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snydere02
Aug. 16, 2012, 10:24 AM
I'm curious on what made you decide to start training your horse to be a barrel racer, or for you to start barrel racing? Was it because your horse loved to run, had good turns?

I've always been hunter/jumper/dressage rider and have ridden barrel racers before, but now the husband wants one for the kids... We do have a Quarter Horse broodmare in the field who is a possibility, she just needs the training. I'm not 100% convinced I want to train her for contesting. She was just broke to ride back in february so I feel we can go any direction right now since the basics are covered.

So to help me out..what made you decide?

AliCat518
Aug. 16, 2012, 10:31 AM
Oh im interested to hear the answers too. I've started playing around with barrels and the pattern recently with my semi-retired gelding....he loves it!

goodhors
Aug. 16, 2012, 02:00 PM
A bit of both making money, and having a better chance at Hi-Point trophy for whoever was riding. I did it for myself with various horses. Sometimes the money won was what paid for the showing. DD needed to have speed ability for School Equestrian Team, along with her other horse skills on the old boy. She had to teach him herself, put in the HOURS of teaching him to do things well. Made them a better Team, and she learned a lot. I got a lot of compliments on her riding Speed things. The two of them always looked like it was FUN, never needed any bat or spurs to get his best effort. She just chirped and he FLEW! She also did Speed at open shows, 4-H, because it was fun, let her play in more classes during the day. She didn't always get first, but she usually placed because horse was in the correct position for his turns, or putting her where she needed to be for Flags. No wasted motion or runouts. Lots of faster horses, but they had no control on them so she beat them. We both did Barrels, Poles, Flags. I did some other classes, but her horse wasn't built to stop, so no hard stopping classes for her.

Our horses who did barrels and speed events were SOLID in their Pleasure skills, did Trail, Jumping before they were taught to do speed things. We don't allow babies to jump or run, in their training. All speed and jumping is done after they are at least 6yrs old, have solid legs, mature body and training to build on.

A big factor in OUR training is using a mechanical hackamore, no mouthpiece, for speed things. Horses KNEW that bridle meant they got to run. They were trained slowly, got the patterns down so it was a trench in the dirt. No variation from the same pattern around the barrels or poles, or flags. Lots and LOTS of walking the patterns over and over. The running part was last. They all got prancy with the mechanical hack on!! All their other skills used bits with mouthpieces.

It is FUN to RUN, whatever the class in the speed events. Such a big change from going "on the bit" in total control all the time.

I would not run a horse who is just learning riding skills. Horse needs to get polished in correct responses at slower speeds, getting around the ring in correct gaits, managing quietly in group riding. I would give her at LEAST a year of MUCH RIDING work, and see how she is at the end of that. Should include trail rides, workouts, things that are new and different for her. Being older she may catch on quicker, but you want her DEPENDABLE before learning about running. Especially with little kids or even bigger kids on her.

None of mine are EVER allowed to continue after a WHOA. Kids are bad about that, so you have to supervise them. You only use the Whoa word when you MEAN to stop, and you STOP every time you use it!! One of the first part of kids riding lessons. Whoa is your emergency brakes, and if you need to STOP, it has to work EVERY TIME, even at speed. I could stop our horses from the rail or gate if needed, because the Whoa was ALWAYS enforced. You say it, they stop, NO EXCUSES! That stopping well, has been a life-saver more than once in keeping bad from going to worse, in situations.

SuckerForHorses
Aug. 16, 2012, 02:25 PM
My suggestion is this (for anyone who wants to train and run a barrel horse...): make sure they are 100% on ALL the basics, and that they are consistent with all of them. If you can't get on a horse and ask for bend, collection, and all three gaits thru the canter, and know that the horse will be reliable and responsive every time, he isn't ready to add speed. They should be soft in the bridle, moving off your seat and legs, know how to correctly travel in a circle (think a horse that will drop in the circle isn't going to be successful if they are not able to keep their shoulder out of the barrel in the turns).

Also, making sure the horse is a good citizen before adding speeds helps to prevent getting a hot-head later on (or right off the bat!) Keep things changed up, don't ride in the ring ONLY when you're going to speed around barrels. Keeping them on their toes and guessing "what will we do today in the ring?" prevents them from turning into the "OMG! WE'RE GOING IN THE GATE...MUST RUN BARRELS!!!"

snydere02
Aug. 16, 2012, 02:36 PM
A big factor in OUR training is using a mechanical hackamore, no mouthpiece, for speed things. .

I haven't thought of switching bits for running and it makes perfect sence. Thank you!


Horse needs to get polished in correct responses at slower speeds, getting around the ring in correct gaits, managing quietly in group riding. I would give her at LEAST a year of MUCH RIDING work, and see how she is at the end of that. Should include trail rides, workouts, things that are new and different for her. Being older she may catch on quicker, but you want her DEPENDABLE before learning about running. Especially with little kids or even bigger kids on her.

None of mine are EVER allowed to continue after a WHOA. Kids are bad about that, so you have to supervise them. You only use the Whoa word when you MEAN to stop, and you STOP every time you use it!! One of the first part of kids riding lessons. Whoa is your emergency brakes, and if you need to STOP, it has to work EVERY TIME, even at speed. I could stop our horses from the rail or gate if needed, because the Whoa was ALWAYS enforced. You say it, they stop, NO EXCUSES! That stopping well, has been a life-saver more than once in keeping bad from going to worse, in situations.

