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Speed Events

Give Games a Go!

If you feel the need for speed and your horse is quite zippy when he wants to be, then you might have a lot of fun competing in mounted games, sometimes called "contesting.” Mounted games include events like poles,...
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes before you gallop toward your first barrel. If you haven’t done the proper preparation before the rodeo, you’re not going to get fast barrel times. Kelly Murphy, a barrel racing...
There’s never a dull moment for barrel racer Fallon Taylor. From qualifying for the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) seven times and winning the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association world title in 2014, to creating her own clothing line and launching...

Learning the Barrel Pattern

Photo: Sharonj via Pixabay.com/CC0 Q: I’m teaching my horse the barrel pattern, but I can’t keep him in a lope. How do I fix this? A: If your horse is young, he may not be strong enough behind to hold...
Sometimes all it takes is a moment—a glance down at a map, a slight miscalculation—to profoundly change your life forever. It was just such a moment in January 2010 that put avid rider Amberley Snyder’s life on a new...
That rush of adrenaline powers you through the cloverleaf pattern, knowing that just a hundredth of a second will make all the difference— every move must be flawless. Champion barrel racer Michele McLeod has experienced many such perfect runs, winning...
In September 2014, the second annual Ultimate X Showdown in Ohio gave barrel racing trainers a chance to showcase off-track Thoroughbreds (OTTBs) in a somewhat unexpected sport. Each trainer selected a horse with no training outside of the racetrack...
Q: My horse and I are trying barrels, but he seems to be a little afraid of them. I’ve been slowly bringing him up to them and letting him sniff them, as well as walking the pattern. I tried...

Five Pole Bending Tips

If you’re lucky enough to ride a really good games horse, it’s sometimes easy to forget that he still needs regular training and fitness work to keep him sharp in events like pole bending or barrels. If you ride...
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