Barrel Racing Tips

Barrel racing is a form of horsemanship contest, originally started for women. It has grown into an industry with big financial earnings and prizes at stake. Barrel racing requires superb horse riding skills along with a strong physique and a well-trained horse. Some barrel racing tips are provided underneath to make you more knowledgeable about the race.

Barrel horse racing started as an event for women, providing them with an opportunity to compete in a physical competition. Barrel racing has grown from a housewives' pastime to a big industry with professionals taking part in it. Barrel racing is considered as a form of horse riding sport with expert riders having superb riding skills and some of the best athletic horses. There are experts and retired jockeys providing barrel racing tips and training people for the competition.

Barrel Racing

Barrel racing is about testing the co-ordination between the athletic prowess of the horse and the brilliant horsemanship skills of the rider. The horse rider has to steer the horse around three barrels, each weighing fifty-five gallons, placed in a pattern similar to a clove leaf. The aim of the game is to make the rider run as fast as possible, even at a breakneck speed, within a limited time frame.

The time is recorded by a timekeeper who signals the start time and the finish time by using his eyes and a flag, to a clock keeper who records them by using a timer. Nowadays, the run is timed using an electric eye, a device using a laser system to record the time. The timer starts at the beginning line when the horse and the rider crosses the first barrel and without knocking out any of the barrels, reaches the finishing line through the other two barrels. The competition tests the physical and mental toughness of the horse and the maneuverability and horsemanship skills of the rider to the very extreme.

Barrel Racing Training Tips

The rider has to face problems while racing if the horse is not trained properly. Here, we have some barrel racing training tips that should be considered before joining the race.

  1. Knocking the First Barrel: The horse should be able stop before the barrel, after running in full speed, without knocking it down. Make the horse walk slowly, stop and then backup exactly at the point.
  2. Turning Before the Second Barrel: The horse tends to turn before the second barrel, kept near the fence. Practice running the horse directly up to the fence and make it stop just before arriving at the fence. The horse should be able to run, stop, turn left or right.
  3. Coming off the Third Barrel: The horse tends to run off, after passing the third barrel, without reaching the finishing line. Practice by placing some barrels in irregular orders to make the horse turn around the barrels and complete the run till the finishing line. The horse should learn when to turn and run at the riders command.
  4. Dropping the Shoulder: The horse can knock the barrels by dropping a shoulder. Practice running the horse till the normal rate point and make the horse turn in the opposite direction, away from the barrel. Complete the turn and after facing the direction of the first run, make it run whenever the horse drops its shoulder.
  5. Returning to the Start After the First or Second Barrel: The horse will try to head back after the first or the second barrel. Practice with barrels placed in a random way and make the horse go through them. The horse needs to take the turns without any hesitation.
  6. Running Past the End: The horse will not stop running after the end of the run if the horse has been running for too long. The horse can be taken for a trial ride, for a walk in the arena or even playing around to freshen it up serves the purpose very well. Once the horse is comfortable with the arena and the barrels, make the horse do a slow run, either in a field or in the arena, to see if it is ready to complete the run.
  7. Turning Away from the Arena Entrance: The horse will not enter the arena if it is angry. Make the horse walk slowly in the arena without following the barrels or the pattern for a while. Also, make sure that the horse is comfortable enough, do not bolt as it will be dangerous for the rider.
  8. Lead Change: The horse should lead very fast from the first barrel to the second and be able to switch the lead and turn without any hesitation. Make sure that the saddle is not hurting the horse and it is not hurt in the legs or the back. Also, the position of the rider should not be wrong and the rider's weight should not be too heavy on the horse.
  9. Throwing the Head: The horse could throw a head, which might lead to rearing and bucking while running, if they are in some pressure or pain. Make sure that the teeth is fine, the strap or the chain is not too tight and that the horse is responding to the movement of the reins.
  10. Rating: The horse should be rated according to the riders movements. The horse must be able to follow the rider's orders through body movement from the seat or the legs. The horse should be taught to follow the intention of the rider with the body movements of the rider.

Though these barrel racing tips might help those who are already a part of barrel racing, the new comers who aspires to become a barrel racing professional should take training before competing in the race. After all, perfection comes with practice.

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