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.
associations are just groups, mainly to run for points and to qualify for state and nationals or world. Any non member can run at most association show some charge a fee. There are higher level associations like WPRA, but associations like IBRA and NBHA who are pretty known are for all levels of riders.
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?
If you ask around you may find a horse to lease. Typically people buy a finished barrel horse to learn on. It's best to get with a trainer and let them help you.
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.
you can use any saddle, but a barrel saddle is designed for the job
5. What is gymkhana? Is it like an extension of barrel racing or some sort of precursor to it?
Gymkhana is more of fun events, some have their own associations. Most shows will only have barrels, pole bending and sometimes flag racing. Gymkhanas have more events.
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