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This is a discussion on New within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

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    • 1 Post By SorrelHorse
    • 1 Post By beau159
    • 1 Post By SorrelHorse

     
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        04-09-2012, 02:24 AM
      #1
    Foal
    New

    I'm curious about barrel racing! I usually ride english but I'd love to have a go at barrel racing. There is a barrel racing club in my town open to novice, open rounds. Etc. which allow to go at trot and canter as well as galloping.
    I've never done this before and I want to know the risks, good things, differences about barrel racing?
    What I can expect when I first start etc.
         
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        04-09-2012, 12:27 PM
      #2
    Trained
    What you can expect is one hell of a fun sport and a great thrill!

    This is such a broad question you've posted. :) But I'm so glad to see people form other disciplines trying out new things! I knew I couldn't be the only one who branches out lol

    If your horse is well trained it will be fairly easy to get him started on barrels. DrumRunner has made a wonderful sticky post about exercizes and drills. I could talk for hours about this, but for your sake I won't. :) If you have any specific questions we'd be glad to help you out.
    StackofHorses likes this.
         
        04-09-2012, 09:39 PM
      #3
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by StackofHorses    
    I'm curious about barrel racing! I usually ride english but I'd love to have a go at barrel racing. There is a barrel racing club in my town open to novice, open rounds. Etc. which allow to go at trot and canter as well as galloping.
    I've never done this before and I want to know the risks, good things, differences about barrel racing?
    What I can expect when I first start etc.
    Very broad question indeed, but I'll try to give you a few pointers.

    The biggest lesson you can learn about barrel racing is that SLOWER is better. Even if you are only going to be doing this for fun at local shows, you do not want to push your horse too fast too soon. Or else you may make him resent the barrels. So start slow! Enter the trotting barrels classes.

    Risks, well, like any other horse event, you want to make sure you horse is in good shape and has been conditioned. You also want to properly warm up and cool down before each event. It's meant to be a sport of speed, so I highly recommend a helmet, but of course that's usually not required at most gaming shows.

    Differences in barrel racing depends on what association you are running with (their rules) and the arena size. Some gaming shows have a rule where you cannot make a running start. Rodeos and jackpot races usually do not. Some horse clubs have large arenas with a large barrel pattern (so the times will be higher in the 17 to 20 second range) and some have small arenas with small patterns (13 to 15 second range). Some shows have a dress code and some do not. Just know the rules of where you are going to compete.

    For those of us who have been barrel racing a LONG time, we would much rather see a new rider (like yourself) come in a do a nice, correct, slow trotting pattern with a relaxed horse. I hate seeing people come blasting into the arena, yanking on a horse that clearly has not been trained for barrels, making a sloppy and terrible looking "fast" pattern. Do it slow and right or don't do it at all.

    As far as what YOU should expect .... just expect to have fun! Who cares how fast your run is. You're just giving this a try. Make your horse do the pattern slow and nice and you'll both learn something from it.

    Have fun!
    StackofHorses likes this.
         
        04-10-2012, 01:58 AM
      #4
    Foal
    Thanks a lot for that! I don't think I'd be able to go straight out gallop first trys anyways! Have either of you had any accidents ?
         
        04-10-2012, 02:09 AM
      #5
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by StackofHorses    
    Thanks a lot for that! I don't think I'd be able to go straight out gallop first trys anyways! Have either of you had any accidents ?
    Not to scare you but I've had many...lol Blowing out my knee was the most painful I think. Metal barrels aren't fun when you hit them. Had a horse slip on bad ground at a show once and fall over, neither of us hurt. Another one trip and almost toss me over the horn but we got back up....Several others that happened just riding around, minus the barrel racing part.
    StackofHorses likes this.
         
        04-10-2012, 02:22 AM
      #6
    Foal
    Ouch! That all must hurt! Well obviously there is going to be injuries in any type of horse riding so it's expected
         
        04-10-2012, 09:15 PM
      #7
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by StackofHorses    
    Thanks a lot for that! I don't think I'd be able to go straight out gallop first trys anyways! Have either of you had any accidents ?
    Tons.

    It's going to happen when you ride horses at speed, and ask them to make tight turns. I can't say I've ever had any broken bones, but a lot of bruises and sore/tender spots (especially shins!) and chiropractor visits. I have had a grade 3 concussion, but that actually was riding a filly I was training who just plumb tripped over her own feet at a gallop. Not barrel racing. Goober.....

    If you think about it, sometimes NFL players trip or slip on the field, and end up falling. They're making explosive moves with speed. Same with a barrel horse. It's inevitable that they will slip or stumble at some point. You just hope the horse and rider don't get hurt.
         

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