First you need to look at what conformation is! Conformation
describes the physical qualities
of a horse that can show a great deal about that horse’s health and ability to withstand physical exertion. With a trained eye, you’ll be able to look over a horse carefully and tell whether or not the gelding & mare have good conformations and will be a good fit for what you want to do with them, witch in your case is barrels! To put it more plainly to you, a horse with good conformation is one who looks as though all of his or her parts belong
Now it is kinda hard for me to go by hear-say on this because the conformation of a horse is so important for a good barrel prospect, but I can tell you right now pleasure & barrel racing are very
different sports! The qualities in a pleasure horse should appear calm and gaits should be slow but not lazy. The neck should be carried in an attractive arch and the nose should not be lower than the chest. As for barrel horse qualities are almost completely opposite. See where im going on this?
Another thing, it is better to have a lazy green broke horse to start barrels on than a horse that is crazy, wild green broke! This is a true fact, because you can always up the speed on any horse with the right cues & training, but trying to train an overly excited green broke horse to calm down enough so they learn anything, is going to be way over your head for not only you, but a lot of people. Ya I know it is common to see out of control, crazy horses underneath their riders, and this don’t have to be the case to win. In fact, the well-trained, intelligent, quiet horse will outlast that wild one and create more wins for his rider.
Id also like to add that it is a good thing that your getting a horse that needs trained for barrels, over a horse that is already trained for barrels. Horses that are already trained for barrels are barrel hungry, they see a barrel & they want & need
to do that pattern! This can be very dangerous
if you are not ready to go, & the trained barrel horse will try everything to get to do that pattern such as raring, bolting & kicking out! So a main pointer in training a horse for barrels is don’t only
do the barrel pattern!!! Take them on road rides, trails, pasture riding, & even ride past the barrels! Yes I said past
the barrels, so the horse knows that he don’t always
have to go, go, go, when he sees a barrel!
It would be very helpful if when you go see these two horses & ride them that you take some pictures!! Because like I said, it is very hard to go by just hear-say!