You horse shouldn't see a barrel or a pole until he can do the following:
Move calmly and softly at all 3 gaits.
Stop easily and softly from any speed.
Break at the poll and give laterally too.
Back up easily with a soft mouth and body.
Side pass at the walk, and be able to two-track or move diagonally at the trot or gallop.
Know both neck reining and direct reining.
Know both simple lead changes and flying lead changes.
Transition from a walk, straight into a gallop, softly and on the correct lead.
Can do turns on the fore and turns on the hindend, in either direction.
Can do rollback cleanly.
Basically, you need a 100% broke to ride horse that you can move any part of his body in any direction you want at any speed at any time.
THEN you can start him on barrels.
No gadgets needed. Just a simple O-ring or D-ring snaffle and a simple saddle. Doesn't even have to be a barrel saddle.
∞•*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*•∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.