She's had tons of riding this year and shes been taken to many shows. I've done hunter under saddle, reining, and some dressage on her, all she was excellant at. She seems to be ready to start aiming for a job. She is a very fast learner with an excellant attitude. I even feel confortable walking my 2 year old around on her.

I never ever let any of my horses get away with not stopping on Whoa. She actually will slide stop when you say whoa so my daughter, who rides her occasionally, knows to hold on when you say whoa. Whoa is definatly a first part in children riding lessons.

She does anything you ask her on the ground or on her back. I definatly know that I do not want her to think everytime we enter an arena she is to run. I want to be able to have her versatile, so my dauhter can show her in hunter under saddle, showmanship, and barrel racing. I did it on my first horse and this mare has the fame of mind she could be just that versatile.
(obviously I will be taking my time and making sure all the basics are there before I proceed... You can't teach a horse to do anything advanced if they don't know the basics)

snydere02
Aug. 16, 2012, 02:51 PM
My suggestion is this (for anyone who wants to train and run a barrel horse...): make sure they are 100% on ALL the basics, and that they are consistent with all of them. If you can't get on a horse and ask for bend, collection, and all three gaits thru the canter, and know that the horse will be reliable and responsive every time, he isn't ready to add speed. They should be soft in the bridle, moving off your seat and legs, know how to correctly travel in a circle (think a horse that will drop in the circle isn't going to be successful if they are not able to keep their shoulder out of the barrel in the turns).

Also, making sure the horse is a good citizen before adding speeds helps to prevent getting a hot-head later on (or right off the bat!) Keep things changed up, don't ride in the ring ONLY when you're going to speed around barrels. Keeping them on their toes and guessing "what will we do today in the ring?" prevents them from turning into the "OMG! WE'RE GOING IN THE GATE...MUST RUN BARRELS!!!"

Thank you for the advice. In my opinion this is excellant advice and I would never ever consider children riding her unless I knew she was safe (well as safe as I can get with a horse). Heck my husband does not ride unless I know the horse is safe. I want to be able to have a calm horse where I can ask anything I want at anytime with no arguments. I'm mainly unsure of bringing her into the contesting world because I've seen so many HOT horses that lose their cool and there is no way ever I will let my children or husband get on a horse like that.

rabicon
Aug. 16, 2012, 02:56 PM
I did it back in the day lol because it was fun and my horse was fast lol. Please ESP for kids you make sure you have a horse that is soft and supple. Truthfully my barrel horse could perform 1st level dressage movements nicely I've found that a bendable horse is a more responsive horse but also they can maneuver the barrels much better than a stiff as a board horse. A lot of barrel horses do go very stiff and counter bent. IMO a good barrel horse is able to bend around that barrel for one to get closer to the barrel without throwing a shoulder into it because they are counter bending and dropping the shoulder. Of course at speed it's not like riding a dressage test in the bend lol. You should put the inside leg on at the barrel and help out with rein to pick up the shoulder through the turn then outside leg back on anD kick on to the next. Make sure you have out great brakes on any horse you want to run. The idea like said above of whoa is great. But dont allow a step after that whoa. Start at the walk and as soon as it learned move up the gaits. Eventually you should get a nice sit into the whoa at whatever speed but you also make sure you have the horse working from the backend for him to sit into it. Whoa is a biggie ESP for kids. I agree mix it up. Don't drill barrels or speed even in the beginning. You can easily make a hot hot horse. Throw in jumping dressage trail rides and just getting on on some days and hanging out no hard work. Usually this will keep from frying their brain that all they are suppose to do is run. Always start the barrels at the walk until it is at such ease for you and the horse and they listen to your body then move to the trot. Also when you have added speed take days where you just trot the barrels and that's it.

rabicon
Aug. 16, 2012, 03:01 PM
Honestly to have a good barrel horse they need to have fire in them. The fire doesn't have to be dangerous though but they do need to like to run and aren't lazy. I've also found asking a lazy horse that doesn't like to run to constantly run makes them grumpy and sour and you'll start getting a horse that won't turn the barrels and I've actually seen horse that slow down a lot durning their run just refusing to go fast also have seen some turn to rearers which is sooo scary.

snydere02
Aug. 16, 2012, 03:12 PM
Honestly to have a good barrel horse they need to have fire in them. The fire doesn't have to be dangerous though but they do need to like to run and aren't lazy. I've also found asking a lazy horse that doesn't like to run to constantly run makes them grumpy and sour and you'll start getting a horse that won't turn the barrels and I've actually seen horse that slow down a lot durning their run just refusing to go fast.

She definatly does have a fire in her, but I've never actually let her run full speed. I can tell she hates the slow collected canter. She will do it, but she seems much happier on a hand gallop, which is why I'm throwing this idea around. This fall when the fields are all cut down I'll take her out and let her run at full speed and see what she's like. If she doesn't have that fire I think she has then we can scratch this idea and move on.

rabicon
Aug. 16, 2012, 04:24 PM
Careful if you've never let her go. Lol. Sometimes a greenie will get excited with a full out gallop the first time and give a few bucks. Good lick and I hope she works out for the kiddos

snydere02
Aug. 16, 2012, 04:52 PM
Thank you!

If anyone else has any reasons why they decided to start barrrel racing I'm still interested!

