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Horse Speed Events

Learn more about the following speed events, especially barrel racing; how to train for them and improve your skills; and read news and stories from competitors who compete in speed events with Horse Illustrated. 

  • Barrel racing involves a horse speeding around barrels in a cloverleaf pattern. The fastest competitor who leaves all the barrels up is the winner.
  • Gymkhanas feature events with pattern races and timed games and is often featured at Pony Club events or through 4-H. It is sometimes called an O-Mok-See. In addition to racing barrels, events can include pole bending, keyhole race, keg race, ride and run, egg stomp, $1 bill race (aka, ride a buck), and sack race are often scheduled.
  • Pole bending involves a rider weaving in and out of poles set in a straight line.
  • Flag racing involves running a pattern created by markers placed in specific locations.

Barrel Racing Practice Without Barrels

Does your barrel racing horse get overly excited when he sees the barrels? If he has the desire to run…

2 months ago

Using Horsemanship Skills in Barrel Racing

Barrel racing isn’t only about going fast. To round the three barrels in a barrel racing pattern with precision as…

11 months ago

Find Your Pocket in Barrel Racing

The shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, but it’s not always the fastest—especially in barrel racing.…

2 years ago

Podcast Episode #5: Breakaway Roping, Brooke USA and Bolder, Braver, Brighter for Sept 28, 2021 by Straight Arrow Products

In the fifth episode of The Horse Illustrated Episode of Horses in the Morning, sponsored by Title Sponsor Straight Arrow…

3 years ago

Breaking the Mold: Breakaway Roping with Jackie Crawford

Along the short end of the arena sits an enclosed play area filled with toys, a small trampoline, Tonka tractors…

3 years ago

In Real Life: Young Rider Lenna Peterson is Rounding the Turn to Take on the Barrel Racing World

My name is Lenna Peterson, and I compete in barrel racing. I am from Watkins, Minn., and I am 9…

3 years ago

Barrel Racing Short Story: The Case of the Tipping Barrel

Enjoy this short story from Young Rider magazine involving barrel racing in which Emma’s perfect new horse brings out her riding…

4 years ago

Take the Reins: The Ins and Outs of 4 Common Types of Western Reins

Reins are the key to communicating with your horse from the saddle. Used to cue and control direction and speed,…

4 years ago

The Need for Speed: Improving Your Barrel Racing Runs

You’ve been running barrels for a while now: You know the pattern. Your turns are solid. Your seat is stable.…

4 years ago

Amberley Snyder: Walk, Ride, and Rodeo Star

Growing up, Amberley Snyder, star of a rodeo movie on Netflix, competed in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and…

4 years ago