Is her conformation good for a barrel horse?

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Is her conformation good for a barrel horse?

This is a discussion on Is her conformation good for a barrel horse? within the Horse Conformation Critique forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Conformation for a barrel horse
  • Can short horse run barrels

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    12-06-2012, 05:44 PM
Red face Is her conformation good for a barrel horse?

This is ginger she is a 18 yr old paint. She ran barrels seasonal for 4 years then put to pasture and barely used. Now I have her she was my trail horse for a while then I wanted to get into barrel racing, and was told she would be good for me since I was a beginner at barrels but expirenced rider. (yes I do have lesson on barrel racing, not doing anything backyard.) But like title says, Is her conformation good for a barrel horse?14412_366744406750302_2038224616_n.jpg



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    12-08-2012, 09:42 PM
Green Broke
Any horse can run barrels, doesn't matter their conformation. If you were to get into the big levels, she probably couldn't keep up with the pros.
She has fairlydecent hindquarters, which is where her power is going to come from.
Stifle looks low in those photos, which would mean a shorter stride, which could be a good thing when getting around those turns.
It all really comes down to her temperment and ability. Is she responsive? Agile? Quick to turn? Fast?
Nothing bad is really standing out to me that would affect her at beginner barrels. Infact the only sever confo flaw would be her neck and shoulder and she is possibly a little toed out as well
    12-09-2012, 08:48 AM
I don't do barrels, so can't comment to her ability, but she looks to have an extremely upright shoulder in the closer photo. She appears to toe out quite a lot and needs more muscle throughout. Better photos (whole body taken with horse profiled to the photographer) would help us assess the horse better, as she 'looks' more balanced and better muscled in the last photo, but the angle and light is such that it is hard to say for sure.
    12-11-2012, 06:06 PM
She looks like she has a pretty straight shoulder and pasterns, which can make the ride choppy and the turns not as smooth and nice. However, for not competing seriously, conformation doesn't play a huge role like the other said. It's about how she handles you, and if you are enjoying riding her. :)
    12-12-2012, 12:58 PM
NO. She toes out WAY too much. Barrels already put lots of stress on the leg joints, and with her legs not being aligned, that's just asking for trouble in my opinion.
    12-12-2012, 03:29 PM
Green Broke
And at 18, it may be a little late to start her on something so strenuos. Especially since she has had a lay-off of some length. Just something to think about.
    12-12-2012, 03:43 PM
Green Broke
At age 18, is she healthy enough to run barrels still? Not saying she can't be, but I would have her checked by your vet, dentist, and chiron to get the okay to go ahead and do barrels with her. She may have arthritis issues, hock issues, or more.

As far as conformation, she is very toed out in her front legs, which can create excess stress. She also is slightly cow-hocked in her back legs, although not as bad as her front legs. She has a very steep shoulder angle, and slightly short neck and/or long back.

Not horrible, by any means. But of course, not perfect conformation.

It sounds like to me all you want to do is learn to barrel race at small local levels, which is fine. As long as your expectations are realistic to what you can attain with this horse. Obviously, she is not going to be NFR caliber. But that's okay, as long as you are okay with that.

barrel racing, conformation critique

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