People ruin barrel horses. The horses don't ruin themselves.
My 2012 mount is a 1D mare, she's calm as can be at shows, standing at the trailer, warming up, riding around. As soon as she gets in the ally or close to the ring, it's on. She know she's supposed to run, and absolutely loves her job. It's what she was bred for. She goes in, runs, prances out of the arena and she's back to being a childs horse. Calm as can be.
It's all about training techniques. Once my horse is solid on patterns, I do NOT run them at home. Ever. You run them too much, they get hot-headed and it's no fun to ride a horse that just wants to go, go, go every time you saddle up. I trail ride my horses so much it's not even funny. I do jumping work with them, pleasure work with them, dressage, reining. Running barrels can bore any horse if you do it too much. After every exercise and practice I do with my horses, I go for a 15 minute to an hour trail ride afterwards to calm them down and realize they don't always have to run.
I know one girl that I see at shows. She never does anything with her horses besides running the pattern. She has to fight with her horse every time the horse gets within 50 feet of the arena. She is only interested in running and winning. She goes through horses every single year because the horses get so hot, she hates to ride them. She created the monster, blames them, and sells them. Then buys another $10,000+ horse thinking it will be her perfect mount.
There's no excuse to have an uncontrollable barrel horse. It's all about the proper training.
You should try it, but, it's very addicting. ;)
"The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with
him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too."