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what to look for???

1181 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  FlyinSoLow
im going to be selling or trading my tn walker mix for a barrel horse prospect that im going to be training myself. what would i need to look for in a barrel horse?what type of confo? are all barrel horses hot headed? if i go to a horse auction how can i tell if one would be a barrel prospect? is speed the most important thing? im going to be looking at some paints,apps, or quarter horses,maybe thoughbred.i just want to go to local rodeos and compete in the 3ds maybe.
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One thing I want to say is barrel horses shouldn't ever be 'hot headed'. Especially if your only looking for a prospect and not a horse that already knows that pattern. 'Hot headedness' comes from over exposure to the pattern. Your horse should only MAYBE touch a pattern 2x a week and thats all especially when learning.

Anyway. If you don't have any barrel experience I really wouldn't recommend starting patterns unless you have a trainer or an experienced adult to show you.
I would look at QH's or paints. They are faster then most apps. I don't know much but I heard that having more bent back legs is better for speed than straighter ones. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
i do have experience in barrels i trained 2 horses to do them but i want a horse that is bred for barrels. i have a tn walker mix that im doing barrels with now but i want some more speed.
Then yes I would consider a QH or paint, or possibly a TB.
Thoroughbreds are actually not a great choice for barrels. They can and do work well in certain situations, but the best of the best are Quarter Horses, Paints, and a few Appaloosas. Some Arabians and Arabian X's do well, also. If you want a prospect you're going to be looking in a fairly high price range, most go for around $3k at least in my area. I wouldn't use an auction horse, unless it's a youngster. My mare is just a grade paint, but she does well. My gelding is a papered Appaloosa, and he has the speed and agility to do it. I also never, never work the pattern at home. I work around one barrel. And cones. Don't necessarily look for speed, but turning ability and agility. It is far better to run a slower clean run than to run a fast run and knock a barrel.
I know that a lot of ex racehorses are used in barrels for their speed. Usually quarter horses, but I've seen some thoroughbreds too. I know my OTTB turns on a dime when he's asked, so I think if you'd be willing to put the time in to a horse, you might be able to find something decent for a lower price than 3k.I would say however, make sure you can test ride first and ask for things like nice clean turns and make sure they're supple.
The woman I work for now has a 15.2 hand solid bay app that she is doing barrels with. He is in the finishing stages and has not competed yet but boy oh boy does he have some promise! He is fast, but even better he is quick, he is super with her turns which she likes better than overall speed.

Remember: Speed is good, but consistancy and form are even better.

Edit: I'm no barrel person, that is just what my freinds have told me... I like slow and steady :oops:
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