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So I have a 12.2 3/4hh pony, hes a great stocky little pony that can run and turn on a dime. He is thoroughbred, arabian and shetland. I'm really tempted to run barrels with him but was wondering what other people think, ive heard ponies are good cause they are short and can dart and turn but then i see all these really long legged horses run barrels. Thoughts?
 

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There was a hackney pony about that size at a barrel barn by me. He was a very speed little thing and his rider could grab the barrels when he turned. Once his owner had to move up to adult classes he just couldn't "bring home the bacon".
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Ponys smoke at barrel racing!

As an adult, 6' but light, I'd rather 14.2-14.3 over 16hh all day long.

Lower center of gravity blah blah blah.

But, barrel horses and ponys MUST be well put together, for that sport, and very well trained. Many a young barrel wanna be mounts simply don't have IT.

Try some slow patterns and see how it goes, who knows, may light the arena a blaze or find that it's just not y'all's thing. Never hurts to try
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I've seen a lot of smokin' ponies. However, there will come a time when you will have to step off that pony and onto a bigger horse. They're quick and they run great, but it's physically impossible for them to compete with the bigger horses at higher levels. I have seen them settle into the 3D though and be content.
 
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It really just depends at what LEVEL you want to compete at.

Will you win an NBHA world championship on a 12.2 pony? No, you won't. But that may not be your goal.

If you just want to go to local fun shows and have a good time, then go for it. We have a local family who has this little pony that just SMOKES everyone at the local gaming shows; including the adults and big horses.

Ponies, in general, are going to take much tighter turns because that is where they can make up time in a pattern, since they lack the long legs on a straightaway.
 
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