Thinking of getting into barrel racing
Hi. I was thinking of taking up barrels. Nothing major or super competitive - just fun shows if any.
I have a 17 year old double registered palomino/quarter horse named Sonny.
We bought him from my mom's friend about three years ago. She competed with him nationally on barrels and had owned him since he was 3 or so. She gave him to us because she said he's not fast enough for the level she wanted. But believe me, he's plenty fast. Clocked him at 47 mph. That's plenty fast for me.
Also, when I was in high school, my junior year (3 years ago) my friend used him on the equestrian team as a speed horse. He was undefeated in poles, and barrels.
In our pasture, we have an area that barrels could be set up.
I'm not concerned about his ability to run them as he has been trained and loves to run them.
I'm concerned with my ability to ride him as he runs them.
Any tips and pointers would be helpful.
I have been riding officially since I was 4 (I'm 20) and unofficially since before I could walk. I've owned horses my entire life.
The majority of my riding, however, consisted of trail riding (Sonny's an awesome trail horse) and lessons. I have let him go all out before and I can sit that just fine.
It's just the mechanics of running barrels that I'm concerned about.
He makes very tight, steep turns when he's running even when there are no barrels around and I find them slightly difficult to sit. I'm concerned that with the barrel there and him going from a turn to a bolt will knock me off balance.
Any help would be appreciated.
I know Sonny and I would love something more to do than just going around the perimeter of the pasture and going on trails :)