Can You Teach Yourself Barrels? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 28 Old 04-06-2014, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,122
• Horses: 0
Can You Teach Yourself Barrels?

It's always been a pipe dream of mine to learn the barrel pattern and run my horse on it. Not for show or competition or anything - just for fun.

Only thing pride (dare I say that word!) is too great for me to ask for instruction. I'm 20 and have been riding since I was born and I'm too embarrassed to ask for assistance 'cause I don't want anyone to see me make a complete fool of myself.

I know, logically, it'd be the intelligent thing to ask for lessons or for help but I just can't bring myself to ask for help.

The horse:

- 18 y.o.
- Knows barrel pattern
- Retired barrel horse - was competed nationally by his old owner
- Average run time is around 16-17 seconds - is that fast?
- I clocked him full run the other summer at 52 mph. He was 17 y.o. at this time.
- He was bred, broke, trained, and raced by his old owner (my mom's friend).
- He was broke at age 3, and started on runs at age 4. Retired at age 15 when he was given to me.

He still has the get up and go of a young horse. Would he be a good horse to learn on since he knows the pattern so well? Or is he too old?

Can you teach yourself barrels or should you get lessons? My dad's cousin offered to teach me, my mom's friend (the old owner) offered to teach me, and my mom's other friend said her son would teach me if I wanted.

And I do want to learn, but I don't want to go falling off in front of anyone. But I also know that I don't want to go falling off and killing myself with no one around to help me.

It's a battle of my pride vs. common sense. And the last two summers my pride has won. This is the summer I want to learn. I decided. So. Advice.

Should I just ask my dad to set up barrels in the arena and teach myself or should I bite the bullet and ask for lessons? All lessons would involve me hauling my horse to them but all would be essentially free lessons due them being very close friends.

Let me know.
ForeverSunRider is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 28 Old 04-06-2014, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 22
• Horses: 2
I suppose your decision boils down to if you want to be competitive or not. Anyone can "teach" themselves to barrel race but if it's something that you're going to want to do outside of the pasture at home, you should ask for lessons and do a lot of studying.
TxMarine is offline  
post #3 of 28 Old 04-06-2014, 01:57 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 5,332
• Horses: 1
You have too much pride to go and learn how to do something correctly, so would rather save your pride from the humiliation of having to take lessons and would rather risk learning everything incorrectly proud of what you did?

If you don't want to learn from people you know, pay for professional training from an instructor. You should be paying them or compensating them for their time anyway.

I think you should probably take a couple of steps back and a serious look at yourself and your abilities. Everyone starts somewhere, everyone sucks when they start out. I think you should consider why you think you're such an amazing rider that everyone would just fall to the ground in hysterics to see you be less than perfect. Are you really that good? Something to think about.

Take the lessons and pay them for their time.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
DancingArabian is offline  
post #4 of 28 Old 04-06-2014, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 39
• Horses: 4
I, personally, would ask for lessons from the old owner. She knows the horse and how he moves, so I think that she would be your best option. Of course, you can teach yourself barrels. But if you're teaching yourself to do things wrong, then you can injure your horse. I don't think that he is too old for it, and if he's got spirit left in him, I'm sure he'd do just fine.

Even if you're just goofing around and doing barrels for fun, you could seriously injure the horse by doing something wrong. Definitely suggest doing lessons. Even if it's just to learn the pattern and learn the basics, it'll be beneficial to you and the horse.

Best of luck :)
Roxiandsplotch is offline  
post #5 of 28 Old 04-06-2014, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,290
• Horses: 2
Would you rather make a fool of yourself while taking lessons and learning correctly or teach yourself and be doing everything incorrect?

Pride is foolish reason not to take lessons. I've rode my whole life, but I've only rode western and barrel raced. At 16 I wanted to learn english just for fair. Yes I made an idiot of myself a few times during lessons on my barrel horses, but I placed in every English class and won the over fence classes. I'm to prideful to not do something correctly.

