So far I am only a gate handler. Next year I will hopefully get more involved in our barrel racing club, but how much fun is it really? It seems like so much fun, even you do suck at me (me!!)
I would love to get more involved with barrel racing, yet I know absolutely nothing about it.
Could someone please give me some ideas on
- how fun is it
- is it something that could possibly be a career
- what all would I need
- is it hard
Well it depends if you like it.
Someone may tell you snowboarding is a blast. But I myself hate it. Can't stand having my feet anchored together in the same direction. Someone may tell you English show jumping is a rush. Some people might not like it. So I will tell you that I LOVE barrel racing and it is loads of fun, but it doesn't mean you will like it.
So I can't tell you "how fun is it" because you may or may not like it. That's personal preference.
Technically yes you can make a career out of barrel racing. Our newest barrel racing world champion Mary Walker is making a career out of it. As does former world champions Sherry Cervi, Lindsey Sears, Brittany Pozzi, etc.
Can everyone make a career out of it? NO. Most people who rodeo, or travel the 4D barrel circuit have jobs during the week to help pay the bills.
If you want to compete at the level of making a career out of it, you'd better have a $25,000+ barrel horse. And a backup horse worth the same price, because if your main horse gets hurt or needs time off, you've got to have a backup.
Most people, like myself, work a full 40 hours per week at their "usual" job and then barrel race on the weekends. Barrel racing is a hobby and a fun thing to do. It's great if you happen to win some money, but you aren't always going to win money and you can't rely on that.
As far as what you will need:
-a horse trained for barrels (since you don't know how to barrel race, you want to buy one already trained)
-an arena or dirt area to practice barrels when you need to
-regular vet care for that horse (dentist, chiro, farrier, annual health tests, vaccinations, etc)
-food for the horse (feed, hay, and pasture)
-pickup to pull your horse trailer
-horse trailer to carry your horse
-gas or diesel fuel to fill your pickup
-a barrel racing saddle, possibly breastcollar
-protective leg boots or polos
-money for entry fees
And many more things I am sure I am forgetting.
Bottom line --> barrel racing sure is fun, but its not a cheap hobby
Is barrel racing hard? To do it correctly, YES. It is much, much more than just jumping on a horse and whipping/spurring it around 3 barrels. It takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to train a barrel horse, and possibly just as long to train a person to ride a barrel horse.
There's entire books and DVDs about training a barrel horse and or running barrel horses. Hence there is a lot involved in it.