what is barrel racing in a nutshell? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-21-2010, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: East Bay Area , California
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what is barrel racing in a nutshell?

I have always ran barrels at the barn but never competed. I just moved to a new barn and everyone there are huge die hard barrel racing and gymkanna people. I want to do it too, but i have never had , nor can i afford formal barrel racing lessons, and im not sure i need them, have been riding for 10 years and have a lot of experience and teach basic riding and horsemanship and not to sound like im bragging or anything but feel that i am very good with horses, and i have been told so. I have dealt with a lot of problem horses and trained a lot as i had volunteered at a rescue and rehab stable for a few years. I can usually stay on and deal with almost anything, and get respect from the horse. I want to compete but i have never have because the barn i was at didn't have anybody who competed. we were all leisure and trail riders. my appendix mare is pretty good at getting around the barrels and had speed on her. Some have even complimented how she and i would excel at barrels. i just need to know , whats barrel racing in a nut shell?

what is the technique involved?
how do gymkannas work and how do you get involved?
what are the state and national titles and how do you earn them?
what kind of things do you win?
what is the proper way to run the cloverleaf pattern?
what are other patterns?
how far apart in feet are the barrels supposed to be?
i would ask some of the young girls at the barn I am at but I am a few years older than them and they seem kind of not interested in socializing with me and pick on me occasionally.

So all you die hard turn and burners, enlighten me please, thanks...
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post #2 of 6 Old 09-21-2010, 06:30 AM
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this easter i am entering barrel racing at port albert! yayayya lol
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-21-2010, 03:51 PM
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Barrel racing is just another dicipline. It takes basic moves from other diciplines, such as flying lead changes, side passing and leg yielding, and rollbacks add in turning on a dime and speed and you have barrel racing.
The proper way to run the pattern is either make 1 right turn and 2 lefts turns or 1 left turn and 2 right turns, depending on which lead your horse favors.
To get involved, just haul to a show, asociation shows will require a non member fee though like NBHA. Better to go to an open show first.
As for what you win, it depends on the show; small local shows may only give ribbons back, but bigger shows like NBHA and IBRA and even open shows will pay money back. sometimes you can even win a saddle. NBHA and IBRA run all season for points, IBRA to go to finals, and NBHA has a state show for each state and if you quailfy you can go to the World Show.

As for the barrel pattern, it varies from arena size. except in AQHA its always the same pattern size. and there is only one pattern.
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post #4 of 6 Old 09-21-2010, 07:07 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kansas
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BR86 did a great job explaining this. If you want in depth information on barrels, there are many books and DVDs you could look into that cover training and competition. There is also a lot of information available on the internet, but I prefer the books (because their authors have more credibility and the books are more in depth). If you are a visual learner, look into the videos.

Another option for you might be attending a clinic. I've done that, and I learned a lot from the clinicians as well as the other participants. However, unless the clinic is for starting barrel horses, you'd want to get the basics on them first to get the most out of it.

I just looked at the books currently available, and found the one by Ed and Martha Wright. I was so excited, I just had to order it. (They put on the clinic I attended.) But I would look for authors whose names you've probably heard - Sharon Camarillo, Marlene McRae (sp?), Charmayne James, etc. If you find a book written by someone you've never heard of, do a little research to find out what his/her credentials are. I've seen a lot of stuff (mostly on the internet) that really made me scratch my head until I discovered that the author had never run a barrel pattern before. There is also at least one book on gymkhana and a pole bending video.

Just an interesting side note, I ride appaloosas, and when the arena is big enough at our breed shows, we run horse against horse, which is tons of fun. We only do it for barrels and poles, but, wow!

Learning never stops
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-22-2010, 05:43 AM
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Thumbs up

reallly like ur topic
trigz is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 09-22-2010, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone. I am considering buying Charmayne James book on barrel racing. But if anyone else would like to add their ideas on barrel racing and what its all about then please keep them coming!
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