SuckerForHorses
Aug. 16, 2012, 05:18 PM
I did it because all my friends did, my mare was a firecracker, and it IS an awesome adrenaline rush! My mare is retired now (she got too hot even though I mixed it up & did all sorts of stuff with her & her hocks started to bother her...arthritis)
My gelding is working on his training & good citizen card right now. In a few years, ill be starting him on the pattern. He is the greenie who bucks when he gets excited ;)

goodhors
Aug. 16, 2012, 05:57 PM
I will add on that with our horses doing "everything" that we worked on fitness and used ALL the gaits while going around the ring. If you have a good sized arena, you will want to do your practices for any of the disciplines you show and do all the speeds possible in each gait.

With the Driving horses, we are expected to do two walks, three trots, and our horses do WP canter, english canter, a hand gallop and a real gallop. We can do them ridden or driven, and do. Horse is to accept that reins will let them move forward, and then take them up for these speeds "within" a gait. You can have heads collected, allow noses out to get more forward. If you work at it enough, horse gets comfortable going along briskly in a "ground covering canter, then gallops, back to a pleasure type canter or trot, as you ask. It is NO BIG DEAL to do gait changes, so NOTHING TO GET EXCITED about, and they settle. Not rooting or head high, to go again.

Sometimes you want to save the faster work till EVERYTHING ELSE has been worked on, so he is doing his gallop work and tires faster in the big circles. He canters or gallops, trots, and gets rather fatigued!! However he MUST keep going until ASKED to slow down. Doing that faster work while tired, seems to take a lot of the fun out of going fast!!

This is what I call changing it up, some of everything in one longer session. None of ours get "one hour" works by the clock! We can be polishing up a lot of stuff, and finally get to the cantering collected, hand galloping, then more cantering. Our ring is large, so they do get some milage done with this kind of work. You may want to use boots, tired legs may get sloppy in speedy work.

The above is done with a bit in his mouth, because I might want to use those things in a ride-off or showing them to others. I am also building his wind with these works, getting him fitter, breathing better.

The mechanical hack is used when there are things in the ring to work with, poles, barrels. Horse is expected to walk, trot, be calm as he goes around the items in the "drilling" needed to keep him sharp for these games classes. If he ACTS hot or silly, well that is about 5 more rounds at a flat walk for him!! He can be happy, but he STILL must be obedient whatever tack is on his head! He gets to run when ASKED, not before, and no being stupid after. We really don't do a lot of speed in games practices.

I would suggest you might do your pleasure riding practice, then swap bridles and walk some barrels. He should stay levelheaded, obedient. Then swap back to pleasure equipment, and ride asking for pleasure gaits. I think it is a GREAT way to train horses to "work as asked". Horse should have no problem going from speed to pleasure and back the other way, if you TRAIN him that way. Other kids used to whine they couldn't slow their animals down after games to do pleasure, so we had to put pleasure first in the classes. Funny, there were some folks that never had that problem! We were among them, because horses were obedient to what we asked of them.

I have had some real firecrackers, and if you train them right, they do swap from slow to fast to slow, if you ask them to.

Sorry, I am going to say running the horse as fast as she can go over the fall fields is NOT the best way to get her running under control. Do your work in the arena, on a track, with limits for her. HOW she runs is up to you, and it is best learned in a controlled area like an arena. Free running might just wreck a lot of the work you have put into her. Teach her to run fast and slow when ASKED, get her tired and WILLING to stop easily on light reins when you want her to in the arena, before doing any wild-eyed runs cross-country or down the road.

SuckerForHorses
Aug. 16, 2012, 09:11 PM
I disagree with swapping headgear/bits. I want my horse responsive & soft to my bit EVERY time. I don't want him knowing by a bit or lack of that he will be doing speed with one vs. Pleasure work with another. This adds to his knowing & predicting a certain activity (i.e. he's going to know you're going to do speed stuff when u put on a hackamore). They need to be able to be ridden & responsive to what your asking without adding that predictability.

snydere02
Aug. 17, 2012, 08:57 AM
Thank you for all the advice!
Right now my arena is far from being completed so I'm practicing in a grass field that isn't too large. I used to ride in the fields alot when I was younger because we didn't have the large arena. I will definatly not let her flat out run, just a controlled faster canter.. I don't want or need to get hurt if she gets out of control.

I don't own a hackamore but I think I'll buy one anyway just to try out different bits. Honestly, she seems happier when I ride her in a halter rather than a bit.

Go Fish
Aug. 20, 2012, 12:53 AM
Believe it or not, breeding on a barrel horse is very important. Much like cutting and reining horses, certain lines are known to produce good barrel horses.

A horse that is a good reiner will not make a good barrel horse without extensive retraining.

It's harder than it looks and the training is very specific, at the higher levels, especially. How the horse enters the turn around the barrel (a combination of stop/pivot/bend/forward at the same time) and heads for the next is hard to train. It's where the time is made up and is critical in a top barrel horse.

The really good barrel horses I've watched are NOT hot, at all. Fast and athletic, yes. But once they cross the start line, they are all business.

Get yourself some of Martha Josey's books. She's probably one of the best, both as rider (I think she's retired now) and as a trainer. I would think she's online, as well.

arena run
Aug. 20, 2012, 06:05 PM
I'm curious on what made you decide to start training your horse to be a barrel racer, or for you to start barrel racing? Was it because your horse loved to run, had good turns?

