Just adding to what Sorrelhorse said... While I agree on a certain level, I just wanted to solidify something for the barrel enthusiasts on this board.
Although you can "barrel race" without the proper training on a horse, you can also do every other dicipline. My point is, if you want to be a successful COMPETITOR, then having a properly trained horse is a must. The truth is that good barrel horses have just as much training put into them as any reiner, pleasure horse, or jumper. Hours and hours of hard work is put into every barrel. In fact, I would venture to say that good barrel horses are better trained than most any other dicipline of horses. They MUST do everything that a reiner/WP horse/jumper/etc is doing, but within a matter of milliseconds.
Barrel racing is just one of those diciplines that can get away with bad riding or training because of, 1-it isnt judged, and 2- I believe the 4D format has a lot to do with it.
If you go to a 1D, your not going to see the same people as in a 4D.
Just pointing something out.
Thank you for posting that, I had a little temper snap when I read that barrel horses require less training than any other discipline, so I did not reply...
That really bothers me to no end when people think you can take a horse get it to gallop and turn and set it on a pattern and you have a barrel horse.( ans consequently that is why you see so many broken down and crazy ex gaming horses being sold for 50 dollars at auction because they are no longer ride able)
That is true if you have no idea what they are doing, but a horse has to be very well trained (more than most disciplines) in order for it to be able to perform at such a high intensity and not suffer joint and muscle as well as emotional and mental problems.
It has to know how to arc, counter arc, move each part of its body from the slightest cue and in a moments notice, collect and elongate, rate, turn on its haunches and its forehand, half halt, lift and bend its spine and ribcage, lift its front end, and much more. It takes a very long time to get a genuinely good barrel horse that has staying power and the mindset to compete successfully.
Whew, wrote yet another novel...