Barrel horse prospect! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 04-03-2013, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Question Barrel horse prospect!

He's a 6yo APHA gelding. First, what do you think of his build/conformation for barrel racing?

How do start your horses on barrels (excersises/drills/bits/etc)? And what would you recommend for him?

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post #2 of 10 Old 04-03-2013, 07:46 PM
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His front feet are really awful imo...could just be the way he is standing? Nice butt and cool colour. Sorry I can't be mroe helpful :o) Good luck!
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-03-2013, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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he's in need of a trimming on his front feet..they grow really fast, that's why they look pretty slanted.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-03-2013, 07:50 PM
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Ah ok. Well, other than that I like his shoulder, his butt and his colour haha Don't know anything about barrels sorry :) Have you ridden him?

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post #5 of 10 Old 04-03-2013, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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lol thanks(; Yes I ride him 3-6 times a week. I've ad him since he was 4
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-03-2013, 08:04 PM
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He has a nice length back, and his chest seems a but narrow for an average barrel horse but I've seen some horses that size still do good. Nice length legs, and looks like he could have some speed. I would give barrel racing a try with him :)

The way I taught my barrel horse was by starting off slow. Walk through the pattern for a week or two. Maybe more if it takes your horse longer to learn it. Then move to trotting to and between barrels. I recommend slowing to a walk going around the barrel while at the trot so e gets the idea to be careful on his turns. Once you have this down, move to a canter and trot around the barrels. Make sure than when you canter around the barrels completely that you pull your horses nose in toward the barrel.
P.s. Take a short break between each pattern so your horse knows how long one pattern is.
Hope this helps and good luck with barrels!
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-03-2013, 09:50 PM
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oh heck sorry haha thought you were looking at buying him. What you using him for atm?
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-03-2013, 10:58 PM
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I like a good neck rein and stop on my barrel horse. As far as a bit I prefer an O-ring snaffle or a hack it's personal preference really. Like Gageholmes said start off slow don't go into at a run first. He's got a good build for it, not a fan of his front feet but that could be just a needed trim or the way he is standing. Love his color. As far as drills or exercises doing some figure 8s around barrels, doing some spirals, serpentines, weaving in and out of poles, barrels, or cones or even doing rollbacks all would be good. Hope this helps I hope you get into barrel racing its really a great sport and a good bonding thing for you and your horse! Good luck!
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-04-2013, 12:49 AM
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I like his butt and his back is a good length. The way I would start a barrel horse is walk him in the clover leaf pattern around the barrels over and over until he knows it. Then trot. When you trot him around the barrels you can canter on your way home. What I did with my horse is I used two barrels and did figure 8's around them and obviously had him change leads lol. After that I added the third barrel and we flew! Barrel racing is a lot of fun. When you go around turns you use your inside reign to turn him around the barrel. As for bits everyone recommends different bits. Research the bits people recommend and see which would best fit your horse. A great place to look for these bits are at a used tack store. My barrel horse uses a hackamore so I shouldn't be recommending bits for this discipline lol! I hope I helped!
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-05-2013, 12:34 AM
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Those feet need some corrective trimming he doesnt look like he has much heel and way too much toe. I have a mare who's front feet grow extremely fast as well I have to trim him twice as often as my other horses, your horse is probably the same. I don't like the angle of his front pasterns but it might be the pic and the need of trimming. I like the rest of him except to me his croup angle is a little sharp for my personal taste, but I think muscling will help some of that. Lots of slow work as far as doing barrels goes this needs to take several months not weeks so don't get in a hurry. Long trotting will help with muscle building and you want to work on your circles. I start with a big circle and progressively make the cirlce smaller like a spiral and I work both sides. Figure 8's are great as well. Remember get your horse working well at walking, then when they are doing that well you can slowly add in trotting, then when your walking and trotting the pattern well you can slowly introduce cantering. When I start cantering I never canter more than twice a practice session. Remember this takes a lot of conditioning so build your horse up slowly and make sure your horse is getting enough calories to support the work load. I'm not sure what your level is with barrel racing but if your a beginer/intermediate I would recommend finding a barrel racing trainer to give you lessons and they can you one on one tips to improve yourself as well as your horse. There is a lot the goes into barrel racing more than can be explained on the forum. I hope you have lots of fun and be safe. I like your tobiano paint he has a nice pattern good luck with him!

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