I've always been hunter/jumper/dressage rider and have ridden barrel racers before, but now the husband wants one for the kids... We do have a Quarter Horse broodmare in the field who is a possibility, she just needs the training. I'm not 100% convinced I want to train her for contesting. She was just broke to ride back in february so I feel we can go any direction right now since the basics are covered.

So to help me out..what made you decide?

I decided to be a barrel racer (and quads and poles, and arena race) because that is the type show offered in my area. The closest english shows are about two hours away, while there are multiple western shows every weekend w/in 40 minutes of the house.

I did the math - so I do the speed shows. <lol>

I take whatever horse I have, and I teach them what they need to know to do the disciplines I dabble in. But I do it for fun because I just love horses and want to be doing something w/them. If I wanted to for sure COMPETE and WIN at speed shows I would go buy a horse who was bred to do that job, and I would listen to people who are RUNNING and WINNING at major national shows, and I would do what they said do.

There are plenty of ringside coaches, both english and western, who will give you advice from a weekend-rider viewpoint - and they might know a lot of what they're talking about... but if you want to excell in any discipline, you'll be ahead of the game to go find someone who does it for a living.





The major thing I see in your post that hasn't been covered, that I saw, in the replies is this ----- if you and your hubby want your kids to barrel race, don't take a broodmare from your pasture and get her trained. <lol> Go find a horse who is currently doing what you want your kids to be doing - and buy that horse. You wouldn't take a green broodmare and stick them in an o/f class after a few lessons w/a trainer, I wouldn't think. Don't make that mistake w/your kids' barrel horse. Find a horse who is carrying a kid around the patterns safely, that the kid has maybe outgrown, and go from there. Your kid will be safer, and have a lot more fun. It's never fun to "learn w/your horse" in a discipline neither of you know. imho

SuckerForHorses
Aug. 21, 2012, 07:31 AM
The major thing I see in your post that hasn't been covered, that I saw, in the replies is this ----- if you and your hubby want your kids to barrel race, don't take a broodmare from your pasture and get her trained. <lol> Go find a horse who is currently doing what you want your kids to be doing - and buy that horse. You wouldn't take a green broodmare and stick them in an o/f class after a few lessons w/a trainer, I wouldn't think. Don't make that mistake w/your kids' barrel horse. Find a horse who is carrying a kid around the patterns safely, that the kid has maybe outgrown, and go from there. Your kid will be safer, and have a lot more fun. It's never fun to "learn w/your horse" in a discipline neither of you know. imho

I disagree. If the kids have never barrel raced before, even a horse that has been outgrown from its current child could be too much for the kid to handle. Also, it sounds like the OP is not in this for the money, but for the fun. If I had a horse that could be safely used to start my kids on barrel racing, I would use that horse, and save my money. Good kids' barrel horses are hard to find, and even harder to find an affordable one!

If your mare is sane enough to put a kid on and let them dabble on the pattern, go for it.

rabicon
Aug. 21, 2012, 08:40 AM
Disagree also. Any horse can be a barrel horse at saddle club levels for fun. No they aren't going to be running the women's rodeo circuit but for kids to get on and run around a barrel almost any horse can do it if trained properly. My old barrel horse was bred as a header but he could rock a barrel pattern. She is thinking of something to do with broodmare so why not put a year of training in her and see how it goes. Yes it takes time but it doesn't sound like op is in a major hurry here. She may not work out and she may hate a barrel pattern but why not see what you got before running and buying another horse. Also agree that if these kids have never ran barrels and are beg or even adv beg kids even an out grown barrel horse is probably going to be way to much for these kids. Truthfully with this broody I'd first go through the training and just make her canter the barrels eventually and not ask for the speed so the kids can train on her and learn the basics themselves before throwing speed in the mix

Bluey
Aug. 21, 2012, 09:02 AM
Disagree also. Any horse can be a barrel horse at saddle club levels for fun. No they aren't going to be running the women's rodeo circuit but for kids to get on and run around a barrel almost any horse can do it if trained properly. My old barrel horse was bred as a header but he could rock a barrel pattern. She is thinking of something to do with broodmare so why not put a year of training in her and see how it goes. Yes it takes time but it doesn't sound like op is in a major hurry here. She may not work out and she may hate a barrel pattern but why not see what you got before running and buying another horse. Also agree that if these kids have never ran barrels and are beg or even adv beg kids even an out grown barrel horse is probably going to be way to much for these kids. Truthfully with this broody I'd first go through the training and just make her canter the barrels eventually and not ask for the speed so the kids can train on her and learn the basics themselves before throwing speed in the mix

While this is the way most start in barrel racing, being their own trainers with a horse that has never been trained too well for anything much, that is also where some common problems down the road come from.

There are many good, quiet old competition horses out there if someone wants to learn to do speed events well, not end up a kick and jerk event with a half out of control, confused horse.

I say, if you go the self trained with your horse route, do find someone locally that is starting kids and horses for those playday events and have them train you and your horse.

There are several people around here, where playdays are a big thing, doing a very good job of just that.
There are also many that are winging it and it is sad for them and their horses, to see how something simple as acquiring some good, basic knowledge was missed in the fun of the games and the kids and horses are an accident about to happen.

Playdays are really so much fun and a good way to educate your kids about horses and have good family time with horses and kids.
See if in your area there is an active, good 4H horsemanship club and ask the county agent about it and who else may be good to get your horse and family started.

