Currently a gate handler, but how about an actual racer?
So far I am only a gate handler. Next year I will hopefully get more involved in our barrel racing club, but how much fun is it really? It seems like so much fun, even you do suck at me (me!!)
I would love to get more involved with barrel racing, yet I know absolutely nothing about it.
Could someone please give me some ideas on
- how fun is it
- is it something that could possibly be a career
- what all would I need
- is it hard
Unless you have a ton of money sitting around at all times, you probably wont be able to make a career out of it. Show fees are expensive, gas to haul is expensive, the miles to shows are long, and if you dont have the worlds best barrel horse that cleans up at every show..you probably won't make much of a profit, if any. From what I understand anyway, I was thinking about doing pro rodeo (bronc riding and barrels) for awhile and talked to a lot of people..
I think it's the most fun you can have on a horse..lol. I havent tried too much else out of western, but barrels gives me such an adrenaline rush..even if I run a 23 second pattern on a horse im training, lol.
You don't really need much of anything aside from your general tack..lol. A barrel saddle would be ideal, but I run with a roping saddle and get the same times I did with a borrowed barrel saddle.
It's very hard..I think the training is the hardest part. What I feel is the most misconceived notion during the training process of a barrel horse is how people try to run the pattern daily. I can take a horse, teach it the pattern (just walk/trot a few times/days) and never do the pattern again aside from shows and still get good, consistent times. Running the pattern everyday can easily turn a horse sour and ruin it's potential for barrels. Training is going to be the hardest part..aside from the ground, lol.
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It is a thrill that's for sure, it takes time to learn it.
I would suggest taking lessons and learning on a horse that already knows it. I would think it would be hard to have as a career because you need to be the best of the best
You need: a horse, a barrel saddle, and the rest of the tack, a trailer if you are going to shows, have to beable to pay entry fees. Of coarse all the other horsey needs
If you like going fast and changing directions quickly, it's a blast. If you don't or are timid, it may be a lil much. though I'm sure you'd start slow and work your way up, but some people just have that need to go fast.
Yes money can and is won. But competively barrel racing costs money too. Good saddle, truck n trailer, good horse (two really if you're in it for the money), travel expenses etc...
What you need is an overview of what you need kinda. Just to get started. Lots of little things too. Buckets, water tank, extra tack, etc.....
Hard? That's an opinion. Grueling yes. Dangerous somtimes Most shows start early and end late, lots of riding for conditioning and practice, and shows can become your life beyond school or work. Forget Saturday being a day off lol!
That being said it can be just for fun and when you want to. But it will be just that, fun. Wanna go turn some barrels and see if it's for you, go for it! Worry about being competive when you know it's what you wanna do with your horse. Go to a show and just run a warm up ride. Usually costs $2 to run a warm up. Then hang out and watch. Just have fun with your horse :)
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Someone may tell you snowboarding is a blast. But I myself hate it. Can't stand having my feet anchored together in the same direction. Someone may tell you English show jumping is a rush. Some people might not like it. So I will tell you that I LOVE barrel racing and it is loads of fun, but it doesn't mean you will like it.
So I can't tell you "how fun is it" because you may or may not like it. That's personal preference.
Technically yes you can make a career out of barrel racing. Our newest barrel racing world champion Mary Walker is making a career out of it. As does former world champions Sherry Cervi, Lindsey Sears, Brittany Pozzi, etc.
Can everyone make a career out of it? NO. Most people who rodeo, or travel the 4D barrel circuit have jobs during the week to help pay the bills.
If you want to compete at the level of making a career out of it, you'd better have a $25,000+ barrel horse. And a backup horse worth the same price, because if your main horse gets hurt or needs time off, you've got to have a backup.
Most people, like myself, work a full 40 hours per week at their "usual" job and then barrel race on the weekends. Barrel racing is a hobby and a fun thing to do. It's great if you happen to win some money, but you aren't always going to win money and you can't rely on that.
As far as what you will need:
-a horse trained for barrels (since you don't know how to barrel race, you want to buy one already trained)
-an arena or dirt area to practice barrels when you need to
-regular vet care for that horse (dentist, chiro, farrier, annual health tests, vaccinations, etc)
-food for the horse (feed, hay, and pasture)
-pickup to pull your horse trailer
-horse trailer to carry your horse
-gas or diesel fuel to fill your pickup
-a barrel racing saddle, possibly breastcollar
-protective leg boots or polos
-money for entry fees
And many more things I am sure I am forgetting.
Bottom line --> barrel racing sure is fun, but its not a cheap hobby
Is barrel racing hard? To do it correctly, YES. It is much, much more than just jumping on a horse and whipping/spurring it around 3 barrels. It takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to train a barrel horse, and possibly just as long to train a person to ride a barrel horse.
There's entire books and DVDs about training a barrel horse and or running barrel horses. Hence there is a lot involved in it.
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