Curious about barrels

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > Western Riding > Barrel Racing

Curious about barrels

This is a discussion on Curious about barrels within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

Like Tree7Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools
    02-12-2013, 02:31 AM
Curious about barrels

Hey :) Im really curious about barrels. I've been riding my whole life, mostly english but I've done some western. And when I was in FFA all the girls did barrel racing and I felt so out of place. And I love english very much, but I always want to try new things. So whats wrong with being a hunter/jumper and a barrel racer? I really want to try it and learn more about it :) So if anyone could tell me a little bit about it and tell me how you would start out getting into it? Thanks! :)
SorrelHorse likes this.
Sponsored Links
    02-12-2013, 05:32 AM
There's nothing wrong with doing both! I myself dabbled in a lot of things english ad western before finally settling my focus on barrels. Good horsemanship is good horsemanship in all the disciplines.

What I would do as your first step is look around for any reputable barrel trainers in your area and look for some lessons. On a really well trained, season barrel horse you'll find you use a whole different set of muscles than when you are jumping! When I was doing more english than barrels, the first time I ran my barrel horse after doing an eq over fences class I felt my entire back pop leaving the second barrel and realized how out of shape I was, and even now going back and riding english as well takes a toll on me after riding my barrel horses only.

After you find the trainer and kind of get a feel for it, maybe look around for some local jackpots or gymkhana series that you can go play at. I LOVE my local gymkhanas, a lot of the big time barrel racers will look down their nose at you but they are SO much fun and so good for your horse to get to do all those different events. And of course jackpots, always nice to win a little money ;D
beau159 likes this.
    02-12-2013, 12:54 PM
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
I LOVE my local gymkhanas, a lot of the big time barrel racers will look down their nose at you but they are SO much fun and so good for your horse to get to do all those different events.
Me too! Gaming events all day. LOVE IT! No, it is not as glamorous as winning the 1D out of 1,500 barrel racers and being on the cover of barrel horse news, but the small gaming shows are still a blast.

I've been barrel racing and doing gaming events since I was 4 years old. I'm now approaching 27. And I just took my first official English riding lessons over the winter. So it is never a bad thing to try new things and experience new things!

So there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing both!

I agree with sorrelhorse completely. When you are dabbling in something you've never done before, it is always best to take some lessons from a barrel racing trainer. That will give you the opportunity to get a feel for barrels on their lessons horses, before you go out and buy your own. Plus, there is A LOT more to barrel than just running around 3 cans as fast as you can. Just like there is more to show jumping that galloping around on your horse and hopping over fences. So at the minimum, even if you aren't going to do anything besides "just for fun" with it, you should still learn how to do it correctly.

I had actually stumbled across on episode of Swapping Saddles where a barrel racer and an English jumper swapped disciplines. It was neat to watch! I started a thread about it a while back.
Barrel Racing versus English Jumping .... who wins?

DrummRunner also started a good thread about barrel exercises.
Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills.

Along with barrel racing lessons, it's always beneficial to get your hands on other resources such as DVDs and books. Charmayne James, Martha Josey, Ed and Martha Wright, Sharon Camarillo, are just a few names of great books. Charmayne James and Dena Kirkpatrick have amazing training DVDs as well.

Dena has a bunch of free clips on Youtube, and Sherry Cervi has a couple trouble shooting clips. That's a good place to start.

    02-12-2013, 12:57 PM
Green Broke
I love barrels. (: We have a pony that can take a trail class, place in games, and place in hunter/jumper (as long as the judge doesn't hate paints or hold a grudge since they don't show APHA, lol).

If I could jump ST I think she'd place hunters and I know we'll be taking barrels as soon as I can get an arena to actually put her to work in (no flat areas at this farm).
Posted via Mobile Device
    02-12-2013, 06:08 PM
Im glad that other people see it the way I see it I kinda wanna do everything! :) but what is the best way to find a good barrel trainer?
    02-12-2013, 06:22 PM
Go to local rodeos/gymkhanas, watch the barrels and pick out which horse you like the training on the best. Not necessarily the horse with the fastest time, but the horse who is under control in the alley, runs smooth, is responsive, and is soft on the bit. Then, talk to the rider and find out who trained them and their horse.
SorrelHorse and beau159 like this.
    02-12-2013, 07:38 PM
Yup. Word of mouth and asking around is usually the best way to find a trainer. People will give you their true opinion if they liked a trainer or not.
    02-12-2013, 08:00 PM
I love barrels and other gymkanna sports. My first advice to you would see if your horse has the heart for barrel racing, get lessons from a barrel trainer on your own horse, if you are wanting to barrel race on him, but if he doesn't have the heart, you will need to get another horse, who was bred for western or barrels. If you really want to get into barrel racing, get a seasoned barrel horse, or ride one in your lessons.

Secondly, don't take this the wrong way, but if your horse was trained english, and has never barrel raced, or ridden western very much, then you probably won't get a good, willing barrel horse out of it.
    02-12-2013, 08:19 PM
WEll the thing is I would not use the same horse that I use for jumping for barrels. If I ended up liking barrels I would by a good barrel horse as im really competive lol.
smrobs, SorrelHorse and beau159 like this.
    02-13-2013, 04:11 AM
^ That's the best way to do it.

When I decided to try english, I was prepared to just use my little painted cow pony.

My trainer had another idea. She brought out this massive schoolmaster warmblood for me to ride. Even when I felt totally messed up, that horse made me look GOOD over fences and in the dressage arena because he knew his job. Just like some barrel horses will compensate for their riders errors as well, just like that horse did for me.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY Barrels The Northwest Cowgirl Barrel Racing 6 07-01-2012 02:15 AM
my boy on the barrels BarrelracingArabian Barrel Racing 7 01-10-2012 10:12 PM
Where to buy barrels? equiniphile Horse Tack and Equipment 3 11-21-2010 05:22 PM
OMG Barrels!!! dreamrideredc Western Riding 4 09-23-2009 08:40 PM
barrels? chika1235 Western Riding 11 01-26-2009 07:15 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:54 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0