OP, remember, knowledge is your friend and now you have more to go with, do it right and have fun.
If you were here, I know some really good barrel racers that love to teach kids and their horses and all have a great time and in the end, that is what matters with kids.

arena run
Aug. 21, 2012, 10:09 AM
I disagree. If the kids have never barrel raced before, even a horse that has been outgrown from its current child could be too much for the kid to handle. Also, it sounds like the OP is not in this for the money, but for the fun. If I had a horse that could be safely used to start my kids on barrel racing, I would use that horse, and save my money. Good kids' barrel horses are hard to find, and even harder to find an affordable one!

If your mare is sane enough to put a kid on and let them dabble on the pattern, go for it.

<lol> I disagree w/your disagreement. I said to find a horse that "is doing what you want your kids to do". If you want them to cruise the pattern at a trot, then find a horse who can do that. I didn't say go find a crotch rocket and turn them loose. <lol> *rolls eyes*

And as far as putting a kid on a green-to-showing horse and letting them dabble, there's really nothing innately wrong w/that if the horse is sane, like you said. But there is a strong possibility the kid will get discouraged -- been there, done that. If you want your youngun to have fun, and you're not a trainer yourself, then you find a horse who can already perform the job you want done - at whatever level you're wanting it done.

And around here, you're not going to get anywhere "dabbling". I mean -- if you're going to spend the money to go show, it would behoove you to get a horse that would actually give you a way to do that. Case in point. A girl in our area came to me for riding lessons. She started out wanting to jump, but then - like me - she and her family determined it was just easier to go the speed event way. So --- they took one of their own horses who was broke, but not trained for speed events... and she had a miserable time that summer. Horse wouldn't go in the arena, horse didn't know the patterns, horse was an old jumper and knew what a show was, but she was sour and needed some training.

So - mom asked, "Will you train her?" I said, "I will, but let's do this instead..." So she borrowed a horse from me. A horse who could carry her daughter around the patterns safely - either at a walk, or a trot, or at a canter - and accommodate her beginning unsureness, yet had enough speed in reserve to make a decent sort of showing when the youngun got enough confidence.

They played at the shows for a summer and had a great time. MUCH better than the year before. They used her again the next summer and finished well enough in their association to qualify for state events. Mom asked me, paraphrased, "What are the parameters w/in Joy (the mare) will work for M--?"

I answered, "Until she wants to win." I knew my mare's capabilities, and winning in our tough, local competition wasn't part of it. <lol> (We are in Mississippi - folks around here don't play around w/the speed events, they're serious)

So --- at the state show the girl piloted Joy to a personal best time for Joy in all their events. By then Joy was completely maxed out and had gone over and beyond anything I'd ever seen her do, and the girl had learned a lot and was ready for more speed. They bought an old rope horse who didn't know the patterns, but who was broke, broke, broke. The pair won High Point Speed Reserve Champion their first year together.

Now THAT is what I'm talking about. They could have piddled around w/their old jumping show pony, but the girl was super frustrated and wasn't having fun. So, they got a horse who was doing what they wanted the girl to do -- have fun at the shows, get out in the classes, and learn how to run the events. Then when she outgrew that horse's abilities they bought a horse who didn't know much about patterns, but who was willing and fast and by then their daughter had three years of running under her belt and they had an absolute blast at those shows.

To my way of thinking, you can't really compare speed event shows in an area where that is the major sport, to play day/ gymkhana shows in an area where it is more of a novelty. IMHO, and no disrespect intended.

rabicon
Aug. 21, 2012, 11:25 AM
Well I do agree if the horse doesnt want to do it then you have to go find one if that's what you want to do. Sour horses are no fun but I would give mine a chance to see.

I do agree that the kiddos should have some lessons from someone that barrel races and gives lessons. A good trainer is key in any horse sport. But if mom is a good rider there is no reason she can't bring the horse along on everything if she does know how like bending, giving, stopping, seat, leg, etc if she doesn't then a good trainer to help her is also good. A good sane barrel horse for kids is not cheap to come by. You are going to spend some good money usually.

Arena run just for curiosity sake if you sold the mare that the girl rode and learned on what would you want for her? In my area one like that is going to cost you 10k or up.

Bluey
Aug. 21, 2012, 11:54 AM
Around here, for the next few months, emails like this one will be making the rounds:

"forward please!

Midget is a finished goat tying and breakaway horse. he is 14 1/2 hands, 10 yrs. old and a very easy keeper!
please contact me with questions or if you are interested!"

Those are from kids moving up and needing more horse, or going on to college, or just quitting horses.
You can find them in all sizes, ages, sexes, registered or not, sound or not and also all prices.

The local competitors, traders, trainers, farriers, vets, all are getting those and many time know the horses also.

OP, who knows, your mare may just take to playdays like a duck to water, but do get someone that knows to show you a bit what to do.
Running barrels well is kind of technical any more and why not learn right from the start?

arena run
Aug. 21, 2012, 12:08 PM
Well I do agree if the horse doesnt want to do it then you have to go find one if that's what you want to do. Sour horses are no fun but I would give mine a chance to see.

I do agree that the kiddos should have some lessons from someone that barrel races and gives lessons. A good trainer is key in any horse sport. But if mom is a good rider there is no reason she can't bring the horse along on everything if she does know how like bending, giving, stopping, seat, leg, etc if she doesn't then a good trainer to help her is also good. A good sane barrel horse for kids is not cheap to come by. You are going to spend some good money usually.

