Barrel Racer going Western Pleasure...Advice?
I am a current barrel racer looking to slow things down a bit and get into western pleasure. I was involved in a horrible barrel racing accident back in May and although I was cleared to run again by my doctor it hurts still and is uncomfortable. Plus I have been barrel racing so long its time for a change because I am burnt out. I am planning to sell my current barrel horse and look into getting a trained or prospective wp horse. I have ridden western pleasure a little in the past but never competed or showed. Any kind words or advice you can offer me getting into this adventure?? Like to what kind of prospective horses I should look for, etc? I am really excited!! :-P
Wow, you really ARE slowing it down!!!
That is quite the change in discipline! Have you thought about trying some WP lessons or possibly a lease horse to make sure this is something you will still enjoy? I adore WP, but it's not for everyone. I'd hate for you to replace your barrel horse and then realize it's not for you. Adding in some trail, horsemanship & western riding patterns may give you enough fun stuff to keep you busy. And you can still lope the barrels for fun, if you wish!
That said, I'd personally aim for a finished, well-hauled mount, as the potential of erratic behavior on a younger, less experienced prospect could cause issues with your back.
If you wish to show, find out what wins in your particular circuit - looks, size, movement, bloodlines, etc. - and go from there. Good luck!
Look for certain bloodlines....first and foremost. Western disciplines have become SO specialized over the last 20 years, that we BREED certain lines that have been proven to be WP horses. Start with lines first, then look at the horse as an individual. The top lines to look for which started the whole thing:
Zippo Pine Bar (but stay away from Zips Chocolate Chips)
Zippo Pat Bars (prefer him over his brother Pine Bar)
All of these studs are known for starting incredible WP lines.
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