Training a horse to barrel race, & lead changes?? - The Horse Forum
  • 5 Post By beau159
  • 2 Post By Annanoel
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 3 Old 03-07-2013, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: NY
Posts: 50
• Horses: 14
Arrow Training a horse to barrel race, & lead changes??

Okay, so I want to start running barrels with my mare. I have already started patterning her, and she will trot and canter pretty nicely around the barrels. I ride English and western, but I've never really known much about running barrels. I have a couple friends who do it, and of course I've seen it at rodeos and gymkhanas...

However, I don't know very much about barrel racing, and I was hoping some of you experienced barrel racers could give me some tips on starting out. Are there any particular gymnastics that would be beneficial for conditioning her for barrels? I know there's a lot more to it than just galloping around the barrels...but how hard is it to train your horse to balance himself around the turns, and "sit and spin"? Is that really necessary? I know these probably sound like stupid questions to those of you who know what you're doing. But do you have to switch leads during your run? I never really payed attention to that, I guess. My mare doesn't know how to perform flying lead changes yet, so that would be a problem.

I have a barrel racing book by Sharon Camarillo (I think) that I'm going to read, so that should help a lot. But pleasee leave any tips/advice! Anything you want to tell me that will be even a little bit helpful is welcome.
Thank you!
Sis is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 Old 03-07-2013, 03:11 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 5,754
• Horses: 3
First I would recommend that you check out the "sticky" on this barrel forum here:
Barrel Racing Exercises and Drills.

We all contributed to it so that it can be a place for newbies to read through.

But to answer a few of your questions up front...
It can take anywhere form 6 months to 2 years to train a barrel racing horse from start to finish. So the key is to be patient. And go at the horse's pace.

If you try to go faster than the horse is ready for, you will create bad habits that are very hard to fix later on, and you could potentially make your horse soured on them. When horses are pushed faster than they are ready for, they get confused because they don't know what is expected of them. That confusion is what leads to the horse getting soured and frustrated with the rider.

Flying lead changes are not necessary to train for barrels, but it is helpful. At the minimum, your horse needs to know simple lead changes.

When your horse is a finished barrel racer, they will switch leads on their own, because they know what to expect. But when you are training them, it is often best to cue them so that you can set them up for a successful turn. (They can't turn a barrel properly if they are on the wrong lead.)

If this is your first time barrel racing, I ALWAYS suggest that you work with a trainer who can show you hands on. You can read all the books you want, and watch all the videos you want, but hands-on training cannot be replaced.

You wouldn't want an airplane pilot to fly the plane because he feels confident because he read all the books and watched all the videos .... but had zero hands on training .... would you? So you should never expect to learn something you've never done before without having hands-on and in-person training.

But first read through that sticky thread I posted. We've got a lot of good info in there. Feel free to ask any more questions though!

∞*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
beau159 is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 03-07-2013, 06:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Somewhere in Wisconsin
Posts: 785
• Horses: 4
Well said Beau! As always seems like we're all beating each other to these threads otherwise we repeat! LOL.
beau159 and DrumRunner like this.

"Every person you will meet will have at least one great quality. Duplicate it and leave the rest." --Clinton Anderson
Annanoel is offline  

barrel racing , barrels , gymkhana , rodeos , western

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Learning to barrel race with a non-barrel horse? Blondehorselover Barrel Racing 8 07-13-2012 04:28 PM
Ex race horse training Scarlet woman Horse Training 6 07-01-2012 02:43 AM
Conformation Critique On My Florida Cracker Horse That I Barrel Race.=)) HorseLife97 Horse Riding Critique 3 05-09-2011 04:44 PM
What do you think: Can a blind horse barrel race? cascanastargazer Barrel Racing 13 02-08-2011 01:25 PM
Race Horse Training StormyBlues Horse Training 21 01-27-2009 02:16 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome