Could he be a Barrel Prospect?
This should maybe be in the conformation forum, but since it's specifically about potential for barrels, I thought I'd try here first:
I have a horse I'm trying to sell - very green 4 year old, grade, 15.1hh gelding - and a prospective buyer has asked if he would make a good barrel/pole/western pleasure horse.
He was saddle broke by the previous owner, but hasn't had a saddle on in over a year. As far as I know, he's never seen a barrel.
I'm an English rider and don't really know anything about what to look for in a potential barrel horse, apart from the good conformation any competition horse needs.
Are there any certain conformational traits that are definite "must haves" or "must not haves" that I can look for in him?
I'm going to try to attach some youtube videos of him, as well as my best attempt at a conformation picture.
I haven't worked on refining his gaits at all, so (assuming the videos work) what you'll see is 100% him.
I'm gonna say no. He *might* be okay...But, his back end is far too weak. His back is long. And he is majorly sickle hocked. A little bit isn't bad...His are bad. I've seen some train wrecks barrel race locally...But they aren't good enough to place.
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Well, he is not the worst that I have seen, but far from the best to. The two aspects that hit me at first are that he is considerably weak in the back end, and his hind legs seem to be set pretty far under him.
It is also going to depend on how he moves. Due to my laptop having a mind of its own, I can't see your videos. He may do well locally, either in local NBHA, or as an FFA or 4H project. But from the picture I would say that he is not build well enough to be a major contender.
What breed is he? You didn't say.
Just curious; is he registered or grade?
ANY horse can run barrels. ANY horse can do anything you train them to do. However, would I pick this horse to run barrels? No.
When I'm looking for a barrel horse, I want:
--Gradual shoulder slope
--Proportionate body hips/back/neck (although I don't mind if a horse is a teeny bit long in the back)
--Short cannon bones
--hocks low to the ground
--and a bonus if they have a pretty head
Your horse, as the others have mentioned, has his back legs too far underneath him, no hindquarter muscling or roundness, and cow-hocked. In addition, I also see that he has a very steep shoulder (typically makes for a rougher ride, so he may not be a good WP prospect), and long pasterns. His back is a tad bit long, but really not horrible.
Some of his issues can be fixed with regular exercise and conditioning, but some things will just need regular monitoring (such as his cow hocks).
Again, it doesn't mean that he can't run barrels. And he'd probably be fine on the local level if this potential buyer is looking for something just for fun, but I certainly would not consider him for a rodeo prospect or "big league" 4D barrel races.
He's grade - the previous owner suspected he was some kind of Hackney cross.
I posted him on the breed forum on here and their guesses included Arabian x, Hackney x, and maybe some Quarter Horse somewhere along the way.
All of your information has been very helpful. I knew he didn't have the big hindquarters to match with the Quarter Horses that generally dominate western events, but I wasn't sure how much of that came from breeding and how much came from conditioning.
With hocks like his, what discipline do you think may be his best option?
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