It sounds like you have all kinds of people offering to help, take advantage of that because most people don't. You never stop learning with horses, even doing it for years riding keeps advancing. We as humans can't stop learning and your never to good for a lesson. I've ran barrels and poles my whole life, I'm 21 I still ask for advice and help when needed and when it's given I listen.
Posted via Mobile Device
BarrelRacer23 is offline  
post #6 of 28 Old 04-06-2014, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 13,224
• Horses: 2
In the nicest possible way, "get over yourself young lady"

I took my out of shape, nervous and OLD, top side of 50, body to a reining clinic yesterday and had a total blast. Yes I got things wrong, yes I was a hot mess, yes I looked like a fool at times, but it was just such fun.

Thing is you can't know anything without learning, and if you are lucky enough to find someone with a passion for their sport, and the talent to instruct, they are so enthusiastic to get a convert they make it fun.

I am still smiling today, every horse person needs help sometimes, I have heard people I very much respect and am in total awe of their skill and knowledge, ask others to watch them and give feed back. As horsemen and women you never know it all, so get out there and learn, learn to do it right and safely, and have a blast
Golden Horse is offline  
post #7 of 28 Old 04-06-2014, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5,467
• Horses: 0
I'd be more embarrassed doing it wrong then to ask for a lesson.

Although I don't need to take lessons I thoroughly enjoy taking them. Learning new skills or different ways to doing things has made me a really well rounded equestrian!

Like goldenhorse said, it's time to get over yourself!!
Posted via Mobile Device
SlideStop is offline  
post #8 of 28 Old 04-07-2014, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 5,744
• Horses: 3
Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
In the nicest possible way, "get over yourself young lady"
I will ditto that, in the nicest way of course.


There is zero shame in taking lessons.

Plus, you'll make a bigger fool of yourself when you show up to a barrel race and EVERYONE in the crowd can see you don't know what you are doing. Rather than having ONE person you take lessons from see how you ride.

Just two days ago, I went and took a reining lesson with my horse. I will be going back to him every so often to get help.

Last week, I started taking English lessons to learn how to jump. I will be doing that every other week. Right now on her lesson horses, but eventually with my horse.

While I don't formerly take barrel racing lessons, there are people who I trust and I'm always asking for their opinion on things.

Go take lessons. Swallow your pride.
SorrelHorse and Golden Horse like this.

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
beau159 is offline  
post #9 of 28 Old 04-07-2014, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wellington, Florida <3
Posts: 556
• Horses: 1
You need to swallow your pride and get lessons. From what you're saying, you're over confident in your riding and your horse. The fastest recorded horse was clocked at 43 mph..I doubt your barrel horse is 10 mph faster than that. You need to be honest with yourself to avoid hurting yourself and your aging horse.
Posted via Mobile Device
SorrelHorse and beau159 like this.
Nikkibella is offline  
post #10 of 28 Old 04-23-2014, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 6
• Horses: 1
I think as long as you have basic experience riding you can easily teach yourself to barrel race! I taught myself, its just making sure you can ride at all gaits, stop, turn, back and do the basic horsemanship before you go galloping barrels, its only safe for you and fair to the horse!

If you've got experience then go for it! Start slow walk it, jog it and master these before adding speed. Don't spend all your time riding and repeating the pattern take trail rides and mix it up by riding other gaming pattern like pole bending, keyhole etc.

One tip that has really helped me is have someone video tape you riding. Watch yourself and critique yourself. Even just pictures can show you what your needing work on! Look at my avatar, that picture taught me I need to be looking at the next barrel instead of down, I never even realized I was doing that until I saw the pictures.

So good luck and always ask for help before small problems become large ones!
Roux likes this.
LuckyHorse11 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Please Help! (Barrels) RodeoGirl97 Horse Training 14 10-04-2013 11:29 PM
Barrels Blossom in Srping Barrel Racing 7 08-21-2013 10:54 AM
Best Way to Teach a Horse is to Teach Yourself gablehaus Horse Training 4 02-04-2013 07:15 AM
How to teach a horse to do barrels? girl_on_black_pony Western Riding 20 05-05-2009 08:01 PM
barrels? chika1235 Western Riding 11 01-26-2009 06:15 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome