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Speed Events

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...
If the speed and precision of pole bending has ever called to you, it’s time to give it a whirl. This fun, fast sport requires many of the foundation skills that will help your horse succeed in all his...
  The money barrel, the first one in a barrel racing pattern, sets up your entire run. Success depends on how well you make the first turn. Fallon Taylor of Dynasty Equine in Whitesboro, Texas, is a five-time National Finals...
  Here are more tips to improve your runs, from champion barrel racer Lindsay Sears. For the horse that always gets off to a slow start from the alley, breeze him a short distance. Work in a pasture, on a...
You’re in the alley ready for your barrel run, and your horse is just as excited as you are. But although you thought you were prepared, your horse starts slow from the alley, or he tips a barrel. Maybe...
Did you hear that the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) would be requiring helmets for barrel racers under age 18? If you did, you’re not alone. News of such a change apparently originated on Facebook and quickly circulated through...
You have a need for speed, but your horse is more interested in moving through life at a leisurely lope. No problem. This helmet cam video shows you the perspective of rider Jill Matson as she and her horse,...
Barrel racers know that overpracticing the pattern can sour a speed horse. But what do the pros do during the week to keep their horses in tip-top shape, both mentally and physically, for competition season? Champion barrel racer and trainer Sue Smith...
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