and sierrams1123 like this.
    11-10-2011, 03:02 PM
Awesome WickedNag!!! Thank you so much! And Sierrams1123 I will be sure to keep you posted my location is Kemptville ON
    11-10-2011, 03:18 PM

Originally Posted by WickedNag    
Going to disagree with the other poster. Start by walking the pattern and getting the horse to learn it. Than you start trotting and than loping. It will take time season barrels horses didn't get their overnight.

One of my daughter's best friends started a horse they took in on back board. Neither her or the horse were ever trained on barrels. Kassidy just turned 15 and has won $$$ buckles and even a saddle. Four years ago she was scared to even lope!

If it was only that easy!!! If what you say is true then she got lucky. There is so much more into training a barrel horse then walking/trotting/loping the pattern. YOU MUST FIRST KNOW how the horse should WALK/TROT/LOPE the pattern. A good barrel horse does not just do these thing around a barrel there is a WAY it must be taught/done so that you end up with a nice horse...not some back yard fruit cake you thought was good until you came into the real world of barrel racing. Not trying to be mean or say that this is the case with the horse you speak of but I just find it very hard to believe that this is all she did and ended up with a high money winning horse.
I will say my mare was a natural when it come to just about anything I do with her, but I still have to teach her the correct way to do things so that the training last and so that she learns the right way.
They are some horses that start of doing very well even when taught poorly but they do not last long. Most get injured (because the were not taught correct body placement) or soured to the pattern (because some people think if I just do it over and over again wrong or right they will learn it). I am not trying to start something or argue just giving my opinion.
    11-10-2011, 03:28 PM
We have psychotic barrel horses out there because they are never given anything else to do. My daughter is training her own barrel horse right now. The trick is that you have to have other things for those horses to do as well.

To the OP it will take you two - three years to get a horse that is consistent. Keep things changed up. Don't always take him into the arena just to run. You have to do things in the arena that aren't always going at mach 1.

Sorrelhorse, you and I are going to have to disagree on this one. I think she will develop and move forward at the rate that is comfortable for her...provided she knows that she will not have any consistency at first and that you don't walk for a week and move on. I know that I wouldn't want to stick someone new on Kassidy's horse... you would not stick to that horse being a newbie.
    11-10-2011, 03:35 PM
Wicked, I agree with others, you lucked out with that horse. Sometimes you do get lucky that way and end up with a horse that knows how to properly use his body for whatever he's doing....most the time you don't. You have to learn how to use your legs and seat along with your reins to put the horse in the optimum position at the perfect time to keep him from running out of the pocket, shouldering into the barrels, and get him rating properly without turning him into a wing-nut.

OP, I completely agree with Sierra and Sorrel, you will be much better off in the long run to pair up with a trainer that can teach your horse and have a finished horse for you to learn on. There is nothing quite so frustrating than trying to teach your horse something and learn it yourself at the same time. I didn't do it with barrels, but I did it with roping. Both me and the horse ended up frustrated and it ended up taking years before we finally finished it together, I had to give up on my guy and spend a couple years on a more experienced horse that had been around the rope a few thousand times before I was able to figure enough out to go back and finish my boy.
    11-10-2011, 03:38 PM
Well most of the kids in my area are riding horses they have trained themselves. Kassidy placed at nationals on that ugly backyard appy in the Little Britches Rodeo. Can't afford to buy a finished horse so they train them up. In fact most of our horses here are used for much more than just one thing. You might take them to round up cattle the night before, trail ride the next and than hit the rodeo the day after.

Still going to disagree. Yes, she can teach a horse how to rate the barrel. No she doesn't need to get a finished horse. Does she need to work with a barrel trainer...never a bad idea to have one that you can have check in on what you are doing.

Do you think the op wants to be the next Brittany Pozzi? I was guessing she wanted to run some local runs.
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