Arena run just for curiosity sake if you sold the mare that the girl rode and learned on what would you want for her? In my area one like that is going to cost you 10k or up.

<lol> I'd have to have about 1.7 million for Joybird. However... I will loan her out to anyone I trusted. For free.

Here's a link to some fb pics of her.
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1342415401821.2043990.1274298243&type=3&l=2f6ca499ff

She is priceless to me. Anytime I'm under the weather and don't feel like dealing w/crap from a horse, and both times I was recovering from a broken bone, Joy has traditionally been my Horse of Choice. I can go get on her in the pasture, no bridle, no saddle, no nothing... and we can just have fun. She has one of THE smoothest trots I've ever ridden, and a very nice canter, too. Her walk is like molasses in winter, <lol>, but she is very capable and relatively spook-free - she doesn't like snakey areas on the trail in the spring time and will sproing through them if given the choice).

Her repertoire includes (but isn't limited to) reining (placed at state level w/my 18 and over daughter and would have won district 4H some-odd years previous if self-same daughter hadn't bungled the pattern <lol>), all local speed events (barrel, arena race, panty race, poles, quads, stakes, key hole), water glass, western pleasure, walk/trot (she usually places in this class), judged trail, showmanship, mounted drill team, pony rides at autistic summer camp, and countless "first rides" for kids and adults alike.

I have plans for her to be my grandkids' first horse. That's a few more years off, but she'll be who I choose that first year or two for all of them I'm sure.

She has been ridden and used in shows by me, two of my kids, my niece, two other families, and I think somewhere in thee was another loaning out but I can't remember. She has carried too-many-to-count folks on trail rides here at my house and has been ridden as a catch ride in drill team and at shows by many more kids and some adults even (she's 14.0, but still big enough to qualify as a non-pony at our local shows) She teaches people to ride, keeps them safe (she does have a little sassy heiney hike she'll throw in every now and then, but she has yet to lose a rider, and most times they're grinning when she gets through and then they just kick her on up), and she is durn cute while she's doing it. :) Imho.


PS -- I don't mean it to sound as though Joy were a perfect girl. SHe's not. She'll go to sleep at the trailer and also while you're on her at the show! You have to wake her up to run - and you have to pay attention when she's tied to the trailer or you'll spook her awake (she doesn't set back though). She has a locking stifle and can't stay in a stall and has to have joint supplements and also VitE/Sel supplement if she's going to be ridden. She is L-A-Z-Y and will only move up in speed if she knows you can make her. She has a pretty clear-cut idea of what she will, and will not, do for any specific person - for some she behaves like a dream, for others I can see her ears sweeping back and her getting frustrated and fixing to tell them just what's what. Usually the ones who are simply being a passenger and leaving it totally up to her are the ones she gets upset with and she'll take advantage of them. She doesn't have to be told what to do every single step, but she does need to know someone "is there". She isn't hard to catch, but she will poke along while being led and she has to be reminded to come on up. She has to have a short, but somewhat intense refresher before going into showmanship class! <lolol>

rabicon
Aug. 21, 2012, 01:26 PM
Yes she sounds like a great girl! But there is the problem most people wouldn't sell that amazing horse like you and if they do they want some money for it for sure. A good safe horse is worth their weight in gold to me when they can take you safely and do anything. Like my guy market value right now maybe 6k with a year of dressage training in him but not showing till next year but it's his brain that makes him worth sooo much more. I'll never sell him. He will retire here like the rest of my guys but if I had to I'd want 20k at least lol. Because IMO his brain is worth every cent of it lol

WildBlue
Aug. 21, 2012, 07:48 PM
I dabbled with barrel racing as a teenager because the first 'real' horse I bought happened to be trained and very experienced running barrels and poles at the county fair level. She would lateral from leg and weight, and do a sliding stop when I sat down hard. Boy, was she fun. So, naturally, I had to play around with actual barrels and whatnot, in addition to riding like a maniac on trails.

I still like using barrels and cones for training and working my horses at the w/t/c. It can be a useful tool for teaching lead changes, adjusting stride, bending, etc. Even if it does look a little goofy with a TB under English tack...

cloudyandcallie
Aug. 21, 2012, 07:58 PM
I don't barrel race now, but when I was a kid, I rode both english and western. Yes it was confusing for my horses. (one was blind in one eye, so he had to be careful with the 2nd barrel, we only went right to left to middle back then. the other was a 1/2 tb 1/2 SB five gaited horse.:lol:)

The Hendry family, which lived across the road from me, had a western barn. Helen Hendry was from California. (She died this year at age 94 back in California.) She organized the "Circle M"' riding club (we lived at Montgomery outside of town) and we had a drill team as well as barrel racing after church on Sunday. I still have a picture of us riding in the drill team when the local paper came out to do a story.

It was a lot of fun. I did that till I went off to college. My farrier was 2x barrel racing champ of GA (I thought it was 3x, but he said he came in 2nd one time) and he keeps telling me that I need a QH. I keep promising to make Cloudy run barrels.:lol:

Huntertwo
Aug. 21, 2012, 09:07 PM
Honestly to have a good barrel horse they need to have fire in them. The fire doesn't have to be dangerous though -

Exactly. :yes: I had a great barrel mare when I was younger. Trained her myself using a book written by "Martha Josey".

