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Pat1960 01-07-2013 11:06 AM

Thinking of having our mare trained for barrel racing.
 
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We just bought a 5 year old mare as a companion horse for my gelding. I was told she was bred for speed for barrel racing. I don't want to send her away for training to become a horse that runs barrels. Is it possible to train her at our property? We have a 10 acres pasture who is pretty flat. If she trained to barrel race, does she still make a good trail horse?

Peppy Barrel Racing 01-07-2013 12:08 PM

Of course she can still make a good trail horse all my barrel horses are excellent trail horses and we do a lot of trail riding so they aren't doing barrels all the time. Not only trail riding but working cattle and ranch sorting as well. It's bad to do a pattern all the time. And depending on the trails and the way you ride they can also increase conditioning. But before you even think about the pattern your mare needs a solid foundation on the ground and in the saddle. She needs to be able to yield her fore and hind quarters, woah, back up, direct and indirect rein, move laterally, side pass, circle work at all speeds, flying lead changes, control of horse at all speeds. When your mare is doing all those things pretty well then that's when you can slowly introduce barrels. Barrel racing is a lot of slow work so if you have a pattern set up in your field that's fine for now find yourself a pretty level area and start practicing. Lots of walking the pattern when she's doing that pretty good you can slowly start adding trotting and walking and mixing it up. As you start loping remember to not do it more than a few times each session mostly walk and trot. When you start to lope the pattern u may want to find a local arena you can practice at. I'd start watching videos about the different way people train to barrel race and if you can I recommend lessons to teach yourself how as well. Good luck with you mare be safe.
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BarrelRacer23 01-07-2013 12:16 PM

A good trail horse is a good trail horse, what they do in the show pen is not going to affect that. If you want her to be a barrel horse you should send her off to a trainer. You need more than flat pasture to start a horse on barrels.
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Saddlebag 01-07-2013 12:25 PM

The slow work can be done at home and later you can introduce loping when coming off the last barrel. When she has the pattern down pat at the slower speeds you'll need good footing that she won't slip on for anything faster. You might wish to start your trail ride by walking the pattern a few times then heading off on the trail. Don't do it when you get home as she may be tired and get a bit ornery and that's the last thing you want.

Pat1960 01-07-2013 03:57 PM

Of course I will have a trainer help me. I just don't want to send her off for training. I want to do right by her. She loves to work and she needs a job.

BarrelRacer23 01-07-2013 04:50 PM

You can have a trainer come out to your place or haul to a trainers for lessons. Mainly you need disked up dirt to work it at more than a trot or it's hard on their legs.
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