A nice, SANE horse. It doesn't matter how fast the horse can go, if you're looking at something that's rearing, spooky, hard to handle, extremely hot etc... step away! Like Charmayne James says, a good barrel horse should be able to walk into an arena, do his job, and walk out. A lot of people think that a hot, fast horse makes a good barrel horse, but that's not at all the case. You don't want a horse anticipating the patterns and trying to rush through them. Conformation wise, smaller horses tend to have an easier time getting around barrels and performing tight turns, so something between 14.2 -15.1 hh would be ideal. Not saying big horse's can't compete, but in my experience it's easier on the little ones. Also, a horse with a long back can have the same difficulties as a tall horse, so you want a nice, short back. Horses with the Dash for Cash and Streakin Sixes bloodlines are popular in the barrel racing world, so be on the lookout for those, but as everyone knows the bloodlines don't make the horse. I'll look up some pictures and post them so you can get an idea.
I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted.
Last edited by EternalSun; 04-19-2009 at 06:48 PM.