Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Somewhere in WA
The horse must have the heart, want, & will for you to win on them. If they don't enjoy their job they are not going to give you 110% which you need to be successful.
Also the horse needs to have the proper foundation and correct training. Which means lots of slow work, patience, and be able to read your horse like a book. We take it slow with our horses and let them mature and speed up themselves. We start them on the pattern as 4yr olds (assuming of course they have the proper foundation and are ready to start on the pattern). Then as 5yr olds if they are ready we start letting them go their own pace and maybe asking them for a speed faster then a lope (if they are ready, also depends on the horse and if they can handle the pressure). As 6yr olds we start asking them more because by then they should have enough miles from hauling for at least 3yrs and know their job. It is not a process that happens fast....and if it does the horse usually shows holes at some point. You can always make a horse go faster, but it takes more back breaking work to slow them back down and fix what is broken.
But with my experience with training barrel horses and having prospects....I have a pretty good hunch of what my horses are going to be. Like my 7yr old JJ...me and my mom knew he was something special the day he hit the ground. He just had that "presence" that when you were around him he was not like the other babies. While another colt he was nice....but he just didn't have the "spark" to him like JJ and he is around a 3d-4d barrel horse.
So there is a lot to know about horses in general to be able to "know" when a horse is going to be a winning gem in the herd.
I hope the above made sense lol.....it is hard for me to explain it for some reason.
Conformation is how far the horse CAN go,
Mind is how far the horse WILL go,
Training is how far it DOES go.