I have a POA/QH cross gelding named Putts, and I was wondering how I could make him a good barrel horse. He likes to run and definitely has the spark to do it. I have barrel raced him before, but not much. I want to be able to do 17 second runs, our fastest is 19 seconds. Have you got any tips for me?
You need to TRAIN him for barrels.
It takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years for a horse to be solid, consistent and finished on the pattern and running their best runs.
It takes time, patients, and lots and lots of slow work
to train a horse on the pattern and to be correct.
I suggest you find someone knowledgable about training barrel horses in your area because hands-on training really is best. However, you can also read books or watch DVDs by many great barrel racers such as Sherry Cervi, Charmayne James, Martha Josey, and Sharon Camarillo just to name a few to start.
Also, it means nothing to us to say you had a "19 second run" because we have no idea what size pattern you ran and the ground conditions. The only way you can possibly compare one run to another is if it is run on the designated WPRA standard pattern where it is 90 feet from Barrel 1 to Barrel 2, 105 feet from Barrel 1 or 2 to Barrel 3, and 60 feet from the timeline. And on that size pattern, I believe the current world record is in the low 16's (although I can't recall exactly at this moment).