Thoroughbred okay to barrel race? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thoroughbred okay to barrel race?

My one Thoroughbred is built very stocky and looks almost like a Quarter Horse in Western tack; she has that wide chest and the muscular appeal. She's a gorgeous English horse who will be great at dressage once I catch up to her in my English abilities! This week I took her on trail and threw a Western saddle on her for the first time....and she was great. Her trot is very even so it was smooth and not jarring, and she was very responsive and seemed to enjoy the change. So all this week I've been riding her Western and started toying around with gaming. She has the speed, the body control, the stamina, and the ability to take sharp turns at a fast pace. Her lead changes are also excellent. So my friend and I worked with her being more responsive, working on her turns, and keeping her in her sane mind while doing the pattern, and she is getting excellent at it.

I want to do gymkhana with her at fair this year instead of with my Paso Fino Gelding as his uveitis is getting worse and he can't see at all out of his one eye.

However....yesterday we were practicing at just a walk, trot, and slow canter, and when we came down the straightaway Molly slipped and fell, bringing me down with her, and I passed out and had a concussion. When I woke up I couldn't remember anything, like why I was out there and why Molly had a Western saddle on. My head hurt, so we put Molly away (she was fine, my mom says....I don't remember) and went to the e.r. Things started coming back, and I remembered up until Molly slipping and falling. I remember wakign up and feeling like I was in a dream. The doctor said I had a low grade concussion.

Now I'm having second thoughts about even the light gymkhana work I've been working on with Molly. What if she's not cut out fot it? What if she hurts herself because she's a Thoroughbred and wasn't bred to run barrels? She had a past injury (slab fracture) on the track and doesn't have any limitations from it now other than jumping, and it's not apparent she was injured at all other than a small bump in her one foreleg if you run your fingers down it. But what if she slipped in part to the knee injury that healed over years ago? I want to do what's best for her and would be devestated if something I did ever hurt her.

I asked her old trainer her opinion and she said she personally would not do barrels with her because she's not build for it, but didn't seem concerned about the knee. I don't think her conformation will be detrimental to her for just some practice for the 4-H portion of fair, do you? She looks almost like a QH with her broad chest and muscular neck. I'll post pics and a video of her so you can get an idea for her conformation. She's 15.3hh on the dot.

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post #2 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 03:57 PM
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I run barrels with my tb, not competitively in western but at home and at gymkhanas in english gear and she's fine with it all.
Every horse will trip now and again, it could have been a one time thing, could have been a patch of ground etc etc. Try it again, I fell off and broke my ribs because bubbles tripped, it was a one time thing. that was all. that was over a year and a half ago now we're back to where we were before

R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms
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post #3 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 04:06 PM
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Holly is right, sometimes horses just slip. It was likely just a freak thing that had absolutely nothing to do with the previous injury. With her conformation, she may never be a money winner in the barrels but I see no reason why you can't do it just for fun. It would be something different for the both of you and so long as you both enjoy it, go for it.

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post #4 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 04:24 PM
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The others are right, accidents happen with all horses.
As for her, I ran an Appendix mare that looked more TB than your horse. She was built english, leggy, uphill, everything just broader. But she was 16 hhs and an awesome barrel horse. She placed fairy high for a "just started " horse at NBHA shows. My friend I sold her too is still barrel racing her. My cousin also runs a TB, he's racing bred and wins alot. Not just fair, but actually highly competitive shows. He also looks more QH.
There's nothing conformation wise wrong with your mare that would impend her from running barrels. Just make sure to train her right.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-12-2010, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much!

I've been reading up on training barrel horses, and my one friend does gymkhana at her boarding barn, so she's going to pick Molly up in her trailer so she and I can practice on our horses at her barn as she has barrels and a large arena. Thanks for reassuring me....I didn't want to hurt her by working her in barrels if she shouldn't be. Thanks!
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-13-2010, 02:54 PM
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I have a 15.2hh barrel horse (quarter horse) When I compete I have seen thoroughbred's race and alot of Appendix. If she is quick in her turns, and fast on her feet, she would do well :)
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-21-2010, 11:23 AM
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My tb mare and I sometimes barrel race, just for fun, and she does great, she loves it

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post #8 of 11 Old 11-21-2010, 12:08 PM
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a tb i used to ride looks alot like her and she excelled at gymkhana she absolutely loved it and placed highly in every event and even with her being tall and bulky she could get down into her turns very well. So yeah of course you can do gymkhana with her as the others said it could have been a one time thing and you shouldnt get discouraged go out and try it again maybe a bit slower at first

just a small town girl with a big town dream :]
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-22-2010, 06:53 PM
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every breed can barrel race! :) I've seen draft horses barrel race which is actually kind of cool. My sister (brookesloveofbaker) has an Appendix QH and we are guessing around 16.2h. she was kind of hurt when someone told her her horse is too "large" to compete and get good times. I guess it kind of depends if your doing it for fun, Go for it, but professionally it would take a lot of training to teach a large horse to do those fast turns but many horses will amaze you :) I would say just do it and have fun! GOOD LUCK!

No hour of life is wasted when spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-20-2011, 06:41 PM
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I have an appendix quarter horse but she's actually 7/8 TB. She loves to run barrels. And actually that's all we do. Cause she's a thoroughbred should not be the reason you don't run

"Unbridled or tethered and tied, the safety of the fence or the danger of the ride, I'll always be unsatisfied."
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