Crazy? or not?
Hi, my name is Kaitlyn, and I ride western. I have been riding for 8 years and I moved to Splendora a couple years ago, I started going to this new barn and they barrel race there. My old horse riding instuctor didn't like barrel racing because she said it ruins a horse, I belive her but, is it true? Does it or can it ruin a horse?
Bad training is what ruins a horse, and it happens in all disciplines. I know nothing about barrel racing, but the discipline itself will not 'ruin' a horse, no.
Okay, Thank you very much for answering. (:
I've seen and heard of several horses that used to barrel race that had a hard time just walking. Not because they are lame or injuries but because they have learned only to go fast. They just want to go, go, go. It can be fixed though
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If a horse is not real 'hot' bred and gets proper training, it can sometimes be happy going slow after learning to go at full speed.
A lot of really hot bred horses have a difficult time with this even when they get brought along slowly. After all, race bred horses have been bred for many generations to have that competitive nature and they love to run.
If you do at least 10X as much slow work as fast work and only occasionally work at full speed, you may be able to keep his sanity. Horses that are 'bred to run' seem to get very competitive very quickly and they just can't stand having horses in front of them that are going faster than you want yours to go.
Barrel horses have a well-deserved bad reputation. It's the nature of the beast. You ask a horse to run hard and fast, he's bound to get jacked up and hot. But common sense and proper riding/handling can go a long way toward preventing the worst of the side effects.
If trained properly, it will not ruin a horse, it actually makes them more agile if you starts slowly and easily and work your way up!
I have an 18 yr old QH gelding that is a barrel racer and he's about the most laid back horse I know! Don't get me wrong, he's got the get up when asked. He also does dressage, trail riding and eventing. A properly trained barrel horse (or trained in any other discipline) doesn't have to be a hot head.
Sure, precautions have to be taken in order to cool a horse and not harm him during an event, but the sport does not directly lead to broken horses, the training and the way they're ridden does :)
First off, I am not a barrel racer. But my BO is, and I consider her a great horsewoman, so I will share what little I have learned from watching.
What ruins a barrel horse is having it run too many barrels.
What you want is a supple, athletic horse who is very sensitive to rider cues.
If you run barrels all day for 'practice', you might very well produce an excellent barrel horse who won't be much good for anything else. So, in other words, if all you do with your horse is gallop and spin, then thats all he will want and expect to do.
Condition your horse with a lot of long trotting, and run the pattern only occasionally, so that it is familiar yet fresh.
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