Beginner Barrel Racer.
Hey guys, I could use some tips on barrel racing as I'm teaching myself and my horse Dixie May. My best friend is a barrel racer but we havent been spending much riding time together lately. . . .any tips? I have pretty good balance and Dix is fast. My only problem is that I'm practicing on hard clay in my pasture and it's tearing up her feet. (She has 4 white hooves, but they're strong for being white). Anything y'all can tell me will help. . .Thanks. Sierra.<3
I don't know much about barrel racing, but I would suggest looking into getting your horse shod~ Or at least trimmed. Can't run barrels with an ouchy horse ;)
Also, maybe consider a trainer? People on this site are very knowledgable and talented, but there's nothing like a trainer that can watch you and critique in real time~
First I would encourage you to read the thread for beginners:
You can teach Dixie May some basics about barrels on hard clay, but if that's truly the only ground you have to practice on, I wouldn't go any faster than a trot. Barrel horses need to be able to dig in for footing around a barrel, and if you are practicing on a hard surface, that does not work well and puts their joints at greater risk for injury. Yes, it's true that some rodeos have trashy hard ground. But there is a big difference between running a trained, experienced horse on rodeo ground, than expecting a horse to learn barrels from scratch.
If you can get at least a couple lessons, here and there, from a professional barrel racing trainer, that will be of great help. Training horses is "hands on" and you'll get better insight from a human being in person, than over the internet.
Key thing with barrel training is to go SLOW. Yup. To train for a speed event, slow is key.
Also, make sure you can control every piece of your horse's body. Nose, neck, shoulders, ribcage, hindquarters. If you can have that precise of control at slower speeds on the pattern, you are going to need it when you are going Mach 90 at a barrel and realize you need to make a split-second adjustment.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Well. I had many ideas to tell you, but Beau159 pretty much covered it :)
Definitely take it slow. There have been many times, especially recently, that I have seen people at jackpots that have horses that are barely getting by. They are fast, which is the only reason those people are there. You have be able to control that speed. You need to have total control of your horse- mind and body. And be able to make it all work together.
And like Beau said- keep us posted :)
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