As a NON horse rider I would like to know how many years a horse can barrel race, what age to start them and what age is too old? The reason I would like to know is I see ads on craigslist with something like "17 yo grand champion barrel racer for sale". I gotta think 12 or so years of running and making sharp curves has going to be hell on a horse after that amount of time. I also see some horses at our stable that look so worn out and hurting, that they have no business running or turning barrels. But it seems these horse owners just keep on running these poor horses!
I guess as someone that knows nothing about horses, maybe I think a horse is hurting or worn out when he really might not be. And it pisses me off seeing owners running the crap out a horse that is maybe past their prime.