Some other Gaming riders had horses that would bolt, rear, -simply on the verge of losing control.
That is not the making of a good barrel horse.

Yes, my mare would get excited entering the chute, but never, ever uncontrollable.

She knew how to rate herself and I never had to pull and yank like some of the other riders.

It's also not a matter of whether the horse enjoys it or not.
Conformation is key!!!!

Check out
http://www.barrelhorseworld.com/
for lots of information.

You can also find lots of DVDs, and books on selecting the correct barrel horse and training.

Good luck.. It's tons of fun!!!

snydere02
Aug. 23, 2012, 10:20 AM
Honestly, I don't want to put money into a well trained contesting horse if this is something the kids and husband just want to try, especially if I have a mare in the field who needs ridden.

Personally, I train my horses for dressage, hunters, and jumpers. I have trained one contesting horse, but that was at least 6 years ago. I regretfully sold her, the worst decision I ever made..She would be great to have back right about now... I know she was extreamly calm and she would do anything you asked at any time, but man oh man she was fast! I only sold her because, I'd rather jump fences and she was not a fan of jumping.

I completly understand conformation is key. Athena is not built to be a barrel racer, she's built to be a jumper. Actually she has some of the best movement I have ever seen in a Quarter Horse. I've had several jumper barns offer to buy her off me and many complements at shows. That's why we breed her for sport horses... I figured Athena is now going on 10 years old and can't be a broodmare for ever. She absolutly loves the kids and loves to be ridden around bareback and in a halter. I know she will love play days.

Athena is one horse I will never sell, therefore I want to put her to use. (she just loves to have the attention anyway). I don't want to purchase another horse...we are out of pasture space since we just broght home another horse last month. Honestly, I am a firm believer in paying for what you get and I don't want to be one of those people asking for a kid broke, husband safe, not hot, experienced contesting horse, under the age of 15, registered QH mare, for under $1000.. I just can't bring myself to do it.

I don't have the time to show Athena at jumper shows, there isn't any within a 2hr radius... All of our family friends are barrel racers and actually a really close friend is showing at Quarter Horse Congress this year. I believe she said she placed 3rd in the state this year. So I know if I need any help, she will be right there for me.

rabicon- Completly agree brain is worth a million bucks to me. I will not ever put my kids on a hot horse, it's never worth that kind of risk.

To simply put, I know Athena will never be the best at contesting...She's never been too good at tight turns, but if she likes it and the kids only want to ride why not? We are not trying to be the best, but simply let the mare enjoy life and let the kids enjoy riding. If the kids really want to get into contesting then I'll look into selling one of the mares in trade for contesting mare, but I'll give them a year to decide.

Heck maybe by next year my youngest daughter may want to start jumping...who knows with kids!

arena run
Aug. 23, 2012, 10:49 AM
<lol> If you had put this lastest post in your first post, you would have gotten a few different answers than you did. I think you pretty much answered your own question. You have a horse you can train yourself, you have experience w/at least one other speed horse's training, the horse you have now loves your kids and has been ridden on and off for her entire life, and it isn't feasible for you to spend money on another horse at the moment when - for all you know - the speed bug hasn't bitten too hard at the moment. To top it off - you mentioned you did want to use her for something, and you don't want to sell her....

Well -- there ya go. :)

I do believe you could get everything on the "wish list" you posted for under $1000 around here. There are kid's horses all over the place who can introduce a young'in to play day events safely and you can pick them up pretty cheap if you know where to look, are patient, and have something of a trainer mindset. But to require them to be registered? *giggles a little bit here* Yeah, that puts a whole new spin to it. That won't happen for anything less than $4000 in my neck of the woods.

I want to add one more thing, but I'm not finding the right words to convey my thoughts. But -- you sound like a mom who can understand what I'm trying to say here. The only caveat I would add is to keep an eye on their level of desire "to do well", and don't let them get frustrated if your mare turns out to be not a good fit for this type event.

In my area a re-purposed broodie that you are able to train yourself can get you introduced to the atmosphere and the patterns (to a degree), but if you want to "not be last" all the time, you'll need to look into stepping up the equine part of the equation after the first season.

snydere02
Aug. 23, 2012, 10:58 AM
I was looking for reasons why everyone else decided to barrel race. Obviously my reason is because the hubby and kids want to do it so, here I am training a horse to do it... <lol>

LOL the registered part is what gets me everytime... yes I want the all can do mare but needs to be registered for less than 1k...haha.. Can't help but laugh at the thought. Never in my dreams will that happen.

Memphis
Aug. 30, 2012, 12:58 PM
Barrel Racing is extremely exhilerating and I love that the timer is the judge. Having the most silver or the flashiest clothes or saddle just does not equate with being a winner in this sport.
Barrel Racing is about much more then a fast horse. I can't even count the number of people who have come up to me and said they have the best barrel horse in their backyard cause boy can it run in the field. LOL
A barrel horse needs a special spark - a motivation to work. Its not so much a hotness thing as it is a can't be lazy thing. :winkgrin: Most horses can make beginner barrel horses if they are reasonably well broke and responsive. Moving on from that level requires a different type of horse and a different investment of personal time. It is the same as any other discipline. To do well - you need to put the hours in and train, train, train. You also need a horse that has the heart to give its all and the conformation to keep it sound.
Mary-Anne

quikchik
Aug. 30, 2012, 03:35 PM
I started barrel racing because it looked like fun. My first horse did not have good conformation, but she was honest, automatic, & sane.
I don't know how old your kids are, but most shows around here have a Peewee class for 10 & under. Entry fee is usually $5, and every contestant wins $4-$5 at the end, depending on if money is kept out for year end awards. A lot of the kids are lead around the pattern, or walk the pattern with mom or dad beside them. a few of the older kids might do a nice easy lope. It is a good way to get them started and see if it is something they would be interested in, and you don't need any special horse. Everyone wins. The kids that start going faster move up into the Youth class. If your kids are young, you could start with something like this on the mare you have, and if they like & it and want to continue, your mare will have some shows under her belt & you will have an idea of her capabilities.

