Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Western Pennsylvania
I think it depends on the experience level of said rider, personally.
I'm a self taught rider all the way around, haven't gotten a lesson in my life (aside from a walk/trot once in college which was a joke...so I don't count that). I can run patterns in the 16s and I've usually been able to get faster times out of certain horses than their normal riders. I can run high 16s/low 17s on a draft cross that I trained years ago.
I think that if the horse knows how to use itself correctly, rollbacks, good stops, leg/seat cues, and rider can do all of the above (and more, just examples), running a barrel pattern isn't too far off. For example, most ranch and reining horses can run a beautiful pattern the first time without ever seeing the pattern if the rider knows how to set the horse up and ask for bend, rate, and turns appropriately.
Granted, lessons are a great thing if it's available to you. I personally just can't see myself spending money on lessons when I could spend it on things that are more important than me. It takes me a year to get my horses loping a pattern perfectly, and then I add speed. You have to have the right horse, right mentality, right experience level, etc to be successful in any discipline..I've found speed events to need that much more than other disciplines though because of how hot a horse can get after a couple flat out runs. I've leased horses that I wouldn't dare putting on patterns because they just don't have the mentality for it and can/have become dangerous if someone does decide to run them.
Posted via Mobile Device