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View Full Version : Ring maintenece for barrel racers??



mpsbarnmanager
Oct. 8, 2012, 02:17 PM
I have a boarding barn with a new ring, about a year old. It is a bluestone base with 3" of sand footing. I use a chain harrow and it does very well for my english horses that do hunters and dressage. I just had a boarder move in that does barrels and pole bending. I had concerns about how it would affect my footing and the father assured me it should not be a problem, so in they moved. Well, after she rides, even just at a trot, the sand it really kicked up. After dragging, it leaves a wave in the footing! :mad: The only way I can think to fix it is to hand rake it before dragging, which is very time consuming. How does anyone barrel race and not have their ring go to crap?? Please help!!

VaqueroToro
Oct. 8, 2012, 02:36 PM
How do you normally drag it? Around in circles from the walls and on in to the middle?

I wonder if going around in tight serpentines from both directions would take the ruts out, then you can smooth over by doing circles from outside inwards.

mpsbarnmanager
Oct. 8, 2012, 08:31 PM
How do you normally drag it? Around in circles from the walls and on in to the middle?

I wonder if going around in tight serpentines from both directions would take the ruts out, then you can smooth over by doing circles from outside inwards.

Yes. I could try that, but if I turn too sharp, the lead chain on the drag catches on the tractor tire.

Sacred_Petra
Oct. 8, 2012, 11:29 PM
The college nearby has a rodeo program that uses the same arena as the ranch horse and the college program. I can check with my old teacher to see if he has any ideas, because I know no one at the college or the fairgrounds does any sort of hand raking, and I can never tell where the barrels were.

quikchik
Oct. 9, 2012, 11:02 AM
Ours is red clay mixed with sand, but it would be much more sand than 3". We also use a ripper or tillage tool with a drag behind it. Google ripper tillage tool & you can see something similar. Ground requirements for speed events and say, dressage, are unfortunately very different.
I'm not sure how her trotting tears it up though? How is her horse trotting different from anyone else's?

SuckerForHorses
Oct. 9, 2012, 01:46 PM
I'm not sure how her trotting tears it up though? How is her horse trotting different from anyone else's?

In tight circles, more then likely.

Barrel horses make tight turns as high speeds, and really dig in to do them. I can see where, depending on how often she is "practicing," the footing could become torn up or lumpy.

But really, IMO, no barrel racer needs to practice that much...a well trained/well rounded horse shouldn't need to run barrels, run barrels, run barrels...the day to day schooling just like any other discipline should be enough to keep the horse soft and in shape, and it can carry those principles of training into the barrel racing pattern.

mpsbarnmanager
Oct. 9, 2012, 03:44 PM
In tight circles, more then likely.
Yes, this! Sorry, should have specified.
Barrel horses make tight turns as high speeds, and really dig in to do them. I can see where, depending on how often she is "practicing," the footing could become torn up or lumpy.

But really, IMO, no barrel racer needs to practice that much...a well trained/well rounded horse shouldn't need to run barrels, run barrels, run barrels...the day to day schooling just like any other discipline should be enough to keep the horse soft and in shape, and it can carry those principles of training into the barrel racing pattern.

Yes, turning tight circles around both poles and barrels. I don;t know how well trained the horse is, but I do know the girl just started riding in June. I have only seen her ride twice, once was doing poles and once was doing fig 8's around 2 barrels. My cousin used to do barrels and she too said that they never practiced barrels at home. Not sure why these folks do so much. Can't imagine it feels good on pony's legs!

Cheese183
Oct. 9, 2012, 05:28 PM
Sounds like she over schools the patterns. You can always ask her to do a quick rake around where she had the barrels/poles when she is done. It shouldn't take that long to do. Just make sure to keep a rake by the ring for anyone to use. My barrel trainer turned me into a footing nazi. When the place I board got a new ring with new footing put in, I would rake before and after I rode. Then again I have also taken a header into a fence because of bad footing.

17Rider
Oct. 10, 2012, 02:18 PM
I never thought about what equipment works best to keep footing good for western riders.
I just had a neighbor drive in and he wanted to use my ring for his winter "legging up". He's into cutting. I do dressage.
My first reaction was NO !!

2nd was, if I don't like the footing at a western barn, he won't like my ggt either...

but this thread has me reconsider... how do good reining/ cutting/ barrel racing arenas stay maintained?

I am known to freelunge, and lunge 17h horses... I will probably do more footing upheaval than an 800lb QH?

Memphis
Oct. 11, 2012, 01:09 PM
I have only been a member of COTH for a short while but the one thing I have noticed is people are so quick to criticize.. The question in this thread is how to keep an arena in good shape for a couple of different disciplines but some people immediately start attacking the way the barrel racer trains her horse. :no:

I am a barrel racer and I can tell you that on young horses we practice the actual pattern more but with all horses we do exercises that keep our barrel horses sharp. Might be fast large circles with a small tight circle, might be a 6 barrel pattern of some sort, etc. etc. I am sorry but we don't just get barrel horses ready by riding on the trail. The small circles at a fast speed definitely put some wear on arena footing.
No idea why she would be causing any damage at the trot though. That is just plain weird.
Mary-Anne

SuckerForHorses
Oct. 11, 2012, 01:30 PM
I have only been a member of COTH for a short while but the one thing I have noticed is people are so quick to criticize.. The question in this thread is how to keep an arena in good shape for a couple of different disciplines but some people immediately start attacking the way the barrel racer trains her horse. :no:

I am a barrel racer and I can tell you that on young horses we practice the actual pattern more but with all horses we do exercises that keep our barrel horses sharp. Might be fast large circles with a small tight circle, might be a 6 barrel pattern of some sort, etc. etc. I am sorry but we don't just get barrel horses ready by riding on the trail. The small circles at a fast speed definitely put some wear on arena footing.
No idea why she would be causing any damage at the trot though. That is just plain weird.
Mary-Anne

In blue, that is basically what I was saying: that the pattern should be practiced, but not over practiced, and doing those other exercises will help keep a supple barrel horse for when you DO need it to run barrels, and by not over practicing the pattern you have a better chance at not frying your horse on the pattern.

CR Gorge Girl
Oct. 17, 2012, 03:11 PM
Until the horse is truly patterned, it takes tons of time on the regular pattern. After that, then we break it up with exercises with two barrels, 5 barrels or whatever. We do lots of circles, large to small, back out to large, etc etc. Bending and counterbending.

Just drag it like you normally would, never seen a problem with it. If there are deep divots all it takes is a quick hand rake or even just kicking it in with your foot.