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Hey there,

I just have a question on my mind for all you barrel racers out there. You guys run your horses constantly and is that what builds up their rump muscles so beautifully? They are so muscle toned, but what I wanted to know is if you just run the horse is that bad for him or her? I saw this horse at a stable I used to work at, he was a Quarter Horse, his owner showed him in western and tried doing barrel racing with him over the summer. When they came back from the summer after all the traveling, I noticed his rump didn't look as pretty as it was when I first saw him? It was very oddly shaped, could just running him do this? or would it be from his diet that made it that?
I just thought of this because the owner of the stable came up to this girls horse and said it looks like someone just ran the horse and wouldn't stop. And before I could ask why she said that, she was talking to another client. Any ideas? And sorry if I ramble in this, it's sorta hard to explain in words.
 

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When a horse works with it's hindquarters under it, it's rump will change shape. Like a weightlifter building muscle where it's needed.
 

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I just have a question on my mind for all you barrel racers out there. You guys run your horses constantly and is that what builds up their rump muscles so beautifully?
Incorrect. If you "run a horse constantly" you will burn them out and/or sour them on the barrels.

I don't run my horses constantly.

The vast majority of folks (myself included) will only make 1 or 2 runs on a finished horse per week. Now, there are exceptions such as the National Finals Rodeo where you run 10 days in a row. But in general, you don't want to RUN the barrels more than once or twice a week. It's very hard on their body and a horse only has so many runs in them.

Some finished horses will need tuning and problem-fixing training during the week; and some will not. Depends on the horse.

If you are training a horse, you'll be doing barrel work (not necessarily running all the time) more frequently.

They are so muscle toned, but what I wanted to know is if you just run the horse is that bad for him or her?
A finished barrel horse will be toned and muscular because they are kept in great physical shape, with most of the focus on conditioning. Barrel racing requires an equine athlete who is in tip-top physical shape to perform their best.

I saw this horse at a stable I used to work at, he was a Quarter Horse, his owner showed him in western and tried doing barrel racing with him over the summer. When they came back from the summer after all the traveling, I noticed his rump didn't look as pretty as it was when I first saw him? It was very oddly shaped, could just running him do this? or would it be from his diet that made it that?
I don't see how conditioning a horse (or running them, for that matter) would make a nice looking horse, look "odd". Perhaps if he was undernourished, or stressed from traveling (some horses don't travel well) could cause him to lose weight and be weak in the hind end. Hard to speculate without seeing the before and after of the horse you are talking about.

Only uneducated barrel racers that don't know any better will "run their horses constantly."
 

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The type of conditioning will cause a horse to build muscle differently. That said running really doesn't build muscle. What beau said is correct, the barrel racers who know what their doing don't run their horses constantly. My horse is just as well muscled as my friends pleasure horses. We trot more than we canter and we never run the pattern except to throw in a practice before a show. Trotting builds muscle, cantering builds lungs.
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Genetics plays into it as well. That western pleasure horse you saw may have been carrying more weight, and was using his body differently than when he began running barrels.
 
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