My horse and I just went to our first barrel show yesterday. It was his first show ever! The only thing the previous owners did with him was trail ride in different places. I have been conditioning his muscles to get him in shape for the past several months. He definitely has a basic idea of the barrels and did very well on his run back after the 3rd barrel.
I noticed there were so many barrel horses at the show that just came out breathing fire! Most of their heads were up in the air despite the tie downs people swear keep their head in control. They were the most out of control horses! Some of them had to back up in the gate so the horse wouldn't just take off with the rider.
One girl was injured by one of those maniac horses and got taken off by ambulance. The girl that was champion of last year didn't have the fastest run but I noticed how well behaved her horse was and how in control she was. That's how I am, it might take me forever to teach him, but I'd rather be in control. There were a few others like me there also.
I definitely will be attending all the shows I can this year to get him more used to horse show atmospheres and improving our skills. Our exhibition runs were slow, but successful. However our final run he got off pattern.
He's usually a very calm horse but went a little nuts at everything going on. He didn't spook just kept neighing over and over. Good lord I hope that improves. Gives me a headache :(