What To Look For In a Barrel Racing Prospect
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"You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine." ~ Unknown.
Today I am going to talk about 'what to look for in a Barrel Horse' if you are looking to purchase one. ** Now, If you are just buying your first barrel horse you might be thinking I just need a horse who's fast and the rest will come naturally, while yes speed is a very important factor, after all it is a speed event, but there are other factors that need to go into a horse.
Watch and learn
This is just how it sounds, watch professional Barrel Horses. Now, I know those horses are experienced but you can still get a general idea and learn about how the barrel horse moves. I would watch Barrel Horses, but my aunt has taught me to not just watch them but to study their movements. Watch how those horses Dig and how they look before they turn and how they move around the barrel itself, then how they push off to go to the next barrel. Then you can compare to the horses you're looking at. Now keep in mind that a professional barrel horse is going to look different than a horse who has only been running for a year or two but you can still get an idea for it. Speaking of Watch and Learn it's always a great idea to look up drills and exercises for your barrel horse and I love Renae Cowley's barrel racing drills. click this link for Renae's channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCarjE-Xewl4e1zgna23ldVA/videos
Willingness and Athleticism
This one is an important one to me, looking for a horse who may not necessarily have natural talent but is willing to learn and work. You can buy a barrel horse who has "natural talent" but if it doesn't like barrels or isn't willing to learn that could be difficult. So it's not all about blood lines and natural talent, while those things can help, I think if your horse loves barrels and is willing to learn and you are too then that is a recipe for success in my eyes. It helps to have an athletic horse but If the horse has the heart and will to win, you'd be amazed at how fast "the lazy horse" can run!
Soundness is very important. You do not want your Barrel Horse to be lame especially since you are going to be running and turning fast. If the horse is limping it could be in pain or discomfort, so it is always a good idea to have a veterinarian exam the horse you are thinking of purchasing and it would even be a good idea to have the legs X-rayed or have an ultrasound done.
In conclusion, Watch and learn everything you can about barrel horses. Find a horse who is willing to learn and is athletic. Make sure the horse is sound too.
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Cover photo is taken by @cdphotog (on Instagram)
**I am not a professional. These are things that are important to me when looking for a horse and I know many others too. Your opinion may be different than mine and that is okay:)