Flash44
Aug. 30, 2012, 05:47 PM
Conformation is key!!!!

So - do you like horses that have traditional AQHA conformation or rangier types? The barrel horses I see appear to be a little leggier and tb-like than the more traditional stock type horses.

snydere02
Sep. 4, 2012, 02:32 PM
I don't know how old your kids are, but most shows around here have a Peewee class for 10 & under. Entry fee is usually $5, and every contestant wins $4-$5 at the end, depending on if money is kept out for year end awards. A lot of the kids are lead around the pattern, or walk the pattern with mom or dad beside them. a few of the older kids might do a nice easy lope. It is a good way to get them started and see if it is something they would be interested in, and you don't need any special horse. Everyone wins. The kids that start going faster move up into the Youth class. If your kids are young, you could start with something like this on the mare you have, and if they like & it and want to continue, your mare will have some shows under her belt & you will have an idea of her capabilities.

This is the reason why I'm interested! My children range from age 2 through 14. The 9 year old and the 6 year old are the ones interested in barrel racing. I know this mare is not specifically bred for barrel racing and I don't expect her to be the best, but if the kids like it over the next year or so then I will look into investing into a well bred contesting horse.

To answer your question Flash: I've always loved the leggier and tb-like quarter's because of my jumping and dressage background. I'm always on the look out for the big sweepy strided quarter horses. The mare in question looks more tb-like rather than a traditional quarter horse.

quikchik
Sep. 13, 2012, 10:30 AM
Another bonus- if you have go for a year or so on the horse you have, you will be able to scope out horses that are about to be outgrown, and will have had the opportunity to see them multiple times in different situations. You will have a better "in" on the good kids horses. Around here, good kids barrel horses are rarely advertised, they are passed on by word of mouth.

RoyalPrestige
Oct. 7, 2012, 04:28 PM
I started barrel racing through my local 4-H club. My parents bought me a cheap grade paint gelding to compete with, and to tell you the truth I almost gave up on it because he was one of the most difficult horses I have ever worked with (bucked me off more than I stayed on) and had never really been started in much of anything. But you know what?? I stayed with him and I've learned so much from him. I definitely would not be the rider I am today without him. (Sometimes your best teachers aren't push-button ponies.) He stopped his rotten streak a year or two after I got him and became one of my most trusted horses.

As the years passed by, I kept working with him and when I had him in his prime he was clocking competitive times even when comparing to the NBHA or rodeo people.

My advice? Start hitting up a couple fun shows for your first runs and attend clinics or find a trainer if finances allow. Watch videos and read books on starting barrel horses, and just plain have fun!!

CR Gorge Girl
Oct. 17, 2012, 02:17 PM
Honestly to have a good barrel horse they need to have fire in them. The fire doesn't have to be dangerous though but they do need to like to run and aren't lazy. I've also found asking a lazy horse that doesn't like to run to constantly run makes them grumpy and sour and you'll start getting a horse that won't turn the barrels and I've actually seen horse that slow down a lot durning their run just refusing to go fast also have seen some turn to rearers which is sooo scary.

Not necessarily. I rode a son of Judge Cash for a couple of years. He was off the track and one of the laziest horse I've ever ridden. He walked in the arena like a damn plow horse. Once he started to know his job a little bit more, he walked in a little fresher, but damn that horse could run, and could shut it off in an instant. He had more than enough speed when asked for it. The first time I rode him, he was so lazy I had to use a crop to get him to canter! Never rode him without spurs. Once he got to know the patterns he would occasionally get slightly grumpy during practice while on the pattern, but on the whole, was a very chill, happy dude.

Flash44
Oct. 26, 2012, 05:56 PM
I started barrel racing through my local 4-H club. My parents bought me a cheap grade paint gelding to compete with, and to tell you the truth I almost gave up on it because he was one of the most difficult horses I have ever worked with (bucked me off more than I stayed on) and had never really been started in much of anything. But you know what?? I stayed with him and I've learned so much from him. I definitely would not be the rider I am today without him. (Sometimes your best teachers aren't push-button ponies.) He stopped his rotten streak a year or two after I got him and became one of my most trusted horses.


You probably ride better than most because of him.

RoyalPrestige
Oct. 26, 2012, 10:56 PM
Well, I'm sure I have tons yet to learn, but I am so glad I never stopped working with him. Sure did make life interesting :yes:.

barrelracer12
Feb. 13, 2013, 10:55 PM
well my friend just taught me to do them to make me abetter ride (balance wise) and i really like he started putting me in little rodeos with my friend and then i just got my 3yr old who i am starting on the barrels in the spring