New to the forum and barrel racing. This was a sport I've wanted to get into six years ago but instead did english (hunter/jumper). I rode, believe it or not, six days a week. I was obsessed with riding and becoming a better rider. Haven't ridden in six years but haven't forgotten what I learned either. I will be doing a rider eval tomorrow (yay!)
Now that I want to seriously focus on barrel racing (i'm not kidding), couple of questions:
1. What is with joining an association? I don't understand what the associations are for.
2. I'm trying out some stables to see which I like best to start with. I know I will be using school horses but when I get to a level like loping and doing like an absolute begginers' competition, will I use a school horse?
3. I don't own a horse at all sadly enough. Would it be possible to later lease or horse or would it be better to eventually buy a barrel racing horse?
4. When barrel racing, is it a requirement to ride/race solely in a western saddle? I have tried some aussie saddles (they even have hybrid western/aussie saddles) and like the feel of them.
5. What is gymkhana? Is it like an extension of barrel racing or some sort of precursor to it?