Of course she can still make a good trail horse all my barrel horses are excellent trail horses and we do a lot of trail riding so they aren't doing barrels all the time. Not only trail riding but working cattle and ranch sorting as well. It's bad to do a pattern all the time. And depending on the trails and the way you ride they can also increase conditioning. But before you even think about the pattern your mare needs a solid foundation on the ground and in the saddle. She needs to be able to yield her fore and hind quarters, woah, back up, direct and indirect rein, move laterally, side pass, circle work at all speeds, flying lead changes, control of horse at all speeds. When your mare is doing all those things pretty well then that's when you can slowly introduce barrels. Barrel racing is a lot of slow work so if you have a pattern set up in your field that's fine for now find yourself a pretty level area and start practicing. Lots of walking the pattern when she's doing that pretty good you can slowly start adding trotting and walking and mixing it up. As you start loping remember to not do it more than a few times each session mostly walk and trot. When you start to lope the pattern you may want to find a local arena you can practice at. I'd start watching videos about the different way people train to barrel race and if you can I recommend lessons to teach yourself how as well. Good luck with you mare be safe.
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Last edited by Peppy Barrel Racing; 01-07-2013 at 12:12 PM.