An arena is great but the best thing for your barrel horse is to stay away from the arena and especially barrels in between shows. Once you have your horse patterned it's just a matter of being able to keep thier shoulder up and change leads between barrels so flying lead changes and half passes/ two tracking are much more valuable than running the pattern every day. Make the arena as large as you can afford to.
There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill