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TruckingCowgirl 11-17-2013 05:36 PM

New to racing please fill me in
I'm getting into barrel racing this year. I have been training horses for years but have never competed. I would like some info to help me to get started on competing on a small/local level.

beau159 11-17-2013 07:01 PM

Can you be a little bit more specific about what you are looking for? Tips for training for barrels? Or just tips on the showing aspect?

Have you been training horses for barrels, or just training in general?

First of all, I'm going to direct you to this thread:

As far as competing, practice everything at home. Warm-ups, barrel work, runs, and cool-down. Then when you get to the race, stick to the same exact routine. Your horse likes things that are consistent.

If you use sport boots (and I recommend it), don't put them on until right before your run, and take them off immediately after. You don't want excess heat on your horse's legs any longer than you need to.

In general, with most horses that are finished, you only want to run barrels once or twice a week (although that's going to vary a little bit for each horse). And typically most finished horses don't need to be worked on the pattern unless they are having an issue.

BarrelBasher 11-17-2013 07:59 PM

I would also try some exhibition runs. Or do some smaller local shows, just to get your horses ready for anything bigger. Where I am at, many of the people that I know have arenas, both indoor and outdoor, so I can take my horses to many places. That really helped them when we got to the big shows. It helped me to, because I new that I had the foundation on them, and knew that they would be used to many different sights and sounds.

Also, if you plan on running at rodeos, get your horses used to cattle. To some horses, they are total freaks of nature. Luckily for mine, my horses grow up with cattle, and are put on cattle work before they ever start on barrels.

TruckingCowgirl 11-17-2013 10:20 PM

Thanks for the tips. My barrel horses are housed next to my cows. (So I'm good there) I have done some training on them I'm at the point where I can have them lope a pattern but I'm needing tips to build confidence in them. They can be a bit spacey when I need them to focus.

beau159 11-18-2013 10:55 AM


Originally Posted by TruckingCowgirl (Post 4126265)
They can be a bit spacey when I need them to focus.

And hence the meaning of "seasoning" a barrel horse. :-)

How old are your horse(s)?

How long have you been teaching them the barrels?

Exhibitions are offered at most jackpot barrel races and they are a great way to get a youngster in the show environment, without dishing out extra money to compete. (Most places charge for exhibitions, but it is relatively low cost.) And exhibitions will often allow you to go through the pattern multiple times so that you could (for example) walk the pattern, trot it, then lope it.

When you take a horse who is just learning to a race, remember to STICK to your game plan. You're going to see other people whipping and spurring their horses to go faster, and it's going to make you think "Well, maybe my horse could go that fast today too!". Don't let yourself fall for it. Don't let others influence you. Make a plan before you arrive at the barrel race and stick with your plan.

If you have a horse who is not used to the show environment, it is helpful to bring along a calm older horse to serve as a buddy, if you have one.

Do you have any videos you can show us? You'll come to realize that we are photo-greedy and video-eating people around here. :wink:

RockinRorie 11-21-2013 05:09 AM

i can help

Originally Posted by TruckingCowgirl (Post 4123961)
I'm getting into barrel racing this year. I have been training horses for years but have never competed. I would like some info to help me to get started on competing on a small/local level.

I just started barrel racing 2 years ago and I can say it was hard I trained my horse from the beginning and what I did I just went to one of the local gymkhanas and I ran barrels at my own speed the speed I felt comfortable at and then I slowly made it to a full run after a few months. so be safe!

RockinRorie 11-21-2013 05:14 AM

Just go out in that arena with a clear head don't think about anything like if people are going to laugh if you hit a barrel. don't worry about that. my trick is once you get used to your horse and the barrels you can do anything with that. what I do with my horse I don't look at the barrel before I turn it I looks straight ahead because if he feels my body look that way towards the barrel it messes him up so if you feel really confident in the arena maybe try my trick.

TruckingCowgirl 11-21-2013 04:43 PM

I think I need to go to some events and work my horses around other working horses. I'm bad about the fact that I get nervous when I think people are critiquing me. More of that low self esteem. And I believe my horses pick up on that. I appreciate all the tips everyone has been giving me. And I will try to keep ya'll posted on my progress.

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